AN INTERESTING POST at Seedcode (I assume it’s by John Sindelar, but it’s not clear) about mulling things over as he exercises by running:
The Running Test is one way to get information about decisions, and I’ve found its results surprising. When I’m mulling something over, I’ll find it has one of two impacts on my run. I’m not a brand new runner, but it’s not second nature either; each run has a good amount of talking to myself about slowing down or walking this part of the trail. But sometimes I move through those parts of the trail much more easily–if the idea I’m mulling over is a good one, I find it gives the run energy. I see the idea expanding and suggesting new ones. My run times are actually faster: sometimes a lot faster.
The opposite experience is pretty hard to miss also: there is more negative self-talk than usual on the run and I find myself rehearsing negative outcomes or confrontations. Run times are slower and I am walking up those hills.
I am heavy into biking recently, and in my area half the trip is uphill and half down. I find that concentrating on business and development issues makes the uphill portions much easier, and the time flies by.
This approach is similar in effect to a technique called a brain dump, which consists of writing down thoughts in a free form manner. Start writing and let your thoughts wander as you do. You might be surprised what ends up on the paper.
So next time you exercise, leave the earbuds in your pocket and let your mind roam. You might find it more rewarding.