I became fascinated by brain science and the interplay of leadership and the concept of “self-directed neuroplasticity” when I read a seminal article by David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz in 2006. So what’s this got to do with the power of walking?
OK, so some of you may think I’m a tad geeky. However, I believe an understanding of how our brains and body work is very helpful to coaching.
I’ve continued to deepen my learning about neuroscience through Conversational Intelligence®. The body of work by the late Judith E. Glaser which focuses on building trust to engage more effectively with others. And the work of other leading-edge thinkers, such as Amanda Blake, who explores neuroscience and somatics. So it was with interest that I attended a How To Academy talk with Daniel Levitin the author of The Changing Mind: A Neuroscientist’s Guide to Ageing Well.
Common wisdom suggests that doing Sudoku or crossword puzzles, exercise our brains and will keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay. Yet Levitin favours practices such as having conversations with strangers and walking in nature. His point being that we need to be curious, get out of our comfort zones and be open to new things.
In the case of walking, especially on an uneven path, he argues that it keeps our brain vigilant. It has to make continual calculations about the gradients we are traversing. The brain also calculates the micro-adjustments of how we place our feet in order not to stumble or fall.
So next time I go out for my lockdown exercise and grumble to myself “I’m bored with walking around the park again” I’ll seek out the steeper path and get off the beaten track to exercise my brain and body. And I’ll chat to a stranger (at a safe distance and suitably masked!).
What do you do to exercise your brain?
How are you keeping motivated during lockdown?
I invite you to have a conversation with me about how we could incorporate the findings of neuroscience to improve your leadership and entrepreneurial journey. Leave a note below or send to firstname.lastname@example.org or call me +44 (0) 7952 068133.