As most may think, there are many physical benefits to sports. There are many advantages to doing a sport and each one has different benefits. For example, cross country increases endurance, while football increases sprinting speed and strength. One obvious advantage is increased strength. One of common reason many join a sport is because they want to lose/maintain their weight. Those who are active at a young age are more likely to remain that way than those who start sports at an older age. Finally, an active lifestyle can reduce the risk of heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States.
However, did you know that they offer a mental boost as well? Any sport can help the person’s mind. Sports may help increase the concentration of an athlete. By making it easier to fall asleep and deepening sleep an athlete will have more energy the next day. Kathlyn Watson writes “Whether you are playing sports, working out at a gym, or taking a brisk walk, physical activity triggers brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed.” If participants see themselves as having a better body image they will have higher self-esteem. These are just a few mental advantages gained by participating in a team or solo sport.
Our body enjoys exercise because of chemicals that are created in our body. One of these chemicals is dopamine. It is released during many activities. These include reading, playing, eating, and exercising. Higher levels of dopamine help prevent depression. Another chemical released by exercise is endorphins. There is a shaky link between very high levels of exercise and exercise addiction. This would be because the brain is addicted to the happy chemicals released by the brain. Don’t let this turn you away from exercise though, as there is little evidence for such a downfall.