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Why Is Sport Good For You?

Why Is Sport Good For You
Physical Activity and Health Promotion – Physical activity refers to all movement, including sports, cycling, wheeling, walking, active recreation and play. It can be done at any level of skill and for enjoyment by everybody. Regular physical activity helps prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and breast and colon cancer.

It also helps prevent hypertension, overweight and obesity and can improve mental health, quality of life and well-being. Yet, much of the world is becoming less active. As countries develop economically, levels of inactivity increase. In some countries, these levels can be as high as 70%, due to changing transport patterns, increased use of technology, cultural values and urbanization.

Working in partnerships, WHO supports countries to implement a whole-of-community approach to increase levels of physical activity in people of all ages and abilities. Global, regional and national coordination and capacity will be strengthened to respond to needs for technical support, innovation and guidance.

WHO Physical Activity

What are the benefits of a sport?

Katie Howard, High School Writer – Palo Alto Medical Foundation Playing sports helps you stay in shape, teaches you how to organize your time, boosts friendships, and builds relationships with your peers and adults. Through athletics, you gain skills that can best be acquired on a court, track, or field.

Why does sport make you feel good?

How does exercise make you happy? – One aspect of life that can greatly impact your overall sense of happiness and well-being is stress. Stress can dampen your mood and lead to increased risk of illness.2 There is good news: Exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress! According to research, exercise has many benefits including decreased risk of depression, improved health status and improved reports of happiness.1 Concurrently, a sedentary lifestyle has been associated with many poor health outcomes.3 When we exercise, the body releases chemicals that boost your sense of well-being and suppress hormones that cause stress and anxiety.1 Among the chemicals released are endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine neurotransmitters which are related to pain and depression emotions.3 Exercise also reduces hormone activity of adrenalin and cortisol which promote feelings of anxiety and tension.3

What are 5 benefits of individual sports?

Benefits of Individual Sports – Encouraging participation from a young age is important, advocates like Kraft and Taps say, because individual sports such as tennis (and golf, track, swimming, etc.) have many unique benefits for kids that aren’t as prominent in team sports. Apart from encouraging the development of fine and gross motor skills, agility, endurance, and hand-eye coordination, as almost all sports do, individual sports combine physical fitness with mental development, Kraft says.

  1. In a sport like tennis, a player is responsible for every move he makes.
  2. His success is his own, but so is his disappointment – a combination that can quickly build confidence and self-esteem along with coping skills and resilience.
  3. And because players are often alone on the court, without teammates and sometimes even without a coach, they are forced to develop independent thinking.

“Kids learn how to problem-solve on their own,” Kraft says. “They have to think on their feet, be able to change strategies and tactics, and resolve their own conflicts.” In a similar vein, these sports can help develop a child’s character, says Esther Forrester, founder of Elf Tennis, a portable tennis school that offers lessons to kids in the NYC area.

  • When you play other sports, you can rely on your teammates, and it can give you the illusion that you can tune out.
  • In tennis, it’s just you out there, figuring it out on your own.
  • It builds a lot of independence,” She adds that individual sports also teach kids how to set goals and challenge themselves to achieve their personal best.

And because players often receive a more in-depth evaluation from their coach, it allows them to practice taking criticism and using it to improve their game, a habit that will undoubtedly benefit them later in life. Learning to work as part of a team is also an important life skill, which is why individual sports on the junior level often incorporate team elements.

How sport can change your life?

Social benefits – Playing in a team helps children to develop many of the social skills they will need for life. It teaches them to cooperate, to be less selfish, and to listen to other children. It also gives children a sense of belonging. It helps them make new friends and builds their social circle outside school.

Do sports make you stronger?

#6 Muscle training. – Sports are the best way to have a proper muscle workout. It is fun to play and does not feel like a chore. At the same time, they give you strong and toned muscles, This is only possible if you continue to play active sports like soccer, football, tennis, and baseball regularly.

By engaging in sports you tone your muscles and train them for working together. It is known as neuromuscular programming. As you play your muscles become stronger and stronger. By playing sports you gain lean muscle mass and burn fat at the same time. If you want a perfectly lean body with shredded six-packs and muscles, this field might prove to be more helpful than the gym.

For gaining such muscles you must prefer sports that involve the movement of most of your muscle groups. The physique of top athletes is an inspiration for all of us.

How sports can unite people?

Words like superb, incredible, awesome and phenomenal sound ordinary at times. Adjectives to describe the thrilling Fifa World Cup final also seem inadequate. Goose bumps, heart skipping many beats.I can go on, and that too when I don’t watch football or know much about it.

