Playing sports and being active

A few days ago I saw a facebook post which got me really excited: starting up box training in our small community. Okay, maybe you can’t imagine how excited that gets me because you don’t know how much I love team sports and that I’ve always wanted to box.

Aside from my personal happiness about the little things in my life, I want to encourage you to also take up a sport, a team sport, an outdoor sport, or any kind of regular activity that gets you moving. And here is why:


1. Exercising improves your health

Almost any regular physical activity will improve your overall health. There a very few exceptions to this rule but staying active will lead to any (or all) of these benefits for your health:

  • more strength
  • better posture and body tone
  • more energy
  • less tiredness
  • better sleep
  • an easier transition between sleep and awake
  • better mood
  • higher resilience
  • more creativity
  • less stress

And the list goes on (see here or here for more positive effects of regular exercise).

Staying active is easy as well. Walking or biking instead of taking the car, getting off the bus or train a stop earlier and walking the distance, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, getting up from a desk at regular intervals – these are all easy ways to be more active.

And to be even more active, spend more time outdoors. On average we move more when we’re outside than compared to our indoor time.


2. Playing sports is social

There are a couple of ways to stay active. You can walk for starters. But a good alternative is to join in some sporting activity you’re passionate about. This could be soccer or any other kind of ball sport, tennis, swimming, athletics, even car racing, you name it. Although some sports are not team sports, chances are that you join up a group of people.

And joining a team is awesome. Not only will you get your exercise but you will also socialise, meet new people, interact with your community, and potentially form bonds for life.

In a time where we often don’t know our own neighbours, joining a club is even more important. I speak from experience when I say that having no contacts with other people can be extremely isolating. It’s that picture of being lonely in a sea of people.

Being with others, interacting with our social environment is vital for our mental health. And seeing people face to face is much easier than looking at a computer screen and replacing social life with social media.


3. Playing sports and exercising is ‘me-time’

But playing a sport is not just about the team, it’s also about you. Being active can push your boundaries. These boundaries may be physical but they can also be mental. Playing a sport gives your mind time to relax, to focus on something else, and to rejuvenate.

Whenever I exercise I tend to focus on what I’m doing at that particular moment. It’s rare that I go through my daily schedule while lifting weights or doing cardio (I exercise in the morning!). It’s a time I have for myself. My phone is on silent, my kids know not to bother me, and I can focus on myself. I treasure this time and although I’m happy when the painful part is over, I sometimes wish for this me-time to last longer.

I always feel refreshed and relaxed when I’m finished exercising. It’s a combination of physical exhaustion and the great feeling that I have done something for myself and I don’t have to justify it to anyone else. Exercising is me-time!

And I can’t wait for my box training to begin!

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