If you often exercise, there’s a good chance you also tend to be more creative, according to an interesting new study of the links between physical activity and imagination. It finds that active people come up with more and better ideas during tests of their inventiveness than people who are relatively sedentary, and suggests that if we wish to be more innovative, we might also want to be movers and shakers.
Science already offers plenty of evidence that physical activity influences how we think. Many studies in people and animals show that our brains change in response to physical activity, in part because during exercise we marinate our brains with extra blood, oxygen and nutrients.
In rodent studies, animals that regularly exercise produce far more new brain cells than their sedentary counterparts and perform better on thinking tests, even if they are elderly. In people, too, exercise tends to sharpen our abilities to reason and remember and buoys our moods.