I use this technique quite a lot, but somebody else wrote about it in a way better than I could. If you can do two boring tasks at the same time you’ll have an enjoyable experience.
Iâ€™ve noticed several related things: 1. I could easily study flashcards while walking. This was less mysterious because I coded walking as pleasant. 2. I canâ€™ t bear to watch TV sitting down. Walking on a treadmill makes it bearable. This didnâ€™t puzzle me because I coded TV watching as pleasant and sitting as unpleasant (although I sit by choice while doing many other things). 3. I have Pimsler Chinese lessons (audio). I can painlessly listen to them while walking. While stationary (sitting or standing), itâ€™s hard to listen to them. 4. When writing (during which I sit), itâ€™s very effective to work for 40 minutes and then walk on my treadmill watching something enjoyable for 20 minutes. I can repeat that cycle many times. 5. Allen Neuringer found he was better at memorization while moving than while stationary. 6. Thereâ€™s some sort of movement/thinking connection â€” we move our arms when we talk, we may like to walk while we talk, maybe walking makes it easier to think, and so on.
You could say that walking causes a â€œthirstâ€ for learning or learning causes a â€œthirstâ€ for walking. Except that the â€œthirstâ€ is so hidden I discovered it only by accident. Whereas actual thirst is obvious. The usual idea is that whatâ€™s pleasant shows whatâ€™s good for us â€” e.g., water is pleasant when we are thirsty. Yet if walking is good for us â€” a common idea â€” why isnâ€™t it pleasant all by itself? And if Anki is good for us, why isnâ€™t it pleasant all by itself? The Anki/treadmill symmetry is odd because lots of people think we need exercise to be healthy but Iâ€™ve never heard someone say we need to study to be healthy.