Ever since we were kids, we’ve been told that sports are good for us. Then at a certain age, some parents start stirring their kids up with powerful statements like: “kicking/throwing a ball with your friends won’t take the exams for you”. They imply that we should avoid sports activities so that we study more and become excellent pupils. We start thinking that books and studying should always be a priority. Then if we are left with any time, we can go and have a real physical activity.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against studying, exactly the opposite, but sometimes we neglect our sports talent. And even though we have enjoyed sports immensely during our young age, we completely forget about it once we’re adults and make our own decisions. Studies show that men and women above the age of 21 live extremely inactive lives with most of us doing sports once or maximum twice per week.
What Are The Physical Benefits of Sports?
Practicing a sport can differ a lot. From individual to team sports, from ball-orientated to racing sports, from gymnastics to body-building. While we are not going to specify all different benefits for every certain type of sport, we will conclude most of the benefits that you will be experiencing if you can put your mind and body into actually doing the work.
Regular physical activities lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.
Reducing and stabilizing blood pressure by keeping the health of the blood vessels and preventing hypertension.
An improved cardiovascular system as movement works out the heart.
Fighting osteoporosis by building stronger bones.
Decreases bad cholesterol and increases the levels of the good one.
Controls the weight. Yes, sports are the most common and helpful way to reduce (or increase) your weight.
Just by looking at those benefits, you should consider including some sort of physical activity into your daily routine. However, if you decide to be more specific on your work-outs you can find benefits that suit your lifestyle and are helpful towards your own body. And at this day and age, there are hundreds of different work-outs.
For example, working in an office and sitting down during the longer part of our days means that we reduce our movements and thus our bodies suffer. Enhanced aerobic fitness, yoga, stretching can provide us with a better posture, improved endurance and strength. The risk of injury decreases and our total health-state increases.
What Are The Mental Benefits of Sports?
Despite what we’ve been told as kids (focus on studying, leave sports with your friends for later), studies show that the academic results can improve as sports require repetition, learning, and memorization – skills needed to excel in the classroom.
Team sports can show early signs of leadership skills.
Playing sports with friends for as little as 30 minutes per day can improve our mood and concentration.
Less stress and depression
Another study done on the mental benefits prove that if you’re participating in any kind of physical activities, you’ll reduce your stress levels in just a few weeks.
Boosting our self-esteem and confidence
As we become better every day in key qualities – stamina, strength, decision-making, and critical thinking, we feel better with ourselves.
We all have been in a slump, trying to pick ourselves up or at least we know people who have. For me, doing a sport always and I mean always helps me feel better within just minutes. I love being active and I’m trying to be as much as possible. Even on the days where my mind says “why don’t you stay on the couch, play that favorite car show or get a book and a snack”.
What I found out for myself is that setting challenges, helps me get out of bed. Having a plan and sticking to it helps, too. Also, doing a sport as early as possible (usually within an hour after waking up) makes me more organized and motivated. The benefits above are not my main goals but they’re definitely the needed push during the lazy days.
Health is the most neglected part of our lives until we lose it. And then we try to fix things with doctors and pills. Only if there was a fun, beneficial, exciting, healthy way that we can help ourselves – something like a… sport.