Fitness Makes Me Creative

Have you ever noticed how you kind of go into a trance when running, walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming for long periods of time? Your body is working hard, but you don't really notice it. Your brain kind of disengages, and it roams free. Well, at least mine does! I've found that my recent efforts to get in shape more have made me a hugely creative person. I've always been a fiction writer at heart, with my mind taking me pretty crazy places. I love writing fiction because of the freedom it allows, so getting back into writing it in the last few months has been pure bliss. Can you guess where I've come up with some of my greatest ideas? That's right: while on the treadmill, elliptical machine, or stationary bike! It actually kind of sucks, because I have to stop my workout to write/type my ideas out on my iPad so that I don't forget about them. However, thanks to the hours I've spent doing nothing more than walking, jogging, running, or cycling in the last few months, I've come up with dozens of pretty rad ideas for my fiction writing. Some of them have actually become fleshed out to full length graphic novels (coming soon, DV). A therapist I once visited told me that jogging/running is a form of self-hypnosis. You're focusing on your breathing, and the world around you kind of fades into the background. It's almost like you're suspended in time, as your body is occupied - but your brain is free to go wherever it wants. To anyone who wants some more creativity, I would highly recommend low intensity, steady state exercise like cycling, walking, or jogging. You'll find that your mind is almost unleashed as you run, especially when you've been sweating for a half hour or more. You'll be burning fat at the same time (the reason I go to the gym), but you'll find that some pretty amazingly creative stuff floats into your head - or at least it happens to me all the time. I can't think of a time in the last few months where I haven't had some idea while running or jogging - no matter how simple or inane the idea was. It's a wonderfully therapeutic way to unleash your mind, so get on that treadmill, turn off the music, stop watching whatever's on TV, and just let your thoughts wander. You'll be amazed where they can take you!

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