Engaging in sports is among the most beneficial things to do in life. But, unfortunately, only a few are keen on taking it up. According to a Statista report, only 19.3% of Americans participate in sports and exercise. Unfortunately, these numbers are expected to go even lower. We are in a technological era where more and more people spend significant time on online video games and social media sites.
If you don’t engage in sports, it’s high time you reconsider your values. Apart from the fun, you will experience a myriad of other benefits that include:
1. Better mood
Are you having a bad day? Why not run to the basketball court or football field? Experts have it that sporting activities trigger the production of endorphins in our bodies, otherwise known as feel-good hormones, that relieve stress and promote happiness. Furthermore, you can use this opportunity to unwind after a long day, which will help you feel more relaxed.
2. Health improvement
Most sports are engaging and involve your entire body movement, which keeps you active, whether playing professionally or for fun. Since your hands and legs are moving, this helps build muscles vital for increasing stamina and strength.
Additionally, these movements increase blood flow, positively impacting your overall fitness. With time, you will notice how easy undertaking your daily activities become. Your endurance levels will also significantly go up, and you will take longer to reach exhaustion.
3. New acquaintances
Sporting activities bring together people from different backgrounds through common interests. Take the example of hiking. This sport attracts people who love the outdoors, enjoy the sunshine on their faces, and want to keep fit.
If you are a dog person, the process of meeting new people while participating in sports activities gets so much easier. According to Nuwber, dog owners are more interested in sports and the outdoors than cat people. So, if you’re still considering what pet you want to get, a dog will be an amazing companion if you want to start running in the park, for example, where you will be able to meet other dog owners and make friends with them.
Making friends at the gym is also common these days. Just leave your headphones at home and try to talk to people about their daily sports activities and what they like best. What if you find someone who will accompany you during your sports practices?
4. Weight loss
According to WHO, over 1 billion people suffer from obesity, 39 million being children. Apart from good nutrition, engaging in sports is an excellent way to avert this health crisis.
A report by Jamaica Hospital states that basketball and football burn approximately 544 calories every hour, while soccer burns 476 calories in the same amount of time. Even with baseball that’s not physically demanding, an hour’s play will help you shed about 340 calories.
These statistics show that sports are integral in helping you maintain a healthy weight. However, if you are overweight and want to pick up a sport, seek medical advice first. Your doctor will advise you on the perfect one, depending on your health risks.
Scoring is the ultimate goal of any sport. However, to achieve that, all players must put in the work. They will leverage each other’s strengths and accommodate weaknesses to achieve victory. This is an excellent trait that we can apply in everyday life. Whether in the workplace or at home, it helps individuals collaborate seamlessly with others to get tasks done better and more efficiently.
6. Brain power
One of the best reasons you should consider picking up a sport is that it boosts brain power. Players will often be alert, keen, and highly responsive, which improves their cognitive skills. Also, they will need to make smart decisions on impulse to emerge victorious. With such improved brain functions, players perform better in school and at work.
7. Better time management
If you are always late getting to appointments and among the last to join meetings, consider participating in outdoor sports. Players need to be at the training grounds on time. It’s a commitment they make. Since most games are timed, they must make the most of their moments on the field, pitch, or court. Over time, this builds proper time management. You will learn to prioritize tasks accordingly and balance your time.
8. Stress management
Life is challenging, and success is not always an everyday thing. Sometimes we get the results we dread the most or never complete what we start. Losing jobs, friends, companionship, and opportunities is also an everyday reality.
However, if you are an athlete or sports enthusiast, these feelings of defeat will not weigh you down. As you play one game after the other, you will realize you win titles and championship cups on some days, and on others, you lose.
That way, you learn to cope with defeat and stress. You will keep your cool, think positive, and live to fight another day.
9. Better bleep
Another reason engaging in sports should be on the top of your list this year is that it improves your sleep quality. Sports personalities and physically active individuals claim that exercises give them better sleep cycles, which gives their brains and bodies ample time to rejuvenate.
For this reason, sporting activities are highly recommended for people with insomnia. The best thing is you do not require several hours of sports to reap these benefits. Thirty minutes of cycling or rowing is enough to do the trick.
10. Healthy heart
One of the most important perks of taking up a sport is that it leads to a healthy heart. It prevents or controls risk factors associated with heart problems, allowing you to live longer. Sport brings down blood pressure and heart rate to safe levels. It also minimizes stress hormones which can have a detrimental effect on the heart.
Physical activity is not only for the young. Adults, even the elderly, can take up sports. If you are in perfect shape with no underlying conditions, challenge yourself and consider physically demanding sports like basketball, football, boxing, or running. Otherwise, badminton, table tennis, bowling, swimming, and golf are less intensive sports that offer the benefits mentioned above. Find a sport you love and enjoy a healthier and more fulfilling life.