We keep hearing that sport is perfect for physical health, but you may know it’s also good for mental health.
To relieve stress, avoid sickness, feel more energy or improve your daily life, practising a sport or physical activity has many benefits for your mental health and health in general.
That’s why we often use the expression “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. And this is also why we need to adopt a healthy lifestyle and do physical activity to feel better in our bodies and minds. You should also know that even all athletes prepare mentally and physically for their competitions.
As a personal trainer and CEO of Pret-a-Train who practice different sport, I aim to show you all the benefits of sport that accompany practising them. Even if you don’t practise sport, being active is the most important thing. Our body has been made for this!
Then, let’s classify the benefits of sports into three compartments: Mental, Physical and Health in general. Let’s dig in.
Mental benefits of sports
Firstly, into that first compartment of the best benefit of sport, I’d like to tell you about the mental benefits of it. Of course, you might already know that sports can boost your mood and help reduce stress. But let’s dig into several points and start with how it can improve your mental health and attitude!
Improve your mood
Regular physical activity will enable you to improve your mood, whether it’s any activity such as strength training at the gym, practising a collective sport, or simply running outdoors. All these kinds of physical activity will have a beneficial effect on your mood.
In addition to toning your body, they will release brain chemicals that will relax and make you feel good. That’s one of the great best mental benefits of sports.
You probably know that moment when you expect only one thing in the week: your lesson or sports training. The one which is exciting to you, where you will relieve the stress of the past week. And, it’s especially the case for team sports. It will additionally make you see your friends participating in the same thing as you.
So, if you want to start any activity, you might want to opt for a team sport because more than making you feel better, it will also allow you to meet new people. So let’s emphasize this benefit of sport in the next point as I think that sociability and being part of something are crucial to feeling healthy.
Social integration and respect for rules
As I told you briefly, any physical activity, mainly team sports, will allow people to meet and play with others. So, you will be able to meet new people and become more sociable. The more we go through life with exams, jobs, family, kids and stuff, it’s not easy to meet new people or get out of your comfort zone. So then, joining a walking or running club or any team sport will make that giant step for you to create connection and friendship in the long run.
Therefore, you will create team cohesion that can help you in your working life, for instance, with ease working in a group or a team.
Meeting people and social interaction has been proven good for your mind and health.
You will also develop leadership skills that will be more important than those who don’t practice sports or only individual ones.
Moreover, sports generally develop qualities and good habits in children. Indeed, when children participate in sports at a young age, they will be better able to follow the rules later on and not brave them.
They will also have good habits in the practice of sports and will have more opportunities to practice them as adults. And as an adult or at any age, we know that loneliness is terrible and can be harmful, so joining a social sports club will fight this, which is one of the best benefits of sport.
Improve or maintain cognitive skill
Then another positive effect and mental benefit of sport are that it will increase your concentration at work or in general. Indeed, having a regular sporting activity will help you maintain your cognitive abilities at a high level.
That can be especially the case when you start ageing.
A study showed that mixing muscle strengthening with other aerobic activities is the best. And if you do them 3 to 5 times a week for 30 minutes, you will feel the most benefits.
Any cardio or other sports will do the job. Respect your body, age and condition, as always. For instance, walking is a perfect activity for people with less ability, and it will still increase or keep your brain capacity.
Reduce stress and depression
When you engage in regular physical activity, you will be distracted and won’t think about negative things. This can be one of the top mental benefits of sports.
Moreover, when you exercise, your body releases hormones called endorphins. They affect your mood and make you feel more relaxed and, therefore, not stressed.
In addition, to release hormones that positively affect your mind, stress hormones will reduce and be less released simultaneously. Bye-bye to the so-called: Cortisol. Enjoy the great: Endorphin.
Thus, having fewer moments of stress and more relaxation will make you less likely to fall into depression.
Playing sports or practising physical activities at work will prevent you from having burnout. Think about your mental side when you are practising sports.
That’s why it’s essential to have a healthy workplace as well. And finally, in a world where we talk more openly about this issue, having a Personal trainer could be instrumental in avoiding stress and depression if you have a problem or don’t know how to start. We helped people in that bad situations, and by exercising them, I saw people getting much better and now being healthy and doing some great activities for themselves.
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Improve the quality of sleep
Physical activities will help you to get a better night’s sleep. Indeed, you will fall asleep more easily. The quality of your sleep will also be better.
That has been reported to many people we’ve been personal training for the past few years at Pret-a-Train. You might have also realized that when you feel the real fatigue from an active day at the end of the day. Sports will positively affect your sleep as you wake up in a better mood and state of mind.
Nevertheless, try not to practice sports too late in the day, as this may leave you too energized. This may make it difficult for you to fall asleep as well.
Then, practising any sport will give you a better and deeper sleep, which is again a great benefit of sport in a world where we may have trouble falling asleep because of the distraction we have at our hands like phones and TV.
