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August 29, 2019
Lenny Krayzelburg

How Swimming Improves Brain Function

Everyone knows that swimming is a great type of physical exercise. It works several different parts of your body and is a good workout for your heart. What a lot of people don’t know is that swimming is actually good for your brain as well. Swimming regularly has been shown to improve brain function and repair damaged brain cells. With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder swimming is often the chosen method of physical exercise. Here are some of the ways that swimming can improve your brain function.

Improved Blood Flow

As you may already know, quality blood flow has a positive effect on your brain. The lack of blood to the brain can be problematic, which you might have realized when you feel light-headed. Improved blood flow to the brain can help with your memory, mood, clarity, and focus. As you might have guessed, the act of swimming will increase your blood flow, similar to other types of physical exercise like running. In fact, swimming can increase your blood flow more than land-based activities. For this reason, swimming will have a significant impact on the function of your brain.

Stimulates Brain Chemicals

Endorphins are the name of neurotrophic factors located in the brain. These help you manage your stress, anxiety, and mood. When you take part in physical activity, such as running or swimming, your body releases endorphins. This, in turn, will allow you to relieve stress and anxiety, as well as improve your mood. These are also major factors in the cause of depression so swimming has the ability to combat the symptoms of depression. In addition to helping with your stress, anxiety, and mood, swimming has also been shown to help with panic and feelings of sadness because it requires concentration on breathing.

Baby and Mom in Pool

New Neurons for the Hippocampus

There are various reasons why you might lose neurons in the hippocampus. Many times these neurons are lost because of age but there may be other reasons, such as excessive alcohol consumption. Swimming has been shown to promote new neurons in the hippocampus. This has the ability to help with learning and memory, as well as helping with depression and mental health issues. As you exercise, regardless of the type, your hippocampus will expand. As oxygen enters your body, it will reach your brain which will also help with your brain function.

Easier Learning

When you swim, you make crossing movements with your body. This helps with the development of the nerve fibers in the corpus callosum. The result of this is that the right and left hemispheres of the brain become connected and communicate with each other. The activity of swimming activates both hemispheres of the brain and all four lobes at the same time. The result of activation, connection, and communication is increased cognition and easier learning. This can be a major positive result of swimming for both children and adults.

Those who regularly take part in swimming usually do so because it is a good physical activity. They likely don’t realize that it also helps with your memory, anxiety, and mood. These are some of the ways that taking part in swimming will positively affect your brain function. Contact SwimRight Academy if you’re in need of swimming lessons in West LA.

Lenny Krayzelburg
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Beth Sager December 19, 2021

I know this has not been proven. My grand-daughter, I believe, was born with slight cerebral palsy. She was never diagnosed. As a child she was very weak and had difficulty in school. It took her forever to learn to ride a bike (13). She was failing at everything. She was in swimming lessons from the age of about 6. Her motor skills have greatly improved. She joined her high-school swim team….she now swims with even strokes beautifully. Not only that, she has improved in school tremendously. From ds and fs to c to a. I myself believe everything has improved with her competitive swimming. Would love to see a study on this. Thank you.