The next time you find yourself with writer’s block, unsure about the next step of a project, or stumped by a problem — step away. Research has shown that taking a break or engaging in a repetitive activity, such as walking, helps with creative breakthroughs, problem solving and stress. This may seem counterintuitive; after all, most of us were taught to just stick with it and push our way through a problem or project. You will eventually come up with the solution with this approach, but it will take longer and require more energy. Next time you’re in this situation, take a walking meeting instead.
Many progressive companies and work groups are now instituting walking meetings. These meetings are effective because walking (especially in fresh air) improves circulation, provides physical exercise, enhances thinking, re-oxygenates the brain, energizes and allows for greater problem solving at a faster rate. That all translates into higher productivity. The change of environment can trigger thinking outside the box, and the dynamic of interaction on a walk makes for camaraderie and stronger teamwork among group members. And being outdoors improves our mood, sense of well-being and connectedness to nature. Whether you work alone or with a group of people, step up to greater possibilities — take a walk!