WELLNESS
09/08/2014 05:00 pm ET Updated Sep 09, 2014

WATCH: How Walking Can Make Your Brain Healthier -- And More Creative

Walking isn’t just good for exercising your body -- it’s good for exercising your brain, too.

Neuroscientist Gabriel Axel joined HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani to discuss how walking energizes the brain and can stimulate creativity.

“When we’re walking, essentially, the default mode network in the brain -- which is involved in self-referencing and episodic memory -- is given a rest,” says Axel, “and walking starts to then attune us into the surroundings in a more relaxed way.”

The default mode network is deactivated when we're walking and tuning into our environment. But when we finish walking and go back to a more inward-focused state of mind, the default mode network activates again. "All of a sudden our frames of referencing to ourselves and our lives are different," says Axel. This change in perspective can give rise to creative thought.

Walking gives you an important mental break from your normal distractions and preoccupations, which can also stimulate creativity, says psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne.

To hear more of the conversation, watch the full HuffPost Live segment here.

CONVERSATIONS