How Walking Can Help You Be More Creative

Jon Gordon has written 18 books that have sold more than 5-million copies. His topics focus mainly on business leadership and personal development with an emphasis on positive thinking.

Jon has used the same writing process for all his books. He wakes up and heads straight for the computer to write. Jon avoids social media before he does this because he knows it would distract him. After writing for a bit he goes for a walk.

Jon uses this daily walk to pray and practice gratitude. But, that’s not all that happens while he’s walking. Ideas bubble up for the book he’s writing. Jon gets lots of ideas! He uses his phone to write them all down. He always makes certain to place the phone in Airplane Mode so he’s not interrupted by calls, texts, or emails.

His book, “The Carpenter”, is a fable about a man who almost dies while running. He learns that the person who saves his life is a carpenter. The man decides to get to know the carpenter better and discovers he’s far more than a worker of wood. Jon says the ending for this book came to him on one of his walks. The idea popped into Jon’s mind fully formed.

All of Jon Gordon’s books have taken him less than four weeks to write. That’s an amazingly short amount of time. Part of that, of course, is a product of Jon’s discipline. But, clearly Jon doesn’t spend much time with writer’s block trying to figure out what’s next. His daily walks provide plenty of creativity and usable ideas.

In 2014 a team of Stanford researchers wanted to find out if we can improve creativity by walking. They organized two groups of people. They gave each a focused problem to solve and a time limit to do that. One group sat. The other group was tasked with walking while solving.

The researchers were very specific about walking as the physical activity they used. They understood that unlike other forms of exercise, the mind is free to wander as you walk. We don’t have to think about the activity like runners or weight lifters or swimmers do.

In this Stanford study, the walking group came up with 60% more creative ideas than the sitting group.

Long before I learned about this research, or knew about Jon Gordon’s writing process, I could have told you the same thing. Every one of these blog posts are the product of a walk. I come up with the idea and general outline while walking and then sit down at the computer. If I hit a roadblock I get up and walk until a new idea forms.

My hope is you will discover the value walking for exercise is greater than you can imagine. Like Jon Gordon your walks may yield far more than just fitness.


If you don’t have a daily step goal, I want to challenge you to give it a try and create a fitness habit. I call it The 30 Day Fitness Challenge. This free guide will walk you through how to get started. It’s very easy.

If you don’t have a Fitbit I recommend the Fitbit Inspire HR. This is the Fitbit I use to track my 20,000 steps a day. The Inspire HR also tracks your heart rate and sleep so you get an even wider picture of your fitness progress.


(By the way…if you use the links in this article to make a purchase this blog will receive a small commission. It won’t add anything to what you pay, but letting you know is the right thing to do)

This blog is designed to help you embrace walking as a fitness activity. It’s sustainable, flexible, effective, and fun. Every week I post new articles with stories and helpful suggestions to Win at Fitness.

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