Swimming: Brain-building exercise

Swimming can help build a better brain and improve skills outside the water as well as in the pool.

You probably know that swimming is one of the best forms of exercise due to its low impact and high calorie burn. But did you know that swimming benefits the brain as much as the body? This is especially true when it comes to the developing brains of children and young adults.

By the time a child reaches 6 years old, the brain is 90 to 95% the size it will be when they reach adulthood. However, the brain goes through heavy development all the way into the mid-20s. That’s why it’s essential to provide healthy environments and structured activities geared toward optimal brain development.

How swimming helps the brain

Brain benefits of swimming break down into three basic areas:

  • Exercise-induced benefits, including endorphins and increased blood flow to the brain.
  • Water-induced benefits: Blood flow to the brain increases by around 14% just by being immersed in the water.
  • BDNF — a brain-generated protein that helps repair cells and build new ones.

Together, these factors positively affect children’s mental, emotional and intellectual development. 

Swimming helps improve memory

But your kids don’t have to break out the flashcards to build brain power. Regular high-energy swimming encourages the growth of new neurons in the brain’s hippocampus, the part that promotes memory retention. Part of the benefit is due to water itself: A 2014 study found that blood flow to the brain increased by 14% just by being immersed in water up to the chest.

A 2017 review of studies by the University of South Wales found that the working memory wasn’t the only thing positively impacted by the exercise-induced effects of swimming — self control, selective attention, cognitive flexibility, intelligence, and academic achievement were also among the most-noted benefits. Swimming assists kids with spatial learning, pattern separation, executive function, and processing speed.

Swimming help builds confidence

Self-confidence is essential in everyday life whether your child wants to succeed in athletics in or out of the pool, excel in schoolwork, or just enjoy and experience life on a more integrated level. These are some of the areas that energetic team swimming can help develop:

Adaptability Directionality Problem solving

Balance Focus Self esteem

Body Image Laterality Self reliance 

Cognition Perceptual motor abilities

Spatial orientation Social interaction skills

Swimming helps build positive mental health

Getting into the pool and swimming offers a sense of mental well-being, clearing the mind and encouraging positivity.

Being part of a swim team involves being part of a social unit. Teammates encourage one another and share challenging experiences. 

Swimming supports the body in a relatively weightless environment, helping the body and the mind relax. 

Join the fun

We can help your child reach their potential in the water through our fun, energized workouts and technique instruction. Regular participation in these swimming activities can help them achieve their greatest potential in other areas of life.

Check out our website — sedonaracepace.com — to schedule a tryout or register for team or lessons.