×

Swimming gives your brain a boost – but scientists don’t know yet why it’s better than other aerobic activities

Swimming offers a host of beneficial effects on the brain. Stanislaw Pytel/Stone via Getty Images

Swimming gives your brain a boost – but scientists don’t know yet why it’s better than other aerobic activities

Swimming offers a host of beneficial effects on the brain. Stanislaw Pytel/Stone via Getty Images

Swimming gives your brain a boost – but scientists don’t know yet why it’s better than other aerobic activities

Swimming offers a host of beneficial effects on the brain. Stanislaw Pytel/Stone via Getty Images

Swimming gives your brain a boost – but scientists don’t know yet why it’s better than other aerobic activities

Swimming offers a host of beneficial effects on the brain. Stanislaw Pytel/Stone via Getty Images

Regular swimming has been shown to improve memory, cognitive function, immune response and mood. Swimming may also help repair damage from stress and forge new neural connections in the brain.

Swimming offers a host of beneficial effects on the brain. Stanislaw Pytel/Stone via Getty Images

Seena Mathew, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

It’s no secret that aerobic exercise can help stave off some of the ravages of aging. But a growing body of research suggests that swimming might provide a unique boost to brain health.

Regular swimming has been shown to improve memory, cognitive function, immune response and mood. Swimming may also help repair damage from stress and forge new neural connections in the brain.

But scientists are still trying to unravel how and why swimming, in particular, produces these brain-enhancing effects.

As a neurobiologist trained in brain physiology, a fitness enthusiast and a mom, I spend hours at the local pool during the summer. It’s not unusual to see children gleefully splashing and swimming while their parents sunbathe at a distance – and I’ve been one of those parents observing from the poolside plenty of times. But if more adults recognized the cognitive and mental health benefits of swimming, they might be more inclined to jump in the pool alongside their kids.

Disagree with this article?
Create an Opposing View
Add Related Article