Thus far, I’ve determined that after running at least 3 miles (either treadmill or track, it doesn’t matter), or after running one or more individual fast miles (my best time in the past year is 6:43), for several hours after exercising my mental acuity is much more pronounced. As a result, I’m not only able to concentrate very well on mathematics and mathematical physics, but my level of scientific creativity is more refined during this time.
I look forward to this heightened awareness just after exercising, so I make sure I have allotted the time to find a venue like one of my favorite coffeehouses, cafes, or libraries to spread out my research materials (e.g. yellow books, journals, pre-print articles, etc.) and get to work. On occasion, I will even drive over to a deserted stretch of beach, crack open the back of my SUV, and watch the waves and seagulls while I hunker down with a yellow pad and some cool equations. I notice that the effect diminishes after several hours so I try to optimize my “math super hero” stimulation by staying at it until I can feel myself coming down my geek euphoria.