"Why Exercise Makes You More Creative"
Artsy Editorial by Daniel Kunitz
“Sit as little as possible.” The advice, offered by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche over a century ago, sounds like it could have been cribbed from the Health section of the New York Times. He continues: “Do not believe any idea that was not born in the open air and of free movement—in which the muscles do not also revel.”
Like such other thinkers as Immanuel Kant, Henry David Thoreau, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Nietzsche made it his habit to theorize while walking. Indeed, literary history is veined with writers who extol exercise: Ernest Hemingway boxed, Kathy Acker was into bodybuilding, the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami devoted a book to running, while Philip Roth maintained his prowess well into his seventies by swimming daily. On the subject of visual artists’ workouts, however, the historical record is mostly silent, perhaps because few have left written accounts. Yet, while a substantial body of research exists sketching out how regular exercise of various types can benefit creativity, it seems that visual artists might be able to color in the outlines of that picture....
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