Taking part in sport can help us feel fitter, healthier and mentally strong, and that is just the start of it. Sport can also be fun, especially when played as part of a team or with family or friends.
As we have seen through our Club Game Changers campaign, sport can also develop great leaders and be an opportunity for individuals to shine, whether it is playing for a local grassroots club or at an international level.
If you’re considering signing yourself or family member up for a sport and need some encouragement, then it’s worth keeping in mind the many benefits below.
1. Better Sleep
Fast Company suggests that exercise and sport triggers chemicals in the brain that can make you feel happier and relaxed. Team sports provide a chance to unwind and take part in an activity that improves your fitness. If you play sports outside, you can benefit from fresh air which is said to promote a good night’s sleep.
2. A Strong Heart
Your heart is a muscle and needs frequent exercise to help it keep fit and healthy. A healthy heart can pump blood efficiently around your body. Your heart will improve in performance when it is regularly challenged with exercise. Stronger hearts can improve overall health of the body.
3. New Connections
Sport brings together a mixture of people from different communities, backgrounds, religions and beliefs. Sport can offer a new way to meet others that you may not interact with day to day. As a result, you can make new friends. And who knows, playing a sport might even open new career and business opportunities for you.
4. Improved Lung Function
Regular sport causes more oxygen to be drawn into the body with carbon monoxide and waste gases expelled. This increases the lung capacity during sport, improving lung function and efficiency.
5. Increased Confidence
By training frequently and working towards seasonal goals you can build your confidence and abilities. This is especially noticeable through tournaments and matches where you and your team put your skills to the test. Small, incremental achievements throughout the year can build personal confidence over time, giving you the ability to take on new projects and assignments at work with your new-found confidence.
6. Reduces Stress
When you are physically active your mind gets a chance to unplug from daily stresses and strains of life. Physical exercise reduces the stress hormones in your body and stimulates the release of endorphins. These endorphins may give you more energy and focus for whatever life has.
7. Improve Mental Health
The Public Health Agency report that regular participation in sport and being active can also promote good mental health. This includes improving your mood, enhancing your sense of well-being, reducing anxiety, combating negative emotions and protecting against depression.
8. Sport Builds Leaders
All sport teams need leaders to show the way and help develop new or younger team members. An emergentics study has found a correlation between playing sports and strong leadership qualities. Sports enable people to develop a ‘team mindset’ whether its winning, losing or training together.
9. Develop Stronger Relationships
Sports enables you to build better relationships with people you may be aware of, but not know personally. Through frequent sport you can get to know a lot about an individual’s personality, their strengths and weaknesses. Sport with colleagues is a good opportunity to build better relationships and networks that may help you in your job.
10. Sport aids the healthy development of children
Children who play sports develop stronger bones and muscles, leading to a smaller chance of physical injury. Physical exercise before the onset of puberty has been identified by a New Zealand study as a way of reaching peak bone mass, enabling children to become stronger – a great foundation for future growth.
Have you discovered any other benefits of sport?
Tell us what benefits you have experienced through sport
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