Swimming provides unique benefits

Swimming provides unique benefits

Research shows that swimming regularly may have several health benefits.

Swimming can improve your memory, cognitive function, mood, and strengthen your immune system. It can also help to mend damage from stress and create new neural connections in the brain.

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Swimming is the ultimate brain exercise. Here's why.

popsci.com

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  • In a study with rats, swimming was found to stimulate brain pathways that reduced inflammation in the hippocampus and slowed down cell death. Swimming also helped neuron survival and lowered the cognitive impact of ageing.
  • Another study paid attention to the impact of swimming on mental agility in elderly people. Researchers found increased mental speed and attention compared with non-swimmers.
  • In children, swimming (aerobic exercise) showed a clear cognitive benefit over anaerobic exercise such as CrossFit.

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Until the 1960s, neuroscientists thought that damaged brains cells could not be replaced. But that theory was disproved when researchers started to notice the creation of neurons (neurogenesis) in the adult brains of humans and animals.

Studies show that aerobic exercise plays a key role in helping to repair damage to neurons. Exercise increases the levels of a protein named brain-derived neurotrophic factor that boosts cognitive function, including learning and memory.

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