Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Why swimming is such a good sport for the brain

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Arslan Shah
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It’s no secret that aerobic exercise can help stave off some of the effects of aging. But a growing body of research suggests that swimming may provide a unique boost to brain health with Lifeguard course near me.

Swimming can also help repair stress damage and build new neural connections in the brain.

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

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As a neurobiologist trained in brain physiology, fitness enthusiast and mother, I spend hours at the pool during the summer. It’s not uncommon to see children playing and swimming happily while their parents sunbathe in the distance – and I’ve been one of those parents watching by the pool many times. However, if more adults recognize the cognitive and mental health benefits of swimming, they may be more inclined to jump in the pool with their children.

New and improved brain cells and connections

Until the 1960s, scientists believed that the number of neurons and synaptic There is now clear evidence that aerobic exercise can contribute to neurogenesis and play a key role in helping to reverse or repair damage to neurons and their connections in mammals and fish.

Neural plasticity – or the brain’s ability to change, which this protein stimulates – increases cognitive function, including learning and memory.

Human studies have shown a strong relationship between concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor circulating in the brain and an increase in the size of the hippocampus, the brain region responsible for learning and memory.

In contrast, the researchers observed mood disorders in patients with lower concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
Aerobic exercise also promotes the release of specific chemical messengers called neurotransmitters with Lifeguard course near me.

In studies done on fish , scientists have observed changes in genes responsible for increased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, as well as improved development of dendritic spines (protrusions on the dendrites or elongated portions of nerve cells) after eight weeks of exercise compared to with the control groups.

This complements studies in mammals that show that brain-derived neurotrophic factor increases the density of the neuronal column. The higher density of the spine helps neurons build new connections and send more signals to other nerve cells. With repeated signals, connections can become stronger.

But what’s so special about swimming?

Researchers still don’t know what swimming’s secret ingredient might be. But they are getting closer and closer to understanding this.

Since swimming involves all the major muscle groups. The heart has to work hard, which increases blood flow throughout the body. This leads to the creation of new blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis. The increased blood flow can also lead. To a large release of endorphins. Hormones that act as natural pain relievers throughout the body with Lifeguard course near me. This wave brings the feeling of euphoria that usually comes after exercise.

Mice are a good laboratory model because of their genetic and anatomical similarity to humans .

The study also showed that swimming can help support neuron survival and reduce the cognitive impacts of aging. While researchers don’t yet have a way to visualize apoptosis and neuronal survival in people. They do see similar cognitive outcomes.

One of the most interesting questions is how, specifically, swimming improves short-term and long-term memory.

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