The health benefits of playing sports include proper weight management, efficient functioning of the heart, diabetes control, lower cholesterol levels, improved blood , and lower and stress levels. It helps in the 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 a favorite activity for many people around the world. It provides us with enjoyment and also freshens up our mind. However, playing sports is actually more than running, jumping, or kicking a ball on the field. Indulging in sports helps our body function smoothly and more efficiently. Sports involve the activity of each and every muscle in our body. This strengthens the body and promotes good health.
Health Benefits of Playing Sports
Playing sports is not only for fun but has many health benefits like weight management, strong muscles, and much more. Let’s have a look at the benefits in detail.
The studies in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggest that physical activity actually helps lower the risk of heart attacks. Playing sports helps with ability. The heart benefits the most from playing sports and there are fewer chances of of your heart. Playing sports helps the heart in pumping more blood as it is a type of workout for the body.
Research performed by the Human Movement Sciences Department, Old Dominion University, Virginia, USA, has concluded that playing sports helps in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. Also, sports help diabetics make most of the insulin present in their body. Also, physical activity helps in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It can also help in weight management since it burns excess calories.
Obesity is a big issue faced by millions of people across the world. Over 55% of the adults in the US are obese, which is indirectly paving a way for chronic conditions like cancer and heart diseases. The American College of Sports Medicine says that this issue can be dealt with indulging in sports or similar physical activities.
Hypertension, also known as high National Health Service, UK suggests that aside from diet management, sports and physical activities are important to keep the blood pressure normal., may result in a stroke or heart disease. The
Balanced Cholesterol Levels
Playing sports also helps in maintaining lower levels. Some experiments showed that compared to athletes, LDL or bad cholesterol levels in sedentary people were much higher, while HDL or good cholesterol levels were significantly higher in athletes (Sports Medicine 2014).
Improved Blood Circulation
Blood circulation gets better when you start playing sports. The body remains well oxygenated and thus, it remains more healthy and active. Apart from blood circulation, being physically active can also increase the count and the volume of blood.
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 cells reach every body part increases significantly. Playing sports increases sweat production and also removes toxins. Due to the rise in body temperature, the chances of growth also lessen.
Sports are actually the best form of work out for muscles. Toned muscles are always desirable and that’s what you get when you play sports. The endurance of muscles also 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 both the inner and outer thigh muscles.
Playing sports is 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 sports is perhaps one of the easiest ways to maintain bone density and strength for people of all ages.
Sports can bring a positive attitude to your life if played in a healthy manner. It refreshes the mind and helps in developing a positive and fresh outlook on life. A 2018 special edition of the Journal of Sport and Health Science (JSHS) explored the social benefits, among others of team sports. Walter Herzog, co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal, revealed that team sports can not just enhance positivity in individuals, but it can bring communities together and build them too.
Playing any particular sport helps in building self-esteem. When one improves in any particular sport or skill, one feels good about it.
Discipline becomes a natural part of life when you start spending time playing sports. This is because sports inspire people 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 relationships with other people because a positive, team-based outlook is instilled in them.
Playing sports builds mutual respect for others as it includes playing opposite people but at the same time respecting them even if they have a negative attitude towards you.
Sports train your mind to think calmly and find new strategies to deal with problems without getting too hyper.
Playing sports helps you build good relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and traits. It encourages teamwork and thus helps in preparing you to work with different people in a harmonious manner.
Goal setting means that every person needs to have an idea about what he/she wants, whether it is in a game or in life. Sports may help in goal-setting and will improve performance levels in other areas of life.
Let us look at the most important safety precautions you should take while playing sports.
Play under Expert Supervision
It is very important to be careful when participating in physical activities like sports. Playing them by implementing the 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 and sprains. Stretching prepares the body, brain, and 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, which prevents muscle injuries.
It is very important to remain well-hydrated in order to prevent Drink water throughout the session in small quantities. Barry Popkin, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, says in his report on water and hydration that children or child athletes should begin their athletic activities in a well-hydrated state to avoid a dip in performance as well as dehydration-related health conditions.from affecting the quality of your performance and your health. One must carry a sufficient amount of water if any sport is planned somewhere away from home.
Acclimation is an important factor to be considered while playing in hot and humid conditions. There is a chance of developing heat-related illnesses, wherein the body struggles to bring down its body temperature. Under such conditions, one must stop playing the game, drink plenty 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 lightning, while the slippery ground can also result in injuries.
One should be very alert about concussions. Every minor injury should be paid equal attention. Ignorance and arrogance are both harmful when you are playing sports. Consult your doctor immediately if you feel unwell.
Relax after the Game
It is important to rest after playing any sport. It helps to relax your body and mind. The heart rate normalizes and the muscles relax. Cold fluids should be consumed after playing an intense sport. They help in cooling down the body and also in preventing heat-related illnesses. These types of illnesses are serious issues that affect many people, even professional athletes, causing nausea, unsteadiness, and in certain instances, it can even make a person collapse completely. Prevention is the only way that this kind of situation can be dealt with, so make sure you drink plenty of water and keep your temperature down.
People who are not used to being very active physically should not indulge in intense sports sessions all of a sudden. This will adversely affect their health, especially obese and elderly people. Older people should actually start with small sessions because the body tends to lose its muscle capacity with age. Consulting a physician regularly also helps in remaining updated about one’s body and helps check any adverse effects of the physical activities you may have planned.
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 research studies suggest that people who are obese are more prone to ankle injuries because of excess impact weight on the joints.
Playing sports is definitely a very helpful means to remain healthy and having fun at the same time, so choose a sport of your own and take a step towards a healthier lifestyle.
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 other 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 are not just leisure activities, but a fundamentally enforceable right all over the world, as well as a very effective tool in promoting humanitarian, developmental, and peace-building activities.
The 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, crime, and refugees.
Some Facts about Playing Sports
- According to the United Nations Sports 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 the body.
- Sports are not only beneficial to young people, but also for older generations. However, it is always good to start early. Kids should be encouraged to participate in playing sports at school or at social events.
Make Sports a Part of Your Lifestyle
Playing sports should not be limited to the field of your school, college, or community. 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 only see sports as a strenuous activity that you are doing for the sake of health. Instead, take it as a hobby and enjoy it. Encourage your family members to be a part of your sport too. This will give a boost 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 daily basis. It must not be forgotten that playing sports alone will not give you a healthy body and mind. Many other factors such as intake, the stress levels in your life, or even the clothes or shoes that you’re wearing must also be considered.