Here at Casa da Praia, we have a longstanding house rule – no breakfast unless you have been for a walk or a swim (or both) even if it is just down to the PO box to clear the mail and back up the “Stairmaster“. I am convinced that this daily routine is conducive to good health and a creative life and there is research to back this up.
In the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work (affiliate link), Mason Curry examines the schedules of 161 painters, writers, and composers, as well as philosophers, scientists, and other exceptional thinkers. From Milton to Tchaikovsky, many set aside time for a daily walk . Charles Dickens was a dedicated walker and what he observed en route fed directly into his writing. He regularly covered 12 miles or more in his daily constitutional/ fact-finding missions during which he recorded the urban landscapes whose descriptions were his stock-in-trade. His FitBit stats would have been amazing!
Similarly, a 2013 study by cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato from Leiden University found that people who go for a walk or ride a bike four times a week are able to think more creatively than people who lead a sedentary life.
Most days, I take my camera with me on my walk. Photos provide an inspiration bank for my artwork. Here are some lorikeet feathers I found this morning. By the way, I posted this photo on Instagram. My tag is #brendagaelsmith and I invite you to join me there.