TIP: Try to sleep around 7 to 9 hours because it’s a perfect time that an adult need. And you may know sleep before midnight could be the most restful. Avoid screen at least 30min to one hour before going to bed.
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Improve the self-esteem
Furthermore, physical activities will enable you to boost your self-confidence. I can’t think more about how this is one of the top mental benefits of sports.
Indeed, you’ll be proud of yourself by notifying you that your performance improves with training and regular practice. This will result in better self-esteem and self-confidence.
In addition, as we said above, physical activity will allow you to evacuate your negative thoughts. As a result, there will only be good things left with positive reviews and better self-esteem.
You will feel like you have better control and have regained control of yourself and your life.
Thus, with the energy that sport gives you over the long term, you will also be better at doing complicated things or tasks that will make you even more proud of yourself.
Self-discipline and having goals
To finish on the mental benefits of sport, let’s talk about what kind of value sport can bring you.
Many people wish to have strong values and goals to pursue. But unfortunately, some of us don’t have enough goals or self-discipline. As we said earlier, getting into any activity can improve your performance.
Thus, by doing any activity, you will care for your health, as said. But not all; you could take advantage to challenge yourself and reach new goals. For instance, you can start by walking, running 5k, then a month later 8k. It could not be surprising that after running for years, you’ll want to embark on a marathon and be more self-disciplined to achieve it.
The sport will give you great rewards, values, and goals to pursue, making your life more fulfilling.
Having goals is interesting to keep a healthy mind. But, of course, I must repeat here that it will depend on any individual and condition. So know yourself, respect your body and target a goal which will be suitable for you. Honestly, at 75yo, I won’t have the same goals as at 35 yo, but I hope to keep healthy by walking or playing tennis, badminton or something. That will depend, of course, on my capacity. So what goal can you make now related to the sport or fitness you can do?
Take a minute before reading about the global health benefits of sport.
Health benefits of sport
I feel like I have to do an intro again to present the general benefits of sports. Maybe some people or scanning this article and just starting from here to check the benefits of sports quickly.
So everybody knows that sport is good for Physical health and before this, you’ve seen why it is also excellent for mental health. All sports, whether individual, in a team or also just exercises, have health benefits that can help you in your daily life. Thus, even if sometimes it could be complicated. As a PT, I recommend you motivate yourself for all these health benefits of sports. So now I’d like to talk about the global health benefits of sport that everybody, any age, gender, culture and condition, can benefit from.
Help to maintain a healthy weight
We all know that sport helps to maintain your weight. Therefore, sports can be seen as a guideline to follow with a healthy diet that results from it.
Your mental will follow your weight, and both will be healthy. As seen before, it will improve your mood, weight and mind.
You can benefit from the sport by practising an individual sport like running, cycling, gymming, or joining a social sport.
Sports also boost your metabolism, making you burn better calories even when resting or sleeping. People with good metabolism tend to maintain their healthy weight more manageable.
Plus, sports will allow you to burn calories and have a healthy weight, reducing pressure on your joint and muscle to avoid injuries. A healthy weight will also help in not developing diabetes, cholesterol, or high blood pressure.
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Then, engaging in physical activities and sports will give you better immunity. Your immune system will then be more robust and reduce, at the same time, the risk of illness and injuries.
A study shows that moderate practising exercises daily is associated with a one-third reduction in the risk of URTI (upper respiratory tract infection). Also, practising sports 2/3 days a week reduces absenteeism at work by half. So that has been proven as well.
So if some managers read me, you know what to do. I hope in the future as some companies do they will try to provide their best by thinking of their work with some sport activity, it can be walking, yoga, running, gymming.. whatever the action is, the goal is to help people to be more active, and that will benefit the individual and the collective as always.
TIP: You can read this simple tip to have a gym routine.
Reduce the fat and maintain lower cholesterol
As discussed in the last points, practising sports prevents sickness and disease. So one of the public health benefits of sport will also be good for maintaining lower cholesterol levels. As an example, it was shown by studies that athletes have less bad cholesterol than ordinary people.
Studies show that 70% of American people are considered to be overweight or to have obesity. And unfortunately, it’s not in the sedentary world with computer jobs and seated jobs with screens and food high in fat easy to get that it’s getting better. But on the positive side, you can get more information and help on being aware of all of this, and know what to do to fight the problem of this world. The best way to respond to that is to exercise to decrease fat and feel healthy. Any activity will do the work as long as you move.
Even if you have a job which makes you sit all day long, try to walk to go to the office.
Improve blood circulation
Furthermore, by doing some sports, your oxygen will circulate well in your blood vessels. So it will also be the case for the blood in your body.
The blood volume will also increase, and the haemoglobin count will increase.
Sports will also train the heart to work more efficiently, allowing better blood circulation and oxygen circulation to other organs, especially your brain. You might think more apparent so!
