Have you ever felt tired, run-down, sad or mentally not bothered to do anything? In recent years, research has also found that football (sport in general) participation can positively affect your mental health. Here’s are just some mental benefits from sport.
Improves your mood
Any physical activity triggers brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed. Team sports E.g. football, provides a chance to unwind and engage in a satisfying challenge that improves your fitness. Also, providing social benefits, by allowing you to connect with teammates and friends in a recreational setting.
Improves your concentration
Regular physical activity helps keep your key mental skills sharp as you age. This includes critical thinking, learning, and using good judgement. Research has shown that running, change of direction and learning new skills with the ball is especially helpful. Participating in this kind of activity 2-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes can provide these mental health benefits.
Reduces stress and depression
When you are physically active, your mind is distracted from daily stressors. This can help you avoid getting down by negative thoughts. Exercise reduces the level of stress hormones in your body. Of course, there are other ways that you can reduce your stress, but why not take advantage of getting to socialise with friends, getting fit and learning new skills as well.
Improves sleep habits
A lot of people don’t know this, but sports and other physical activity improves the quality of your sleep. It does this by helping you fall asleep faster and deepening your sleep. Sleeping better can improve your mental outlook the next day, as well as improving your mood.
Helps you maintain a healthy weight
Researchers recommend sports participation as a healthy way to maintain weight. Whether it be a team or individual sport, that include running, cycling, fast change of direction and pace, are all particularly effective ways to burn calories and/or build muscle. Staying active will help stay healthy and reduce the possibility of developing diabetes, hypertension, depression and high cholesterol.
Boost your self-confidence
The regular exercise that comes with playing sports can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. As your strength, skills and stamina increase through playing sports, your self-image will improve as well. With the renewed energy that comes from physical activity, you may be more likely to success in tasks off the playing field as well as on it.
Been linked to leadership traits
Team sports including soccer, cricket and basketball are breeding grounds of leadership traits. Studies done reveal a correlation between sports participation and leadership qualities. Because of the opportunity to train, try, win, or lose together, people involved in sports are naturally more inclined to adopt a “team mind-set” in the workplace and in social situations. The team mind-set leads to strong leadership qualities over time.
Benefits for children
Sports can benefit children in many of the same ways that they benefit adults. The biggest difference is that when children start participating in sports at a young age, they are more likely to stay active as they grow older. The same source suggests that participating in a team sport improves academic performance and result in more after-school participation.
The pros of participating in sports are plentiful – from the advantages they provide to young children, to the proven link to mental health and happiness. There is no shortage of reasons to find a sport to get involved in.