Swimming promotes brain development

Sport is healthy, no question about it. However, some have additional benefits. Swimming, for example. Swimming promotes brain development. Improves memory, cognitive function, immune response, and mood. That’s not all. It can help repair damage caused by stress. And forge new neural connections in the brain. How does this happen?

Interesting evidence was found in tests on swimming children.
Interesting evidence was found in tests on swimming children.
Movement is the key

Science has clear evidence. Aerobic exercise can contribute to neurogenesis. Helps reverse or repair damage to neurons. This works in both mammals and fish.

A protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (FNDC) is involved here. Stimulates cognitive function, including learning and memory. Its high concentration favors an enlargement of the hippocampus. It is the region of the brain that is responsible for learning and memory. In low concentrations, it affects mood. Aerobic exercise also stimulates the release of neurotransmitters. For example serotonin.

Swimming is known for its cardiovascular benefits. It includes all major muscle groups. And the heart has to work hard, which increases blood flow throughout the body. This leads to the formation of new blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis. Endorphins, natural pain relievers, are released throughout the body. This surge causes a feeling of euphoria that often occurs after a workout.

Tests were carried out on rats. Swimming stimulated the brain pathways that suppress inflammation in the hippocampus. It helped neurons survive and reduced the cognitive effects of aging.

Swimming supports brain development in many ways.
Swimming supports brain development in many ways.

The rats were taught to swim for 60 minutes a day, five days a week. In later exercises it was found that his memory increased noticeably. Short-term memory developed quickly.

Another study included the elderly. The swimmers had improved mental speed and alertness compared to the non-swimmers. Cognitive function was compared between athletes who exercise out of the water and swimmers. It was found that 20 minutes of breaststroke swimming improved cognitive function in both groups.

Tests on children

So does swimming help brain development? Scientists studied the relationship between physical activity and learning in children. They taught children ages 6 to 12 the names of unknown objects. Then they tested their accuracy in recognizing these words. After three activities it was done. First coloring (resting activity). Then swim (aerobic activity). Finally, an exercise similar to CrossFit (anaerobic activity) for three minutes. Performance was much better after swimming. There is a clear cognitive advantage of swimming over anaerobic exercise.

What do these findings mean? That swimming is very beneficial for young brains even for short periods of time. People have been looking for a fountain of youth for centuries. Swimming could be as close as possible.

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