220 Triathlon


Safe open-water swimming this winter could delay dementia, says a ground-breaking new study


According to recent research from Cambridge University, the benefits of swimming outdoors this winter could last a lifetime, with evidence that regular cold-water swimming may be an effective defence against dementia. The blood profiles of winter swimmers were monitored over several years and shown to feature significan­t levels of a protein called RBM3 that’s been shown to slow the onset of dementia in mice.

In 2015, the same Cambridge team discovered this protein after placing degenerati­ve mice into a hypothermi­c state. RBM3 seemed to decelerate neural breakdown, providing a sort of dementia shield. Professor Giovanna Mallucci, who led the test, said the discovery could point researcher­s toward new drug treatments but also warned about the dangers of cold-water swimming. We highlighte­d those last issue, though also revealed the strategies and gear to safely swim outdoors this winter. And it’s worth it, both for your triathlon performanc­e and potentiall­y your long-term mental health.


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