Health benefits of playing sports include efficient functioning of heart, controlled diabetes, lower cholesterol levels, improved blood circulation, lower hypertension, and lower stress levels. It helps in weight management, toning of muscles and strengthening of bones. It also brings positive energy, discipline, and helps in building self-esteem and mutual respect.
Playing sports is more than fun!
Playing sports is a favourite activity for most of us. It provides us with enjoyment and also freshens up our mind. But playing sports is actually more than mere running, jumping or kicking a ball in the field. Indulging in sports helps our body to function smoothly and more efficiently. Sports involve the activity of each and every muscle of our body. This strengthens the body and promotes good health.
Sports in today’s world
The United Nations Sports for Development and Peace can be regarded as one of the forerunners in sports all over the world along with the International Olympics Committee and various sports development authorities across the globe. The main motto of organizing sports by these organizations is to promote peace and brotherhood among nations. The United Nations Sports for Development and Peace believes that sports as not just leisure activity, but a fundamentally enforceable right all over the world and it is a very effective tool in promoting humanitarian, developmental and peace building activities.
United Nations Sports for Development and Peace invites sports celebrities or sports superstars to act as goodwill ambassadors to promote awareness about various troubling issues. According to the United Nations, the mass appeal of the players is particularly helpful in bringing attention to various issues such as HIV/ AIDS, education, food and agriculture, drugs and crimes, refugees, etc.
According to United Nations Sport for Development and Peace, physical activity plays an important role in the development of overall health and prevents various diseases. Apart from preventing diseases, playing sports is an excellent physical activity and thus aids in improving the functional capabilities of body. Sports are not only beneficial to young but also for older generations. It is always good to start early. Kids should be encouraged in participating in playing sports at schools or social events. This helps in obtaining maximum positive results of playing sports involving physical activity. Aged people find improved alertness in them with time, if they engage in sports.
Make sports a part of lifestyle
Playing sports must not be limited to the field of your school, college or the stadium. Even when you’re at home or working, sparing at least 30 minutes for any sport you love can be very helpful. It is not advisable to accept sports as a strenuous activity that you are doing for the sake of health. Instead, take it as a hobby and enjoy it. If you have a family, encourage your family members to be a part of that sport too. This will give impetus to the overall health of the family. Activities such as cycling, swimming, running and even walking are some of the physical activities that can be done on a day to day basis. It must not be forgotten that playing sports alone will not give you healthy body and mind. Many other factors such as nutrition intake, the stress levels in your life or even the clothes or shoes that you’re wearing must also be considered. In many countries, playing sports has become a part of the treatment for certain diseases.
Health benefits of playing sports
Playing sports has many health benefits which include:
Healthy heart: Playing sports helps with stretch ability. The heart benefits the most from playing sports. The cardiovascular health improves by playing sports and there are less chances of any malfunctioning of heart. The heart also needs exercise and during sports, heart has to pump more blood and thus the heart gets its required share of work out when one is playing sports.
Controls diabetes: Playing sports helps the insulin to perform in a better manner. This helps the diabetic people to make most of the insulin present in their body. Also physical activity helps in reducing risk of type 2 diabetes. It also helps in weight management.
Weight management: Obesity is a big issue faced by millions of people across the world. This issue can be dealt by indulging in loads of sports or similar physical activities. Fat gets burnt and calories are shed through rigorous physical activity involved in sports. People who are regular players of any sport are leaner and fitter.
Lowers hypertension: Hypertension or high blood pressure may result in stroke or heart disease. This makes, control of hypertension absolutely necessary. Hypertension can be prevented by being physically active or by playing sports. Physical activity or sports can keep your heart and blood vessels healthy and prevent hypertension from developing.
Lower cholesterol levels: Sports also help in maintaining lower levels of bad cholesterol. Some experiments showed that compared to athletes, bad cholesterol levels in sedentary people was much higher and good cholesterol levels were significantly higher in athletes.
Improved blood circulation: The blood circulation gets better as you start playing sports. This helps in proper circulation of nutrients all over your body. The body remains well oxygenated and thus it remains more healthy and active. Apart from blood circulation, being physically active can also increase the amount of haemoglobin and the volume of blood.
Stronger immunity: Regularly indulging in exercise and sports makes the body immune to many diseases that usually affect a person due to weak immunity. When a person exercises, the rate at which white blood cell reaches every body part increases. The exact manner according to which sports increase immunity is not known yet. Playing sports increases sweat production and may also remove toxins. This also helps the body to remain healthy. Due to rise in body temperature, the chances of bacterial growth also lessen.