  • But on Sunday, there was a reason for the heightened excitement: the one and only Lionel Messi.
  • The power of football is simply fascinating.
  • In a world torn apart by prejudices, sanctions and strife, to see a sport and personality uniting us to cheer for one team, or rather one person, is refreshing.
  • I remember in 2011, when India played the ICC World Cup final against Sri Lanka, everyone wanted India to win, because it was Sachin Tendulkar’s last World Cup.

One cannot compare the popularity of football with cricket, and everyone was rooting for Messi to win the World Cup as it was his last tournament. It reminded me of 2011. Two three years ago, the world united against Covid. We united because we had to win the war in order to survive.

  1. On Sunday, it was so good to see that we don’t need a pandemic to make us sit together and forget our differences.
  2. Sport has that effect on people.
  3. We as spectators cheer, cry, and go through the whole range of emotions and exclamations.
  4. People praying for their team or players shows the innate connection they feel.

They are not related to the players, they don’t even know them, but are willing to pray or fight for them. The power of it all is truly inspiring. I thought my last article for this year would be on the year gone by, with some introspection and something to be grateful for.

  • But after watching the final, all other thoughts and emotions went out of the window.
  • The only word on the lips was: wow, wow and wow”.
  • Sport’s role in reducing conflict can be traced back to the Olympic Games.
  • In a divided world, sport is a unique and important connective tissue that binds people together.
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As we think about the platforms that unite us as people regardless of background or beliefs, it is hard to think of many as powerful as the stadiums we fill to cheer for our favourite teams and players. At the opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, we again witnessed the power of sport, when athletes from North and South Korea marched together.

The world is a fractured place. There’s conflict between countries all over the globe, and also conflict within countries as we become siloed with others who only share our values and beliefs. Yet, through history, people who otherwise have little in common have come together on neighbouring pitches and in packed stadiums, as fans and as players, and put those differences aside for the sake of their teams.

By playing together these people were unwittingly learning the universal values of respect, tolerance and fair play. No other social activity brings people together in such great numbers, and with so much passion and enjoyment. Regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, sport is enjoyed by all; its reach is unrivalled.

More importantly though, sport promotes universal values that transcend language and culture. It is a universal language which brings people together, irrespective of their origins, background, religious beliefs or economic standing. Nelson Mandela said in 2000: “Sport has the power to change the world.

It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where there was only despair.” Messi, thank you for making us all cheer together and rejoice in your victory.

How do sports relieve stress?

How Sports Help Your Mental Health – We all know that sports are great for your physical health. But sports also have many psychological benefits. Help moderate stress. About 75% to 90% of doctor visits are for stress-related illnesses. Sports help you manage stress.

Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, the chemicals in your brain that relieve pain and stress. It also reduces the levels of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, Studies have shown that 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day can make people feel calmer. This calmness continues several hours after exercise.

Improve your mood. Playing a sport such as golf or skiing forces you to put aside your worries and concentrate on the task at hand. This helps you clear your mind and calm down. It also helps you sleep better. Produce long-term mental health effects. Participation in sports can have long-term effects on your mental health.

  1. Researchers studied 9,688 children who had bad childhood experiences, such as physical and sexual abuse, or emotional neglect.
  2. They found that those children who took part in team sports had better mental well-being when they were adults.
  3. Boost mental health with team sports.
  4. Taking part in sports in a group has a greater impact on mental health than individual sports.

Researchers in Australia found that women who played tennis and netball in clubs had better mental health than those who exercised alone, like walking or working out at the gym. There were no differences in physical health between the two groups. A study of teenage athletes found that those who played individual sports more likely reported experiencing anxiety and depression,

  1. This may be because those in team sports often play for fun.
  2. Individual sports don’t require another person to compete together and may make the athlete experience more stress than enjoyment.
  3. Help fight addiction,
  4. A study of Norwegian teenagers found that those who played in team sports were less likely to smoke cigarettes and use cannabis as adults.

Researchers in Korea recommended the use of sports to help teens combat internet addiction. Help with depression. Sports help treat depression. Studies show that exercise improves symptoms of depression and reduces the risk of relapse. Exercise was found to be as effective as standard antidepressant treatment in one study, with modest amounts of exercise helping to improve depression.

What is the unhealthiest sport?

Which sports lead to which injuries? – “Each sport subjects the athlete to different biomechanical forces or stresses that can lead to injuries specific to that sport,” says Dr Lorenzo Masci, sports and exercise medicine consultant at the Institute of Sport, Exercise & Health ( ISEH ), in partnership with HCA Healthcare UK.

