While there’s little argument that sports can have a positive effect on your general fitness and well-being, these aren’t the only benefits you can enjoy. There are other significant advantages to partaking in sports.
Playing sports (both as a team or individually) has been proven to promote a wide range of other health benefits, including:
Improved cognitive functions
Most forms of sports require at least a measure of mental concentration and research has found that playing sports improves the brain’s cognitive functions and can also increase memory skills. Clearly, some sports require more attention than others – though improvements have still been found across the board in people that follow an active lifestyle.
If you want to give your brain a real workout, try a mentally demanding sport that tests both your mind and your body. For example, hunting and shooting can give the brain a workout, dealing with the pressure of lining up the shot, staying calm yet also focusing on the target.
The popularity of shooting and hunting has grown considerably over recent years with access now easier than ever and it’s now possible to purchase an 80% lower to complete your very own firearm at home, without registration.
Succeeding in sports has proven to have benefits on self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. As you’ll also be giving yourself a physical workout, research has shown that people who take part in sports additionally have a more positive body image and increased self-confidence. Sure, there will be times you miss a shot, drop the ball or experience a loss – but, taken as a whole, even these lower moments have been found to have a positive effect on helping to build overall self-reliance and belief in your abilities.
Improved energy levels and better sleep
Working out the body and mind has the knock-on effect of releasing endorphins – in particular the feel-good endorphin, serotonin. These happier emotions have a general effect of improving overall energy levels – plus, by tiring your body both physically and mentally, you’ll be far more likely to slip into a deep, more beneficial sleep at night.
Reduced risk of suffering depression
There are many reasons why we can all sometimes slip into feelings of depression, but partaking in sports has been found to be a very effective tool to help fight against negative thinking. Along with the positive effects of having a better body image and increased feelings of self-worth and confidence, sportspeople have been proven to be at a considerably reduced risk of developing negative emotions compared to those that follow a more sedentary lifestyle.
Better physical health and decreased risk of disease
The physical benefits of sports are undeniable and doing some form of exercise will undoubtedly improve your general physical condition. However, it has also been found it can dramatically reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases later in life while also helping fight obesity. Moreover, a further study found that adolescents that partake in sports are more likely to continue doing so later in life and were even found to consume less alcohol.