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I am about to run my 1,000th mile using Nike runs. Which got me thinking about just how useful running has been for me: Not just for health but for creativity!

Here is me grinning my way through a recent morning run on the Mahaulepu trail in Hawaii!

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OKAY, This might sound weird to you: a blog post about creativity that focuses on running . . .wha? But I think it’s funny that there are all these blogs, and books, and Ted talks or whatever about “thinking outside of the box”, and how to be creative . . . and exercise never gets mentioned but it is actually integral to creativity. it is so basic that it is forgotten and taken for granted. But the fact of the matter is, if you are looking for ways to be more creative getting enough exercise is the low hanging fruit. Low hanging fruit is good for you. Because you are likely to actually eat it!

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Going for a jog ( or whatever you want to do swim, bike, yoga etc.) is the simplest, quickest way to get more creative! It is such a simple equation it is often over looked. But it boils down to this: if you are feeling good, healthy, if you have lot’s of energy, then you are going to be able to focus on your art better, you are going to have more mental and creative energy all around. It  is as simple as that.

I’m going to focus on running in this post, because it’s what I like, but substitute the exercise that works for you. Look:

1. Running makes you smarter.

2. Running makes you happier. How? Endocannabinoids!

3. Running makes you calmer

4. Running gets you high.

5. Running makes you more productive. (“People who exercised during their workday were 23 percent more productive on those days than they were when they didn’t exercise, says a recent study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.”)

More productive, calmer, happier, smarter, and uh higher.  Sounds like a pretty blissful combo. And guess what? When you have all that extra energy and happiness, and blood flowing to your brain, not to mention endocannabinoids flowing to your brain it boosts your creativity too. So the next time you feel like you’re in a creative rut, don’t turn to the internet for inspiration or Ted Talks or whatever, just try this: go for a run!

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Haruki Murakami sums it up: “The most important qualities to be a…writer are probably imaginative ability, intelligence, and focus. But in order to maintain these qualities in a high and constant level, you must never neglect to keep up your physical strength. Without a solid base of physical strength, you can’t accomplish anything very intricate or demanding. That’s my belief. If I did not keep running, I think my writing would be very different from what it is now.”

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