"We've known for a long time that writers get benefit from being active out in nature," she explained. "The environment makes a big difference." And while it's long been established that aerobic exercise improves cognition, it's the combination of activity and the outdoors that's key: "Reading email and checking your phone takes you off task and inhibits creativity for as long as five minutes each time." In contrast, the "natural environment has the ability to seduce and attract your attention system rather than demand it."
Exercise, outdoors or not, can also enhance your career. Fell cites neurologist Dr. Miguel Alonso-Alonso, who explained that a "fitter person is going to have greater improvements in executive function." Moreover, there may be a correlation between physical and financial health, with Fell reporting economist Vasilios Kosteas's finding that people who exercised at least three times each week increased their earnings: "I found that for men the average was a 6 percent increase on weekly earnings. For women it was more on the order of a 9 to 10 percent increase in weekly earnings," said Kosteas.
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