It’s no secret that summer is synonymous with playing. And what better way to launch into a FUNtastic summer than splashing around in the water? Not only are water sports great for keeping you cool during a heatwave, they also provide numerous benefits for brain health.
Swimming—the top choice
Swimming requires cardiovascular work, coordinated movements, and sustained effort from muscles that have to contend with water resistance. It’s a complete but gentle sport, thanks to the buoyant powers of water that will pamper your joints.
But that’s not all… Swimming can slow age-related neuronal decline and promote neurogenesis, or the birth of new neurons (now that’s a word to add to your Scrabble vocabulary). A 2018 study has also shown that swimming enhances both short- and long-term memory.
Everyone dive in!
Did you know that the simple act of immersing yourself in water increases blood flow to the brain, oxygen levels, and cell regeneration? Moreover, when bones no longer have to fight the stress of gravity, such as occurs when swimming, their density increases, range of motion improves, and inflammation subsides.
Whether you like aquafitness, scuba diving, synchronized swimming, diving, or inflatable water obstacle courses, there’s something for everyone! You prefer cycling? Then give aqua-spinning a try.
It’s better outdoors
Water sports in the great outdoors are an excellent way to maintain health and well-being. We’re not talking motorboats, you have to get wet! But paddleboarding, kayaking, and sailing, for example, are all good for balance and coordination (standing up on a floating object is no easy feat). These activities also require considerable cardiovascular and muscular effort. A collateral bonus is that feeling you get of being connected to nature. It’s the perfect way to boost your brain as you go with the flow.
The more adventurous can try catching a wave (or riding whitewash) on a surfboard—the benefits are similar, and you’ll get a healthy dose of adrenaline.