Recent studies in water immersion are finding some amazing benefits from soaking in warm water. And one of these centers on learning new information. According to Dr. Eadric Bressel, professor and clinical research scientist in the Sports Medicine Program at Utah State University, water immersion helps in learning new information, critical decision making or even slows down age-related cognitive decline.
Building on research from Japan that showed an increased blood flow in subjects immersed in chest-deep water, Bressel wanted to see how subjects performed an auditory vigilance test, which measured how well they could listen to a series of letters and retain how many times a particular letter was mentioned. The test was administered to a group on land and in chest-deep water at 82 degrees.
“Our hypothesis was that in water, an added challenge would be maintaining their balance and that doing two things at the same time would create more errors,” Bressel said. “That wasn’t the case. No matter what we threw at them, they performed better in water.”
The soothing effect of warm water seems to be the key, because it allows people to relax and therefore pay closer attention. So next time you need to study for a test or memorize a speech, you might want to head for the hot tub. Sorry, polar plunge!
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