Hot tub

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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