Solvitur Ambulando is a Latin expression that literally means “it is solved by walking” and is applied to the practical resolution of problems.
It is not clear who first coined it but it is attributed to Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), saint, father and doctor of the Catholic Church although it also appears in writings of the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope ‘the Cynic’ (413-327 B.C.).
Why is it interesting?
Why do I find it interesting as a leitmotif? Because it proposes experimentation as a fundamental normal of learning. And this is true for almost any field. Also on a personal level because it connects perfectly with my pilgrim side. In addition, the results of a Stanford University study show that better oxygenation promotes creativity and with it problem solving.
And if there’s one thing I have in my backpack, it’s a notebook where I can write down those thoughts, those solutions, those ideas that come to me during walks and hikes when there’s nothing else to do but listen to myself.
Going back to the classics, a multitude of scholars and philosophers offer as an anchor for their problem-solving strategies this Latin phrase, Solvitur ambulando. And by solve, he means almost anything.
Walking and mood
Walking, especially in natural environments, seems to have a beneficial effect as a cognitive and emotional recovery strategy. This study has found that the practice of this activity is associated with improvements in mood, reducing stress and increasing positive affectivity. In addition, it favors creative thinking and some cognitive functions, such as those related to attention and memory.
On the other hand, one might think that in terms of today’s pace of life, walking for almost an hour is not something that many people can accomplish. In addition, our cities may not facilitate contact with nature. But we have to try. A survey conducted in Japan compared the effects of walking in city parks and walking on city streets. By walking through the park, participants felt more comfortable, relaxed and energetic. Even their negative emotions and anxiety levels were lower. As for the walking time … only 15 minutes were necessary.
Do you know who are some great Walkers? Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago (see the one that passes through Aragon). Take a look at the statistics of the last years and be surprised with the sites you can find (San Juan de La Peña).
And of course, we are designed to walk… that means Solvitur Ambulando.