Can Learning to Scuba Dive be Good for your Brain
In a recent New York Times blog, author Gretchen Reynolds talks of the benefits of leaning a new activity during mid-life. Could learning to scuba dive be good for your brain.
She states that learning a new sporting activity could change and strengthen the brain. Learning a new activity like scuba diving would be more beneficial than say crosswords or marathon training.
In Krista Stryker’s book, The 12 Minute Athlete, she states that exercise can even help ward off some types of age-related cognitive decline. Such as reduced hand-eye coordination and memory loss.
The uniqueness of scuba diving means that the PADI Open Water Course would have a variety of skills that would never have been attempted by the student previously. These new and unique skills, start simplistically and move to more complex skills. Although complex, they are not physically demanding.
Reynolds states that complex thinking is generally classified as “higher order” cognition and results in activity within portions of the brain and promotes plasticity, or physical changes in those areas.
Past neurological studies have shown that learning a new physical skill in adult hood, leads to an increase in the volume of grey matter. This improves parts of the brain related to movement control. A new activity could include scuba diving.
That together with the natural benefits of scuba diving such improved blood circulation and reducing blood pressure. It can alsoincrease in muscle strength and flexibility.
Other effects on the brain that scuba diving can improve are an increase in concentration. Also a reduction in stress and an overall improvement in emotional well-being.
If you have never scuba dived before I urge you to give it a try. It cannot be compared to any other activity in the world and I will open a whole new world to you.
Give scuba diving a try and you may just be healthier for the effort.
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