Participation in sports is extremely important, and should be encouraged much more. Children and young people in particular need to do sport so that they develop good habits that they can continue into adulthood. The main benefits of sport are improved health and fitness, and the development of social and communication skills.
With more than a third of adults in the USA being classed as obese, and many more being overweight, it has never been more important to participate in sports. People that do sport on a regular basis are burning more calories than those that don’t, and are therefore less likely to end up overweight. Being a healthy weight means that you will be less likely to die young and suffer from heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes and a range of other conditions, and if you already eat well, it can give you an extra calorie allowance so you can treat yourself without feeling guilty about it.
As well as improving cardiovascular health and fitness, exercising is also good for the musculoskeletal system, making muscles more supple and toned, and improving the strength of bones and joints. People who do sports will be stronger and more able to lift and carry heavy things, which is also always useful, and they are less likely to become really weak and frail as they get older because their bodies are strong. Furthermore, doing sports can improve mental health as well as physical health, with exercise being helpful for people with depression and a range of other mental health issues, because it releases good chemicals into our brains. It also makes people feel better about their bodies, which can make them happier, and reduces the risk of eating disorders and crash dieting, as people make more sensible, healthy changes to their lifestyle.
Sports also allow people to develop personally. Social and communication skills can be learned and developed through sport. Teamwork, for example, is naturally learned through participating in team sports and games. Communication skills can really be honed, as they are at the center of any team’s success, and a lack of them leads to failure. Many people will also develop leadership skills through sport, often discovering abilities that they never knew they even had.
Many people’s self-esteem improves through sport as they discover things that they are good at and improve their body. Participating in any competitive sport also improves our ability to handle pressure and still perform well, as well as teaching us how to win and lose graciously. All in all, the fact that playing sport is good for us is completely undeniable, because it helps our minds and bodies, and ultimately means that we will be living longer, happier lives.