“For example, sports involving excessive and repeated extension and rotation of the spine – diving, cricket bowling, tennis – can led to stress fractures in the spine, while rowing can lead to stress fractures of the ribs,” Giles Stafford, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at The Wellington Hospital, part of HCA UK, points out that, while it’s simplistic to link certain injuries with certain sports, there are some common ailments he sees at his clinic.

“Obviously high-energy contact sports such as rugby and football (soccer) have the highest risk of injury,” he says. “This is because of the huge strains put through the body, not just in contact situations when we see dislocations and bone breakages, but when repeatedly cutting and changing direction at full speed.

This puts huge strain through the hips, knees and ankles, not to mention the main muscle groups such as the quadriceps and hamstrings. We often see hamstring tears in these players.” Football players may also place a lot of strain on the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in the knee, and can develop low abdominal muscle injuries such as the ‘sportsman’s hernia’ (athletic pubalgia).

Squash and tennis players may face problems associated with twisting, along with elbow and wrist problems, while golfers often deal with lower-back issues. “However, one of the main culprits to bring patients to my office is long-distance running,” says Stafford.

Why do people care about sports?

There’s something special about a winning team – Why Is Sport Good For You Freaks! Studies show that self-esteem of sports fans, like these watching the World Cup final, is bound up in their team’s performance. (Susan Meiselas / Magnum Photos) T his summer was tumultuous for the mood of nations, as you may have read in the sports section.

  • In Argentina, Reuters reported, a “weary nation” was able to find “rare joy” in the achievements of its beloved World Cup team.
  • In Spain, with its economic problems and Catalan secessionist rumblings, The New York Times found World Cup elimination hangover: a ” mist of mourning ” over the country that “spoiled” the arrival of a new king.

And Brazil. Before the World Cup, a Bloomberg Businessweek headline wondered, “Have Brazilians lost their love of soccer?” Apparently they still loved it sufficiently for an ESPN writer to find winter rain a portent from the gods as the team crashed out of the tournament.

Or maybe not? Fans took to Twitter and the comments to declare themselves glad that the team was losing; four days later, the Times discovered a bunch of Brazilians who seemed just fine—”pleased,” according to the lede, about the outcome, and focused “as much on domestic politics as the event’s final match.” The gods, and the Brazilians, had quickly chased away their emotional trauma.

The World Cup and other major sporting events, like the Olympics or LeBron James returning home, turn sports journalists into travel writers, assigning them the challenging task of describing the character of millions of people based on a handful of interviews.

  • The takeaway of stories becomes, unsurprisingly: Sports exercises a lot of power over some people.
  • But how? And how much power? And which people? These narratives of fans, identity, and meaning underlie some testable hypothesis about how sports affect people but offer little in the way of empirical backing.
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Perhaps that’s because numbers would challenge the hypotheses. On the subject of national narratives and soccer, for example: One poll conducted before the start of the World Cup by YouGov and the Times asked people in 19 countries how much they cared about soccer.

Now, soccer is a big deal around the world, but of the countries surveyed, only in Colombia did 50 percent say there were “very interested” in soccer. In Brazil, 40 percent said they were very interested, while 47 percent said they were “slightly or somewhat interested,” and 12 percent didn’t care at all.

Twelve percent of Brazil’s 200 million people means that there were 24 million people in Brazil who did not weep with the gods over the World Cup results, a Texas-size gap in the narrative. It’s entirely possible, in other words, that the narrative of sports fans and national identity is based on a minority of a country’s people—like the myths of “real” America based around a heartland ideal, resonating somewhere with someone, yet utterly ungrounded in math or reality.

  • When sportswriters turn inward, “we” and “us” replace “them,” but the form tends to remain the same: broad generalizations based on an n of 1.
  • As fans, we, . .”; “There’s nothing we love more than, . .”; “Sports fans like to, . .
  • You can find dozens of these in any given month, in publications big and small, from writers brilliant and otherwise, in longform and in listicles.

Almost all of it is guesswork, narrative simplification that underlies a complex reality. What really lies in the hearts of sports fans? Multitudes, of course; these are human beings and human beings are complicated. But that is a tough narrative to write.

So writing about sports fans, like writing about politics, becomes the kingdom of writers remaking the world in their own image. Bill Simmons, one of the most influential American sportswriters, once wrote after his team lost the Super Bowl, “I have never been able to answer the question, ‘Why does this matter to me so much?’ That’s just the way it’s always been.

