Regular swimming classes improve the cognitive functions of the brain, as well as form new neural connections in it. Such a load helps to recover from stress, according to an article by assistant professor of neuroscience at Mardi Hardin-Baylor University, Seena Matthew, in the journal The Conversation.
Matthew stated that swimming is the most useful aerobic exercise for the brain and memory. By this indicator, it surpasses jogging or cycling. Most studies on the effect of swimming on the brain were conducted on rats since these rodents have significant genetic and anatomical similarities with humans.
As a result of one of these tests, scientists recognized that swimming stimulates certain brain pathways. They can suppress inflammation in the hippocampus and prevent apoptosis — the process of programmed cell death. Swimming also increases the survival of neurons and reduces the cognitive effects of aging.
To study the effect of swimming on memory, experts forced rats to swim daily for an hour, after which they were placed in a maze with six paths. There was a hidden platform in one of them, and the rodents were given six attempts to find it.
After a week, the scientists noticed that the short-and long-term memory of the rats improved, as they began to make fewer mistakes when passing the maze. As a result of the study, experts suggested that swimming can be used to restore learning and memory damaged due to neuropsychiatric diseases in people.