Sports have always been a global unifier. Nelson Mandela said that sports have the power to change the world and unite people in a way that little else does. This is clearly evident in the series of world cups and Olympic competitions.
Differences in religion, race, politics, and gender are all set aside when avid fans unite to celebrate ━ or even commiserate ━ the result of a match. Apart from that, several social and physical benefits come from playing sports.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more are running the risk of worsening their health concerns. People who spend more time at home because of shelter-in-place mandates have less or even no physical activity.
Studies have shown that a lack of physical activity causes stress and other related problems. In these unprecedented times, sports play a critical role in encouraging people, especially children, to remain active and engaged.
The Perks of Playing Sports
Utilizing the power of sports and physical activity is perhaps one of the most valuable ways to maintain a quality life. A healthy immune system is critical to fighting any disease. By engaging in physical activities, your body produces compounds that help boost the immune system and make you less prone to infections.
Other than keeping you physically fit and healthy, organized sports and physical activities can have several positive effects on a person’s life. Here are some of these benefits:
According to research, people who play sports tend to have higher academic performance than those who do not. The skill sets required in sports are directly relevant to classwork; both require learning, memorization, and repetition.
Student-athletes not only earn higher grades and test scores on standardized tests, but they also have a lesser chance of dropping out. Furthermore, playing sports is correlated to a better chance of getting into college.
Engaging in sports at an early age helps children build a healthier self-esteem. Children develop positive feelings about themselves as they see their hard work pay off. Accomplishment in sports or other physical activity also encourages young ones to triumph in other life goals as well, like in academics, art, or finances.
Engaging in sports or any physical activity is effective in reducing stress and fatigue, improving concentration, and enhancing your overall cognitive function. Hormones such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin are produced when you exercise. These chemicals are responsible for improving your mood and sleep, resulting in better mental health.
Improve Social Skills
Apart from making you physically and mentally healthy, sports encourage you to make healthier life decisions. Children and adolescents who play sports are less likely to engage in smoking and drinking. Furthermore, sports encourage the development of friendships centered on safe, healthy, and enjoyable activities.
Physical Activities during COVID-19
With gyms, fitness studios, and yoga centers closed because of social distancing, exercise routines have been disrupted. Nonetheless, you can engage in many alternative physical activities. Here are some of them:
Walking Around the Block
1,000 to 2,000 steps are added to your daily count with an everyday trip around the block. You can walk your dog around with you and have your smartphone or daily step counter monitor your progress.
Maximize the Use of Your Internet
Working out does not have to be expensive. Use your Internet and find free workout videos on YouTube to guide you when exercising. A wide variety of exercise videos are available, such as yoga, pilates, and cardio kickboxing.
Engage in Gardening
Gardening goes beyond being one with nature and creating a beautiful yard. Gardening qualifies as exercise because you burn up to 300 calories by doing gardening tasks, including watering and feeding plants, trimming shrubs and trees, and weeding and mowing the lawn.
Do Some House Cleaning
When you are doing household chores, you are actually using the same physical movements when you work out in the gym. Not only do you build muscles and burn calories, but you also tidy up your home.
You can find other things to enjoy during the pandemic, like playing in your backyard basketball court, swimming in the gym pool, and playing soccer on the field. These activities only offer moderate to low risk with the proper observance of social distancing and non-sharing of gear and equipment.
Overall, COVID-19 does not have to significantly reduce the quality of your life. Regardless of the state of the economy, you can find ways to stay safe and happy.