Social and Mental Health Benefits of Sport
We all know that the benefits of playing sports at any age are wonderful for physical fitness, but did you also know that playing sports can benefit many aspects of your life? It’s true! Consider what you stand to gain from learning about teamwork, following the rules and accepting the results. Also, there is something to be said for sportsmanship, inclusion, discipline, and so much more. In this article, we’re going to explore the social and mental health benefits of sport. How you can maximize these in your life, or the life of your child.
Inclusion is the Word
One of the great things about sports is that it renders everyone equal. No matter your gender, age, ethnicity, etc. You can engage in the same sport with those who are very different than yourself. It levels the playing field (pun intended). No doubt, when you think about your own sporting activities through life. Think of the friends that you have made. The adrenaline that you all shared. And the fun activities that go beyond the sport. Such as who train with before, and who you celebrate with afterward! Sport brings people together, no matter their background.
There’s nothing like physical activity when it comes to boosting your mental and emotional well-being. That’s because, when the body is moving, it’s pumping with oxygen and healthy brain chemicals. These you feel throughout the day. Life is stressful these days, and the same can be said for our kids. In fact, their lives are more stressful than ever! Exercise releases endorphins and supplies blood to the brain. Both of these reactions are instrumental in lessening stress.
In the modern world, we need to learn how to best interact with one another. Making friends and learning social behaviors that are appropriate is not only important for kids, it’s also important for adults. How we interact with those around us is key to our social and emotional intelligence. When we work as a team and learn to value the team over the individual. We’re creating the strongest social bond known to man. These lessons can be carried out into our everyday lives. If you’re someone that has trouble making friends or interacting in a constructive way, consider joining a sports team to improve your skills in life.
Not all of us are good enough at sports to make a life out of it! That’s why sports are great for teaching us about time management. Your kids have a full schedule. You have a full schedule. And so when you add a sport to the mix, you’re seriously learning about commitment and using your time and focus wisely. No one can up and leave a sports team when they want to. Once you’re locked in, you’re locked in (except for injury). That right there is a great lesson in responsibility.
Embrace Your Passion
Playing sports is an exercise in embracing our passion. Think of all the emotions that are involved in the game; the nerves, the effort, the triumph. All of these passionate feelings are incredibly healthy in a controlled setting and lead to thrilling experiences that can be remembered for a lifetime. And, even if you don’t become a pro player, sports can take you places in life you never thought you’d go. Say you’re a great basketball player and you get a scholarship to play in college. You may not be playing basketball for the rest of your life, but it just got you the best education you could imagine. Even if sport never makes you money, you never regret the experiences along the way.
Development of Character
When it comes to ourselves and our kids, what do we want to be known for? How will people remember us? The answer comes down to character. No one likes you for how much money you make, how in-shape you are, or what career successes you have had. What people like you is your character. Sports help us to not only develop our characters but also, our strength. There are moments in sport that are incredibly difficult. Including physical and emotional challenges that one has to come up against at each game or match, and this builds strong character, in the end. There are so many life lessons to be learned on the field or court, that one could say that sport creates a microcosm for our complex world. It is a small stage upon which you can test your mettle.
Encouraging in Real Life Activities
With so much screen time in our lives, it is important to encouraging in real life activities, such as playing sports. Kids who joined a sport saw a 73% improvement in mental health, one study showed. If you’ve ever been engaged in sports you know, viscerally, how much it gives you. If you never have been, then now is the time! Children should all be signed up for one sport or another for the life benefits that it gives them; far exceeding the physical. But please keep in mind, adults who get into sports at an older age are just as likely to reap the benefits of sports. You’re never too old to grow into your best self, physically, mentally, and socially.
Where to Start
Not sure if you are ready to commit to signing up for a league or team, but have a little time and want to get out and play? Our mobile app connects individuals that have the same interest, location, and availability. The best part it’s FREE! Find out more. Take advantage of the positive benefits of playing sports when you are available. Have fun, play, get fit, and be social at the same time!