4 Reasons Swimming Improves Overall Health
We haven't found the fountain of youth but swimming is a close runner up. Water activity and exercise can indeed lessen the repercussions of aging. In addition, studies have shown that swimming could improve your overall brain health. The production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a compound that helps repair brain cells and supports the growth of new ones, is a latent benefit of swimming that most do not know about. One benefit of producing this molecule includes enhanced cognitive function such as boost to memory and comprehension. This is especially significant for infants and toddlers, who's early brain development impacts the individuals they eventually become as adults.
Swimming involves tons of motor skill use. Almost all the muscles in the body are used to swim, including your brain. As mentioned in the previous section, BDNF helps boost brain development and has great effects on the Hippocampus (the part of the brain associated with memory). Through practice in the pool, swimmers gain hand-eye coordination skills, rhythm, and pattern identification that are helpful in multiple areas outside of the swimming pool. This can be especially beneficial if introduced at an early age for youth.
Improves Mental Health
Did you know the water environment is a great place to chill, not just physically but also mentally? Mental health awareness has brought to light the impact this issue has on the lives of people all over the world. Some of the challenges associated with stress, anxiety, and depression can severely impede the ability to function. Mental health in part can be attributed to chemical imbalances and other environmental factors that are unique to the individual. While not a cure-all, swimming can actually have a positive impact on your chemical composition by boosting Serotonin - a chemical produced in your body to help regulate mood. Swimming also boosts the production of Endorphins, a hormone that acts like a natural pain reliever. Ultimately, a holistic approach to mental health is key and we certainly encourage swimming to be used as part of the equation.
Have you ever heard someone say that after swimming, they're always left feeling hungry and tired? With so much muscle activity (including your brain), it's no wonder that your body feels the need to recover. Sleep is your body's way of getting rid of waste products in the brain. Without a restful nights' sleep you can be left groggy and fatigued, plus chronic sleep deprivation can have severe impacts to your overall health. Swimming as a sleep aid could be an underrated tool to help improve this all important aspect of life.