Muscle toning: Muscles are the part of body that participate most actively when you play sports. Sports are actually the best form of workout for muscles. Toned muscles are always desirable and that’s what you get when you play sports. The endurance power of muscle increases with time and this helps you in gaining a stronger body. Both inner and outer muscles get toned up when one plays any sport. For example running involves working out of the inner and thigh muscles both.).
Stronger bones: Playing sports is also beneficial in strengthening not only the muscles, but also the bones in your body. Bones get their strength from bone density and aging decreases bone density which can result in osteoporosis. Taking up regular sports is perhaps one of the easiest ways to maintain bone density and strength for people of all ages.
Other benefits of playing sports
Positive energy: Sports can bring in positivity in life, if played in a healthy manner. It refreshes the mind and helps in developing a positive and fresh outlook towards life.
Self-esteem: Playing any particular sport helps in building self-esteem. When one improves in any particular sort or skill, one feels good about it.
Discipline: Discipline sets into the life when one starts spending time by playing sports. This is because sports inspire the person to live life by certain rules and regulations and move towards a positive end. Children who indulge in sports feel healthier and develop better and healthier relationship with people. A positive outlook is instilled in them.
Mutual respect: Playing sports builds mutual respect. It helps you to respect people even if they have negative attitude towards you.
Inducing calmness: Sports train your mind to think calmly and find out new strategies to deal with problems without getting hyper.
Team-work: Playing sports helps you in building good relationship with people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse traits. It encourages team-work and thus helps in preparing you to work with different people in a harmonious manner.
Goal setting: Goal setting is something that every person needs to have an idea about what he/she wants, be it in a game or in life. Sports may help in goal-setting and improves performance level.
Being careful while earning some good health
Play under expert supervision: It is very important to be careful while indulging in physical activities like sports. Playing them by implementing wrong techniques can have harmful effects on your health. Try playing sports under the supervision of experienced players in the beginning and take their advice on how to play the game without getting hurt.
Stretching and warm up exercises: Stretching and warm up exercises are a must in order to prevent cramps. Stretching prepares the body, brain and the mind for the physical activity involved in the sport. The blood flow increases in the muscle when one stretches and this increases the elasticity of muscles. This prevents muscle injury.
Well hydrated: It is very important to remain well hydrated in order to prevent dehydration from affecting the quality of performance. One must carry sufficient water if any sport is planned somewhere away from home. Drink water throughout the session in small quantities.
Acclimation: Acclimation is an important factor to be considered while playing in hot and humid conditions. While playing in hot and humid conditions, there is a chance of developing heat illness, wherein the body struggles to bring down body temperature. Under such conditions, one must stop the game and drink lot of water and try to cool down.
Avoid playing on rainy or stormy days: Playing any kind of sport on a rainy or stormy day is not advisable due to the risk of lightening and slippery ground can result in injuries.
Concussion: One should be very alert about concussion. Every minor injury should be paid equal attention. Ignorance and arrogance are both harmful when you are playing sports. Rest is also important when one experiences concussion.
Chill after game session: It is important to cool down after every playing any sport. It helps the body to become calm again. The heart rate normalizes and the muscles relax. Cold fluids can be taken after playing a heavy sport. It helps in cooling down the body and also helps in preventing heat illness. Heat illness is a serious issue which affects many people, even professional sportspersons. . It causes nausea, unsteadiness and at certain instances it can even make a person collapse completely. Prevention is the only way by which this kind of situation can be dealt with.
Aged people: People who are not used to being very active physically should not indulge in thorough sports sessions right away. This will adversely affect their health, especially obese and aged people. Aged people should actually start with small sessions because the body tends to lose muscles with age. For this reason any sport that involves physical activity tires the body. Consulting the physician from time to time helps in remaining updated about one’s body and helps check any adverse effects of the physical activities.
Obese people: Obese people should indulge in sports in a controlled manner. This is because they are more susceptible to sports injuries. Injuries can lead to soft tissue damage, infections and can cause serious problems that can have long-term effects. Several researches suggest that people who are obese are more prone to ankle injuries.
Playing sports is definitely a very helpful means to remain healthy and having fun at the same time. So choose a sport of your choice now and watch your life transform and glow in health!