Even if you haven’t tossed a football or picked up a hockey stick in years, participating in organized sports carry a host of benefits that will positively influence your life. Studies have proven that playing sports lowers stress levels, improve blood circulation, decreases your rate of hypertension, along with a variety of health factors. Likewise, sports even boast the ability to improve your mental health. Plus, it’s never too late to try out a few sports and see what you enjoy. If you need some more encouragement, keep on reading for several surprising ways that playing sports may change your life.
Physical Benefits of Sports
Participating in sports encourages players to set and achieve fitness goals while maintaining a healthy weight. Furthermore, playing sports increases the likelihood to pursue healthy decision-making which may mean avoiding smoking and eating healthier foods. All of this contributes to the quality of life improvements and lowers the chances of both breast cancer, osteoporosis, and other crippling diseases.
According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, the physical activity that stems from participating in sports actively lowers the risk of heart attacks. Exercising makes the heart both more effective and efficient. In addition, playing sports improved lung function and compacity. Similarly, another study revealed that playing sports helps prevent type 2 diabetes and encourages weight management. The Journal of the Public Library of Science revealed that playing sports can increase the basal metabolic rate, bone density, and lean body mass which contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
All in all, playing sports is just good for you! Or is it? Let’s weigh the pros and cons.
Physical Disadvantages of Sports
Now, what about sports injuries? John’s Hopkins study found that most sports-related injuries occur when players are using inappropriate or lack of equipment, players are poorly conditioned, and a lack of education and awareness about safety precautions are in play. Moreover, the benefits of exercise and being active outweigh the risk when proper safeguards are taken.
Mental Benefits of Sports
While sports carry several physical benefits, there are also psychological effects. “Exercise makes you feel good”. In addition, playing sports can boost self-esteem, reduce stress and pressure, and improve self-image. In recent years, scientists have conducted a variety of studies that have revealed the ways in which sports can improve mental health. For example, achieving a fitness or sport-related goal will increase an individual’s chances to pursue and achieve other goals, resulting in an exciting, rewarding learning process. Sports also re-train the mind to think calmly, even in stressful situations, and improves concentration. Likewise, exercising is a proven way to reduce stress that can latch on to the body. An extra bonus, teammates become a support system and give a sense of community.
Build Determination and Discipline
Participating in sports will help you introduce new levels of discipline and positive energy while building your self-esteem and respect for your health. These new attitudes are essential for living a healthy life. While you can develop these life skills outside of sports, the competitive draw and physical benefits further encourage your participation. You can build determination and prepare yourself both physically and mentally for tough games. Plus, you can carry these same attitudes into the boardroom at your workplace!
As you can see there are many benefits to playing sports. It is one of the best ways to begin pursuing a new, healthier lifestyle. If you are having trouble finding some friends to play tennis, basketball, or any other sport, then you should check out the Plan2Play mobile app. It makes it easy for you to discover a new community and begin enjoying the benefits of an active lifestyle. Don’t hesitate to try it out! Check out the app, pick up your tennis racket, and go play. It’s that simple!