Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D. wrote Blue Mind, a fascinating book that explains the “surprising science that shows how being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected, and better at what you do.”
While open water swimmers intrinsically know this, it is a revelation to people who remain on terra firma.
Dr. Nichols presents the reasoning and emergence of neuroconservation as well as describes practical examples of people who enjoy the water in various forms. He talks about athletes like Bruckner Chase and those who coaches from America Samoa to the New Jersey shore.
He writes, “…the ways we use our bodies in water – having to time our breaths consciously, reaching up and over and puling the water toward us, moving the legs independently of the pace that the arms are setting – is nothing like the way we move on land.
We must learn to swim and this combination of cognitive effort and aerobic exercise has actually been proven to provide the greatest amount of what is called “cognitive reserve” – that is, the mind’s resilience to damage to the brain.”
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