16 Surprising Benefits of Playing Sports

Some of the health benefits of playing sports include the efficient functioning of the heart, controlled diabetes, lower cholesterol levels, improved blood circulation, lower hypertension, and lower stress levels. It helps in weight management, the toning of muscles and the 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 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 mere running, jumping, or kicking a ball on 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 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 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 in participating in playing sports at school or at social events. This helps in obtaining the maximum amount of positive results of playing sports involving physical activity. Many older people find improved alertness over time if they engage in sports.

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. If you have a family, 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 nutritional 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, many of which are explained in greater detail below.

Healthy Heart: Playing sports helps with stretching ability. The heart benefits the most from playing sports. Your cardiovascular health improves by playing sports and there are less chances of any malfunctioning of your heart. The heart also needs exercise and during sports, the heart has to pump more blood.  Thus, the heart gets its required share of working out when one is playing sports.

Controls Diabetes: Playing sports helps the insulin to perform in a better manner. This helps diabetic people to 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.

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 naturally leaner and fitter.

Lowers Hypertension: Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, may result in stroke or heart disease. This makes the 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 were much higher, while good cholesterol levels were significantly higher in athletes.

Improved Blood Circulation: Blood circulation gets better when you start playing sports. This helps in the proper circulation of nutrients all over your body. The body remains well oxygenated. Thus, it remains more healthy and active. Apart from blood circulation, being physically active can also increase the amount of hemoglobin 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 cells reach every body part increases significantly. The exact manner that 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 the rise in body temperature, the chances of bacterial growth also lessens.

Muscle Toning: Muscles are the part of body that participate most actively when you play sports. Sports are actually the best form of working 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.

Stronger Bones: 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.

Other Benefits of Playing Sports

Positive Energy: Sports can bring positivity into your 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 becomes a natural part of life when one starts spending time 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 relationships with other people because a positive, team-based outlook is instilled in them.

Mutual Respect: Playing sports builds mutual respect. It helps you to respect people even if they have a negative attitude towards you, which is a useful skill at all ages.

Inducing Calmness: Sports train your mind to think calmly and find new strategies to deal with problems without getting too hyper.

Teamwork: Playing sports helps you build good relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse traits. It encourages teamwork and thus helps in preparing you to work with different people in a harmonious manner.

Goal Setting: Goal setting means that every person needs to have an idea about what he/she wants, whether that is in a game or in life. Sports may help in goal-setting and will improve performance levels in other areas of life.

Being Careful and Healthy!

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

playingsportsinfoStay hydrated: It is very important to remain well-hydrated in order to prevent dehydration from affecting the quality of your performance and your health. One must carry sufficient amounts of 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-related illnesses, wherein the body struggles to bring down its body temperature. Under such conditions, one must stop 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.

Concussions: 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. Rest is also important when one experiences concussion, but not until you see a doctor. Head injuries are very serious things!

Relax after the game: It is important to cool down after playing any sport. It helps the body to become calm again. The heart rate normalizes and the muscles relax. Cold fluids should be consumed after playing an intense sport. It helps in cooling down the body and also helps in preventing heat-related illnesses. These types of illnesses are serious issues that affect many people, even professional athletes. It causes 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!

Older people: People who are not used to being very active physically should not indulge in intense sports sessions right away. 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. As you well know, any sport that involves physical activity tires the body. Consulting a physician from time to time 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: 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 that joint.

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 make your lifestyle a whole lot healthier and a lot more fun!

  1. http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/sport/home/unplayers/goodwillambassadors
  2. http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/108/3/161.short
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21115758
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  5. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Blood-pressure-%28high%29/Pages/Prevention.aspx
  6. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-2008-1025783
  7. http://web.stanford.edu/group/hopes/cgi-bin/hopes_test/physical-exercise/
  8. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm
  9. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/soccer-health-benefits
  10. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-pro/resources/heart/aim-facts-html
  11. http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/sports/prevention.html

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