The simple answer is–of course it does! The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said: ‘sit as little as possible’. What did he mean by this? He meant that as humans, we were made to move and that no idea or thought was born in open air and free from movement.
In fact, many of the great thinkers made it a habit to theorize while partaking in some form of physical movement. Immanual Kant, David Thoreau and Jean Jacques Rousseau all enjoyed walking while coming up with some of the greatest theories. Ernest Hemingway was an avid boxer, Kathy Acker enjoyed bodybuilding and Philip Roth swam daily.
A recent study by scientists at Standford University found that walking significantly improved certain cognitive efforts involved in creativity and critical thinking.
Various other studies have found that exercise can help induce flow states, increase creativity and lessen anxiety and depression.
I believe that various exercise regimes from running to martial arts are also a form of moving meditation. When I run I typically incorporate meditative breathing to help ease anxiety and quiet the ‘monkey mind’ https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/the-empowerment-diary/201709/calming-the-monkey-mind . I believe that running, wakes up my body and mind in a way that can’t be replicated artificially.
Many creative individuals such as artists, musicians or dancers believe that a physical practice can be a vehicle to expanding the possibilities of expression and knowledge.
In today’s world where we’re always searching for that ‘edge’ or extra boost of energy, the answer isn’t more coffee, Red Bull or coke. It’s as simple as dedicating a few minutes a day to personal fitness.