Ever since I can remember.” “Why does this matter to me?” is a scientific question. “That’s just the way it’s always been” is a nifty dodge. These reed-thin forays into pop psychology would seemingly be better informed with a scientific understanding of what motivates sports fans, and therein lies the problem.

  1. If there’s one charitable excuse for Simmons and his fellow sportswriters’ failure to ask a scientist, it’s that most researchers don’t know, either.
  2. In fact, given all the interest in sports and their fans, there is precious little research on fan behavior.
  3. The guy described by most of his colleagues as far and away the leading sports-fan psychologist in North America, Daniel Wann, works out of a small liberal arts college in Murray, KY, receives no grant funding, and never intended to do research, anyway.

When I first met him, at an annual sports fan-psychology symposium he hosts with Western Kentucky University’s Rick Grieve—which in 2012 had about 20 attendees, including graduate students (a sign, Grieve suggested earnestly, of the event’s soaring popularity)—I told Wann I was surprised at how few sports-fan researchers there were out there.

  • Very few,” Wann joked.
  • Here we are! You’ve met us!” Psychologists like Wann who have tried to zero in on why people love sports have settled on, at the most reducible level, eight different motivations.
  • Some of them are more common, but none is any more significant than any of the others.
  • People like sports because they get self-esteem benefits from it.

People like sports because they have money on it. People like sports because their boyfriend or girlfriend or family member likes sports. People like sports because it’s exciting. People like sports because it’s aesthetically pleasing. People like sports because, like the theater, it is a venue for emotional expression.

People like sports because they need an escape from real-world troubles. People like sports because it provides a sense of belonging, a connection to a wider world. In other words: There is no single answer to why people watch sports, because the answer doesn’t lie in the game, it lies inside the individual.

So it’s complicated in the same ways all our relationships are complicated. Even on the rare occasions when sportswriters do attempt to push beyond the platitudes, it is difficult to squeeze an answer into a single narrative. In 2011, for example, Simmons’ ESPN-sponsored site Grantland published ” This is Your Brain on Sports, ” a long story about the discovery of “mirror” neurons that mimic action in others and underlie our sense of empathy.

Before his plagiarism and quote-fabrication scandals, the enormously popular science writer Jonah Lehrer once covered the same territory in his Frontal Cortex blog, writing, “I’d like to propose a cellular mechanism for fandom: mirror neurons.” (Lehrer returned to the ” Why Do We Watch Sports ” question more recently, in March of this year, writing that he was “most intrigued by the so-called talent-luck theory,” which attributes the appeal of a sport to how well it balances skill and randomness.) Mirror neurons undoubtedly play a role in interpreting the action you see on the field.

They may be the mechanism, but they are nonetheless a small part of the answer: Mirror neurons can explain why you put yourself in the shoes of the players on the field. But as Lehrer hints at in his original post, they cannot explain why you put yourself only in the shoes of precisely half the players on the field—your favorite team.

  1. And yet that’s the puzzle we really want an answer to—not just why we care, but why we care so much about one particular collection of athletes, and why that caring seemingly blinds us to so much else.
  2. The New York Times has published dozens of stories in the last few years alone that make me question the entire endeavor of sports fandom: the reluctant police investigation into the rape charges against a famous college quarterback; the corruption of governing agencies from FIFA to the NCAA; the links between concussions and contact sports.

And yet, I’m still a fan. So what do scientists know about sports fans that journalists might use to inform their stories, or to understand their subjects? We know one thing definitively: Sports fans are people. They are subject to all the quirks and frailties of human nature.

  • There is no sports-watching part of the brain, so what the brain does, confronted with this thing running around in front of it, is resort to what it knows.
  • One of those quirks, maybe my favorite, is that the barrier between the self and the outside world is much less defined than it seems.
  • Studies of people in close relationships show that the brain is reliably confused about whether achievements or characteristics belong to the body it inhabits or to another person it is in a relationship with.
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There is reason to believe that watching sports engages this connection: We connect to our teams, to the players on our teams, to the other fans of our teams. We bask in reflected glory because there is some actual point of contact, at the neural level, between a team’s performance and our own self-esteem.

  • Fans’ identity, self-esteem, and pride are on the line to some degree in every game.
  • Brazil is an impossibly complex country of 200 million people; you cannot describe it in a single narrative.
  • But it is true that a lot of Brazilians—of all classes and races—care about soccer and are emotionally invested in the national soccer team.

