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

By Seena Mathew

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Interesting. It's just anecdotal, but as someone who has always loved swimming, I have found that even gentle exercise in the pool, specially done regularly, has a huge impact on my wellbeing. Maybe even having the whole body at a comfortable temperature while doing exercise for a prolonged period sets it apart from other forms of exercise ...? I'm sure lack of stress would have a huge impact on cognitive ability. I love the idea anyway. I remember my Dad after he retired, went swimming twice a week for years, and was doing well. It may have been coincidence, but his dementia started to become noticeable shortly after he stopped swimming.

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Swimming is the only exercise where I feel great before (I anticipate jumping in the pool with joy), during (I don't get worn out or check the time) and after (cool, refreshed, enegized.) I've tried many exercises, but swimming beats them all, hands down. Highly recommended, and most wards have at least one indoor pool, open year-round.

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Whenever I'm a bit stressed I go swimming laps and I come out new. But since the pandemic started I haven't touched a pool and clean beaches are so far.

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It's the lack of impact, compared with other sports (such as running, tennis, etc.)

Impacts cause inflammation, which results in the body wasting time and energy trying to heal itself from the inflammation - the aerobic and cardiovascular gains are canceled out by the need to fix the inflammation. Swimming in a cushion of water - and chilled water at that - eliminates the impact injuries and also provides the benefits of heat transfer and temperature reduction to all the muscles being used.

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I think @Sal has a point here. The experience of floating might do something that other physical activities cannot achieve.

My first experience with sea water was when I ran towards the waves at the coast just six months after being able to run at all, promptly got dunked and my dad jerked me up to the surface. I screamed, "Again! Again!"

So I got swimming lessons by the age of 3, learned to dive at 5 and had a head start at school.

There were no swimming lessons at school so I'm grateful I had learned to keep myself afloat beforehand. From the age of 7 to 12 I spent most summers at next town's public pool.

I guess it did me some good - when I got asthma and was no longer able to swim in chlorinated water, my progress at school stalled. Or it was due to puberty setting in. Whatever.

Anyway, swimming is good for you.

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I'd be interested to know whether it's the physical action of swimming that is significant or just the removal of physical stress from parts of the body while in the water. So is simply floating in the water also helpful? (Thinking of our old dog when she had bad legs and used to simply stand in the river in water up to her neck, presumably removing some of the normal gravitational stress on her legs.)

Also, I hope they've checked that it's not the chlorine in the water that makes the difference. :-)

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If the pools were open, I'd go.

The ones that are open are limited advance-reserve space,

which means forget it.

Chlorine kills the virus, but for the second consecutive year,

closed pools, and no swimming.

This story is kind of rubbing our noses in it, no?

Speaking about something we are cut off from doing?!

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DaveJuly 31  09:23 pm JST

Great for a muscle pump if you do it like professional (Freestyle) (Crawl Stroke) Been doing it all my life for work and play. Great feeling

Swimming even a dog paddle involves using using a lot of muscles, and you want to direct yourself correctly. In order to do all that, your brain's control functions are all in use.

Estimated guess.

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