Sports (or athletic activity) is any form of generally competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual participation, attempt to use, develop or hone physical aptitude and skills for the purpose of providing entertainment to participants, and sometimes, spectators, while also providing exercise for the body. There are many different types of sports, but perhaps the most famous sports are American football, baseball, basketball, tennis, golf, swimming and horse-riding. In the United States alone, there are more than 24 million active sports enthusiasts, according to the US Department of Commerce. However, it should be noted that there are many other types of sports and activities that may be more likely to meet with an individual, such as gardening, camping, ice fishing, sailing, hunting, hiking, running, cycling, aerobics, surfing, skiing, cheerleading, karate, gymnastics and rowing.
The benefits of sports are well-documented. For instance, players who participate in a sport or recreational activity build up their physical strength and stamina, their agility, speed, endurance and skill. This can translate into greater self-confidence and improved concentration and focus, all of which can have far-reaching implications for their health and well-being. Being able to get to sleep easier and sleep longer helps reduce your stress levels, which is another important health benefit of participating in sports or other physical activities.
As a matter of fact, studies have shown that participation in sports and other physical activities has been correlated with better aerobic fitness and lower body fat percentage. Further, there is strong evidence that people who play sports or who are actively involved in sport-related leisure activities are less likely to develop non-traditional mental health problems, such as depression, stress and anxiety. Some evidence also suggests that athletes are less likely to develop psychological conditions like substance abuse problems. Non-athletes are more likely to develop such conditions. However, many experts agree that there is still much research to be done on the psychological impact of physical dexterity and sport in particular.
There are many benefits of sports, both in and of themselves. For example, competitive sports such as football and basketball require an incredible level of physical dexterity and athleticism. In fact, many physical fitness experts believe that the amount of time dedicated to sports could be seen as a measure of modern man’s evolution. Today’s athlete not only needs to be highly coordinated but he or she must be highly fit. This not only means high endurance levels but it also means the athlete must exercise considerable amount of physical exertion.
Youth sports, such as Little League Baseball and soccer, are also very strenuous but not nearly as physically demanding as professional sports. While the equipment used is significantly different for youth sports than it is for professional sports, the physical fitness requirements are almost identical. The only real difference between youth sports and professional sports is the speed and intensity of the workout. And while youth baseball and soccer might not be considering professional sports by the standards of the major sports leagues, they are still very strenuous and popular among the young people involved.
Sports can benefit our health in several ways. As we have noted above, they are extremely strenuous activities involving a great deal of physical ability. And while we recognize the benefits of playing sports, we also recognize that participation in sports can often be harmful if not well- supervised and if physical ability is not properly monitored. Thus, even though there are many positive benefits of sports and recreation, it is imperative that children and adolescents are properly educated about the dangers of unsupervised sports activity and are taught how to properly care for their physical abilities.