Good circulation and blood flow are some incredible health benefits of sports. In addition, it will remain you active with more energy. I want to talk about that more profoundly in the following point.
Having more energy
After doing sports or having some routine exercises, your volume of muscles is increased. Then, your body will be more muscular, and with more strength, you will have more energy.
The muscles’ endurance will also increase, which will help you gain strength. These facts bring you energy.
For example, you can do more things than you couldn’t before, like walking more without being tired, climbing more stairs, or doing other daily activities.
I want to tell you something that I remind too many people and myself have been training. Without practising sports for all these years, I would never have had the energy to create a company, change my life, and feel healthier. You might know that opening a company is not easy and take a lot of time and energy. But thanks to sport, I had this energy, and by keeping practising, I’d like to keep what I’m doing and make more people healthy and aware of how it is essential and how it can make your life better in the global aspect of it.
Finally, when you practice any sports, muscles are increased and become stronger, at the same time than bones. I will discuss this in the last compartment of the benefit of sport, the physical use of sport.
Physical Benefits of Sport
So if you have followed me from the beginning, you know how the sport is excellent for optimal mental health and health in general. Know about this last compartment, and I’d like to show all the points on how it’s essential for your physical health and the benefits. So let’s jump in and work our muscles!
Sports can help you to get stronger muscles. Of course, that will depend on which sport you are practising. But most often, practising any sport will increase or tone your muscle.
Going to the gym will target your power and make it stronger, but also playing tennis, like using a racquet and hitting the ball like in football, after a certain amount of time and with consistency that will strengthen muscle. Swimming and doing some brace for a long distance will also increase your force, for instance.
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As you have already thought, sport is great for increasing your cardio. By making long or short distance, making you short of breath and doing it consistently every week.
After some time, doing some sports will increase your cardio. Again choose a sport which suits your age, capacity and condition. But cycling occasionally or walking often will increase your cardio and, as you know, will fight the sedentary lifestyle.
Improve your flexibility
By doing sports, you can be more flexible. Indeed, by working and stretching your muscle into the diversity of movements that procures sport, your joint, ligaments, and muscles become more flexible.
So you may ask yourself: Why is flexibility so important? Being flexible will help you to avoid injuries, and it will also improve your balance and make you in a better condition. It will also reach better performance with stretchable and healthy muscle.
I like to believe also that being flexible in your body will help you to be flexible in life too. And for me, being flexible is vital to be healthy, as you can be more adaptable to the world and the people you are living with and sharing the world too.
Fight sedentary lifestyle
I recognized that the picture I chose might be exaggerated. However, as discussed previously, this is real that our world has become increasingly sedentary, and many diseases caught could be avoided by practising sports or just moving. Our body has been made for this. Tons of sports or activities exist to get out and do something. Of course, eating well is also essential to avoid some diseases.
One sure thing is that practising sports will make you more active. You can connect with others, fight the seated lifestyle, and get into better shape.
Many people start practising sport because of this point. And when I was young, this is why I started too. Intending to get better self-confidence and self-esteem, I wanted to get a better shape. This made me jump, and I got a better physique.
Being in better shape is one of the best physical benefits of sport. However, I put and talk to the last compartment of the physical benefit of the sport. For me, it’s not the most critical point of doing sport but the least even though naturally practising or doing some gym will develop your shape and confidence.
But I’m telling you, don’t focus too much on that. Please don’t check in the mirror as it’s hard to stay happy only by how we look but by being consistent in sports and being active. You’ll have all the benefits and feel healthier. And obviously, you’ll have a better shape and approach to your appearance.
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You know that sport is beneficial for your muscles, but not only. For example, bones are also reinforced by doing sports, and like that, they will reduce the risk of falling.
With ageing, bones become more fragile and risk a breakup. That’s why exercising yourself is essential to keep them in good health.
Bones are living tissue-like muscles, and when we exercise them, they become stronger.
It’s always essential to have solid bones, especially when you get older, to avoid the risk of fractures and falls.
Your bones must support your body all your life, so maintain them properly by practising any sport! If you are older than middle age, avoid intense exercise. That could hurt you.
So, as we have seen, sports have many mental and health benefits, not only physical ones.
Indeed, practising a sporting activity will allow you to sleep better, be in a better mood and be more focused. You will be less stressed with better self-esteem as well.
Sports can also be an excellent way to meet people. Team sports can have advantages when people practice them from childhood.
Finally, sports can help you to make your life better.
So, you can keep in mind these health benefits of sports to motivate yourself to do more if you don’t. So, as you can see, it could be very beneficial for you.
And now, you understand the importance of doing some sports, it’s not only about having a nice body. Practising any sport and being active is about having a healthy lifestyle and feeling your best daily.
So, let’s begin to do some sports or exercise!