As someone who has been involved in many sports and is currently a player on a tennis team, it was important to consider the many benefits that sports can bring. Participation in sports has many health benefits, but there are also psychological and social benefits. A lot of research has been done about the health benefits of sport and exercise. I have listed some links at the bottom.
I'm not a doctor or have any medical training. This article is written by a keen player. If you're considering taking up any sport, I strongly advise that you consult your doctor before you do. This is especially true if you have not been active in a while. To avoid injury or damage, it is important to be gentle with your physical exertion and increase your intensity as you get fitter.
Ten Benefits of Sporting
Reduction in Stress and Anxiety
Diverse social connections
Lower risk of developing diabetes
Lower Body Fat
Lower blood pressure
1. Healthier Heart
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. However, numerous studies have shown that regular exercise and participation in sports can significantly improve heart health and decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. For example, a study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that those who exercised regularly, such as swimming, tennis, badminton and squash, or who did aerobics (including dancing), saw dramatic decreases in their mortality rates from cardiovascular disease. For swimming, the reduction rate was 41%, for racket sport 56%, and for aerobics 36%.
2. Reduction in Stress and Anxiety
More than two-thirds of Americans report feeling stressed or anxious on a daily basis. But did you know that physical activity and sports participation can help reduce stress? Harvard Medical School says that exercise can reduce stress by both neurochemical as well as behavioral methods. Aerobic exercise decreases stress-inducing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, and stimulates endorphins which increase mood and improve well-being. You will experience improved self-image and muscle tone as you lose weight. This can also lead to increased energy, confidence, vigor and vitality.
3. Diverse social connections
People from many backgrounds and professions can join sports clubs and teams. However, everyone is united by their passion for the game. It's a great place to socialize and meet new people. Asking your local club for recommendations and help is a good place to start if you need to find a lawyer or builder. You won't believe how many times I have been helped by my teammates or their advice regarding issues in and out of the sport. When I travel to a new place, I join a local sports club to make new friends.
4. Lower risk of developing diabetes
The American Diabetes Association suggests that you combine aerobic exercise with strength training to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. This is also recommended for managing diabetes in general. Swimming, running, rowing and tennis are just a few examples of sports that could reduce your risk.
5. Reduced body fat
Sporting activities are a great way of losing weight. The British Journal of Sports Medicine states that exercise that requires short bursts of intense effort are the most effective. However, a lower-intensity workout is possible for people who don't have the time or ability to work out. Katie Hiscock, a British sports therapist and fitness writer, stated that losing weight is as simple as consuming less calories each day. Sport can be a fun and effective way to lose calories.
6. Being part of a team can help you bond with your fellow teammates. When communication, cooperation and previous practice all come together in a positive way, it can lead to a deep sense of satisfaction. Children can learn so much from teamwork, as well as improve their morale and productivity in adult work groups. I have found that teams can create a sense of belonging and you learn so much from them.
7. Sleep better
While there has been limited research on the link between exercise and sleep, it appears that there is a positive relationship. The National Sleep Foundation claims that regular exercise can improve sleep quality for people who have trouble sleeping. However, the exact mechanism behind this effect is not yet known.
8. Lower blood pressure
According to the Mayo Clinic regular aerobic activity can help lower blood pressure. Aerobic exercise is basically any activity that involves a variety different muscles and repetitive, rhythmic movements. Aerobic sports activities include running, swimming, tennis, bicycling and cycling. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults exercise at least 50 minutes per day (2 hours and 30 mins) for a week of moderate intensity, and 75 minutes per hour (1 hour and 15 mins) for a week of vigorous aerobic activity. Personally, I regularly measure my blood pressure and find that there is no better way to lower it than sport.
9. Improved Appearance
Physical activity, in addition to weight loss, can improve your appearance by improving muscle tone. Your physical endurance and strength will improve the more you exercise your muscles. Physical activity also increases blood flow and oxygen. This gives you a warmer glow and a more radiant complexion.
10. Improved mood
Scientists have found that sports can increase brain chemicals that boost mood and make you happier. Yale and Oxford scientists published a study in The Lancet that found exercise was more important than economic status for participants to determine their well-being. The study showed that people who exercise regularly feel worse for 35 days per year while those who don't exercise are more likely to feel miserable for 18 days. This is a significant difference.