Did you know a growing body of research suggests that swimming, in addition to all the other benefits, might provide a unique boost to brain health?
Regular swimming has been shown to improve memory, cognitive function, immune response and mood. Does this list of neurological activities sound familiar? If you have been reading about CBD it sure does, since it’s just a few of the functions controlled by our own Endocannabinoid System (ESC).
The ECS regulates and controls many of our most critical bodily functions such as:
- Learning, memory and cognition
- Emotional processing
- Pain control
- Sleep cycle
- Inflammatory response
- Immune regulation
Swimming may also help repair damage from stress and forge new neural connections in the brain. If more adults recognized the cognitive and mental health benefits of swimming, they might be more inclined to jump in the pool!
And what better way to enjoy the water than to jump in than with a FREE CBD Garage swim cap!
While scientists are still trying to unravel how and why swimming, in particular, produces these brain-enhancing effects, the possible answer lies in a connection with the production of our own endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids along with their receptors and enzymes make up our Endocannabinoid System.
Even more benefits of swimming
Aerobic exercise including swimming can contribute to neurogenesis, playing a key role in helping to reverse or repair damage to neurons and their connections. Why should you care about neurogenesis? Because increasing the brain’s ability to regenerate brain cells could stave off cognitive decline and dementia.
While our own endocannabinoids may play a role in the cognitive and mental health connected to the benefits of swimming, can we boost it by supplementing with CBG and other neuroprotective cannabiniods?
In a study completed in early 2015, CBG demonstrated neuroprotective effects (it protects and preserves the nerves of the brain from injury, disease, and degeneration) in mice with Huntington’s disease. CBG inhibited nerve damage and prevented further deterioration and might provide neuroprotection in patients with other neurodegenerative diseases.
The Endocannabinoid System and Swimming
One of the reasons why swimming and other aerobic exercise provides cognitive benefits is by increasing levels of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This protein has also been shown to help reduce depression and anxiety and improve mood.
This is another clue that the neuroprotective benefits of swimming are regulated by our endocannabinoids.
Anandamide, the first of two endocannabinoids discovered in the late 1960’s got its name from the sanskrit word “ananda,” which roughly translates to “bliss” or “joy,” an indication of the cannabinoid’s properties as a mood enhancer.
Studies suggest that the ECS may be involved in the development of depression and that targeting the ECS with supplemental cannabinoids has the potential to alleviate depression. It’s no wonder that 3 of the most reasons people take CBD such as stress, anxiety, and sleep problems were related to mental health in a recent survey.
But what’s special about swimming?
While swimming has long been recognized for its cardiovascular benefits, it was also shown to stimulate brain pathways that suppress neuro inflammation and reduce the cognitive impacts of aging in animal studies. Although researchers do not yet have a way to study this in humans, they do observe similar cognitive outcomes.
For centuries, people have been in search of the fountain of youth. Could swimming and supplementing with cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG from hemp be the secret to better mental and cognitive health?