And for all of those individual fans, the semifinal loss to Germany caused a wobble in their identity. Like a divorce, or a retirement, something that they had known for years, had adopted as a part of themselves, had collapsed. In a more collective way, we also know from psychology that people divided into groups behave differently toward, and even unconsciously think differently about, in-group and out-group; sports provide an easy and arbitrary group division.

It does not follow, though, that sport is sublimated war—even though one of the most popular narratives about fans is that they’re merely channeling that same my-people aggression, if in a (slightly) more constructive manner. Humans are competitive and oriented toward thinking about the world in groups, but there’s no evidence that sports are a way for us to slake our warlike natures.

We know from endocrinology that our hormones engage when watching sports, as they do in the presence of any competition: testosterone, adrenaline, cortisol, and oxytocin are all active in fans, with some connections better understood than others. Testosterone, the hormone we think of most in relation to sports fans, is a surprisingly complicated hormone.

(Interestingly, the definitive testosterone study, which shows that in male fans winning increases testosterone while losing decreases it, comes not from sports but from the 2008 presidential election.) We do not know that testosterone fuels fan riots and violence—although to be fair, we also don’t know that it does not.

(I went to a hockey game with a researcher who studied fan violence. So far, he said, there was only one major takeaway: “The thing that really prevents celebratory violence, the thing that solves it,” he said, “is to have your team suck.”) The evidence, after all, suggests that testosterone drops in losing fans.

  1. But from other studies we could reasonably point the finger at a number of non-sports factors: alcohol, expectation, and context.
  2. Crowd psychologists say that interaction between fans or protesters and authorities is critically important; police who arrive in riot gear and with batons at the ready tend to get the event they plan for, whether they’re dealing with English soccer hooligans or the Occupy movement.

Between the lack of media and scientific curiosity, though, is a missed opportunity not just to better understand sports fans, but to better understand people. Fans are not monolithic; they are not in thrall to something beyond our understanding, or even acting irrationally: They are just humans being human.

Yet writers often suggest fan behavior is something extraordinary, when the evidence suggests that really, it’s not. Partly what that means is the behaviors so many identify as undesirable in sports fans are malleable. Context and culture matter, immensely, as they do in all human passions. Brian Phillips, who wrote some brilliant columns earlier this year about fans and sports for Grantland, made the point in an essay about the NFL and locker-room bullying.

At the time, network analysts and former players were on the air almost daily talking about how there was a locker-room code inspired by male biology, and that to suggest otherwise would go against human nature. (Miller Lite, which has probably done more to inform popular views of sports fans than all of science and journalism on the subject combined, once created a famous series of ads featuring former football players and assorted manly men deciding on “Man Laws.”) “There are boundaries in locker rooms, same as anywhere else, and those boundaries are culturally conditioned, same as anywhere else, and they change with time, and they can be influenced,” Phillips wrote.

There will always be locker-room assholes. They should be curtailed.” Fighting fans, rape culture, warrior-male culture, anti-gay culture—these are specific expressions of upbringing, education, and socialization. They may have some biological component to them, but they are not inevitable. In a separate column wrapping up the World Cup, Phillips turned to art,

“Sport is like music or fiction or film,” he wrote, “in that, for a predetermined duration, it asks you to give it control over your emotions, to feel what it makes you feel.” The art comparison is a good one. Athletes reflect us, and occasionally provide insight into the human condition, and their work is judged by the response to it as much as by its quantitative character.

  • Their work inspires, suggests, provokes.
  • But the science also says that sports speak a different truth to each observer.
  • Each of us puts our self into the story, incorporates the event and its ups and downs into our own narrative.
  • Sometimes, tens of millions of individuals care very much about the same event, and their individual stories collide to create something larger.

Whether that collision occurs over Starry Night in the Museum of Modern Art or Michigan football in the Big House, some people thrive on swirls of pure, violent energy and some people just like blue. Assigning them a collective narrative, like assigning a collective narrative to a billion soccer fans, obscures rather than defines the nature of their passion.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of sport?

Conclusion – The advantages and disadvantages of sports vary greatly depending on the type of sport and the individual involved. Generally, sports can have many positive benefits on physical, psychological, social, and emotional health. They can provide entertainment, camaraderie, and the thrill of competition.

Why are sports and games important?

Advantages of sports Physical Fitness- Sports and games play a major rule in keeping a person fit and fine. Furthermore, it increases the blood flow in the entire body. So this helps in keeping the heart in the best condition. Moreover, the immunity of the body increases by playing outdoor sports.