Walking increases creativity, both while you’re doing it (as in the scientific study below) or in the long-term, because your brain’s creativity improves from walking over time. All the research in the article linked below makes us think of the ‘set your intention’ aspect of how we distinguish a pilgrimage from a walk, and suggests it actually works! Maybe these intentional walks of great thinkers are a type of pilgrimage?
“A group of Stanford students were asked to list as many creative uses for common objects as they could. A Frisbee, for example, can be used as a dog toy, but it can also be used as a hat, a plate, a bird bath, or a small shovel. The more novel uses a student listed, the higher the creativity score. Half the students sat for an hour before they were given their test. The others walked on a treadmill.
The results were staggering. Creativity scores improved by 60 percent after a walk.”
This wider phenomenon also includes the common practice of pacing up and down in order to think better, as mentioned by our patron, the scientist Rupert Sheldrake.