‘It Is Solved By Walking’

“Solvitur ambulando.” –St. Augustine

I used to drive by a church that had this St. Augustine quote on its entrance sign. “It is solved by walking.” The church sat along a very busy road, so I only ever saw the sign as I was sitting in traffic. What a way to stick it to us who had to commute!

But walking does help us solve our problems and gather our thoughts, as this New Yorker piece points out:

What is it about walking, in particular, that makes it so amenable to thinking and writing? The answer begins with changes to our chemistry. When we go for a walk, the heart pumps faster, circulating more blood and oxygen not just to the muscles but to all the organs—including the brain. Many experiments have shown that after or during exercise, even very mild exertion, people perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking on a regular basis also promotes new connections between brain cells, staves off the usual withering of brain tissue that comes with age, increases the volume of the hippocampus (a brain region crucial for memory), and elevates levels of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new neurons and transmit messages between them.

Why Walking Helps Us Think – The New Yorker.

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