Benefits of swimming for the brain

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01 | Swimming: a complete exercise at all levels

02 | Endorphin rush

03 | Brain training for all levels

04 | Relaxation and disconnection

05 | Stop cognitive deterioration

01 | Swimming: a complete exercise at all levels

It is not news that exercise is beneficial for our brain. But is there any activity that has more advantages than others? The answer is yes.

Apart from following a lifestyle where a good sports diet is combined with sports supplements to improve the performance of our body, we see many benefits in this activity beyond sports nutrition.

swimming promotes the release of substances in the brain that improve cognition and memory, thanks in part to helping to establish new brain connections. It helps our body to fight against oxidative stress and free radicals, reduces stress levels and improves our immune system.

Therefore, the benefits of swimming are undeniable, both at the physical and cognitive level.

It is a very complete exercise that activates the main muscle groups of the body. In addition to stimulating the cardiovascular system, the work done is much greater than in other activities, thanks to the resistance of the water. Another advantage is that the body, being submerged, receives less physical impact, and it is easier to move. But just as important is physical fitness as mental health.

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02 | Endorphin rush

Like a good aerobic exercise – one that requires an effort from the heart and lungs to provide oxygen to the muscles – swimming produces the release of endorphins. This is the reason why swimming is so addictive, because the endorphins secreted bind to opioid receptors in the brain, responsible for functions such as sedation, the reduction of pain or euphoria. In this sense, swimming as a therapy improves the mood and reduces the symptoms of those who suffer from this disorder. Part of the antidepressant effect could be due to the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus, something that occurs after swimming.

03 | Brain training for all ages

Some studies have found that swimming helps develop the child brain. This is the result that has been reached after a study (which you can find in the bibliography) carried out on adult swimmers, who, after 20 minutes of swimming, improved said function.

Much of the blame for these benefits lies with BDNF -Brain-derived neurophrotic factor-, a brain growth factor that improves memory and cognition. Because what differentiates swimming from other cardiovascular activities is precisely that it stimulates the release of BDNF.

04 | Relaxation and disconnection

On the one hand, the liquid medium produces relaxation, but, on the other hand, the rhythmic movement of swimming makes us enter a meditative state. Swimming reduces emotional tension, since it lowers cortisol levels, the stress hormone.

It also increases the production of serotonin, one of the happiness hormones that helps us fight anxiety, depression and stress. And it is that swimming activates both hemispheres , which need more oxygen. This increased communication between the two sides of the brain leads to increased cognition and better learning abilities.

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05 | Stop cognitive deterioration

Recently, a study has shown that swimming suppresses cognitive decline in obese mice. This results in impaired learning and memory capacity, which is closely related to inflammation of the nervous tissue and a decrease in neurotrophic or growth factors in the brain. Swimming reverses these abnormal changes. So from now on, after that post-swim high or pool addiction, think about everything that's going on in your brain after swimming.


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04 | Bibliography

The Conversation. Article: why swimming is so good for taking care of your brain. Sergey Nivens 2022 (online): https://theconversation. com/why-swimming-is-so-good-to-care-for-the-brain-186652

Shoemaker Leena N. , Wilson Luke C. , Lucas Samuel J. AND , Machado Liana, Thomas Kate N. , CotterJames D. Physiol Rep, 7(20), 2019, e14247, 10. 14814/phy2. 14247 [CrossRef] []

BBC. Article: because swimming is the best sport for the brain. 2021 (online): https://theconversation. com/why-swimming-is-so-good-to-take-care-of-the-brain-186652

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