Exercise provides you a good break from hours of sitting in front of the computer and eating junk food one weekend. Why don’t you get up, run, or hit your friends up for a game of basketball?
Sports are more challenging than signing up for a gym membership. But the former proves to be a more viable option than the latter. Read on to know why.
Why Practice a Sport and Skip the Gym?
In sports, there’s the fear of failure and the fear of the activity itself. Some think that they are not natural-born athletes and lack the physical coordination to excel or even be good at any sport.
They think that, as far as physique goes, there’s always the gym to help lose a few pounds, tone the muscles, or build endurance. Not to mention that modern workplaces incorporate fitness programs, so there’s no excuse not to exercise.
However, the following reasons build a stronger case for actively playing sports of any kind.
As Physical as It Gets
Doing sports does wonders to the body. Regular practice rewards you with an improved level of physical well-being for years to come. This article relates how being into sports, and not gym workouts, predicts the level of physical activity among men in their seventies and eighties. As the report notes, active people stay active.
You move when you play. You run, brisk-walk, climb, cycle, dribble, swing, and hone your motor skills. Every part of your body is focused, and this improves coordination, reflexes, and reaction times.
As you carry on with your chosen sport, you develop balance, agility, speed, and endurance. These are qualities of athleticism, which essentially means being physically strong and active. It’s true that you can work on your strength and speed in the gym, but the level of athletic performance gained is different from that of being an active sports enthusiast. Cyclists, for example, attach a device such as a power meter that helps them quantify their progress so they can work on their speed and power output before the actual race.
Your body, more importantly, benefits from improved cardiovascular strength, muscle strength, and bone health. This decreases the risk of life-threatening diseases like diabetes, heart ailments, and cancer.
Good for Your Mind
You sharpen your mental skills when you engage in team sports. Such sports develop problem-solving as you work out ways to win together. Your focus is the game at hand, thereby giving yourself a good distraction from day-to-day worries or stresses.
There’s also the outdoors. Exercising outside, such as running, is known to boost your mood, be life-changing with the wind, sun, and fresh air. You release endorphins, which add to the overall pleasant feeling. It’s practically the same reason you feel good after a five-minute walk.
Sports have been linked to an improved state of mind and can be a shield against depression and anxiety. You feel and sleep better when you are active in any sport.
Compared to the outdoor fields, the gym looks bleak with its artificial lighting and crowded machines everywhere. It’s also not the best place to get away from negative thoughts as doing your cardio makes you acutely aware of your surroundings. If it helps, gyms nowadays are trying to adopt a more outdoorsy feel by incorporating green grass and natural backdrop to the space.
Who says you can’t play sports for fun or with strangers? You’d be amazed at how people of diverse backgrounds and skill sets can get together over volleyball. This common interest breaks barriers and teaches you to have fun with others. Some have met their lifelong friends through baseball, cycling, swimming, or running.
In the corporate setting, team-building games provide the most unlikely people the opportunity to talk and bond as they tackle the other team on the side of the net.
While the social aspect of sports benefits all age-groups, the positive impact is evident in younger ones. They develop their communication skills, confidence, cooperation, and competitive spirit, which they can take with them through adulthood.
You also meet like-minded individuals at the gym, but as you have personalized training programs, there’s little time for small talk or strategies. It’s best to meet them after workouts.
Time to Say Goodbye to the Gym?
Playing sports is one of the most natural ways to condition your mind and your body. It does not require superior physical prowess at the outset as you can work on your hand-eye coordination and speed over time. The key is to practice and develop a rapport with teammates, as required.
As for gyms, they remain places to exercise and train in for a big sporting event. Still, look into the costs of the gym membership plus trainers’ fees if you’re going to have a tailor-fit program that meets your specific goals.
What’s more, sports instill a long-term commitment to play, which can be better motivation than crossing out your New Year’s resolution.
No Pain, No Gain
Any physical endeavor, whether it is sport or working out, possibly entails ache and discomfort. And over the years, the fitness industry has seen the rise of many options for sports-injury management, including kinesiology taping.
What is KT tape? It’s a kind of athletic tape that you can apply to help reduce swelling and soreness in muscles and joints that have undergone stress during a particularly intense workout or game. The tape improves the condition of the affected muscle group and supports its movements, so you can play or train the next day with confidence.
Now you are ready.
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