One of the most well known tourist attractions in the city of Kyoto, Japan is called the Philosopher’s Path. It’s a little footpath that follows a winding canal underneath cherry trees in a quiet part of the city. Along the way there are little tea houses and shops. It’s quite beautiful and peaceful. And it got it’s name from the fact that certain influential thinkers in Kyoto’s past got some of their best ideas from walking up and down the path. And the reason they had those great ideas had little to do with the path itself, but rather the fact that they were walking, and not sitting.
That’s right. If you want to have more creative ideas and a better memory, you need to move around while thinking. Researchers in Germany recently discovered that the memory performance of both young children and adults improved when they were walking compared to when they were sitting. Whether it’s the increase in blood circulation or the rhythmic movement of the legs, walking helps our brain work better.
What does this mean for English learners? Well, maybe it means that you shouldn’t always study or practice English while sitting down. Maybe you should put on some headphones and listen and speak while you walk in a beautiful place. Not only will you be able to remember vocabulary and sentence patterns better, but you will be in the fresh air getting some exercise at the same time. This is not only good for your body and mind, but also for your mood and self-esteem. So get out and start walking!
Are you looking for some good listening and speaking material for those nature walks? If so, be sure to check out our Fluency Course, which gives you up to six months of mp3 audio listening and speaking lessons.