how sports affect mental health – Practicing sport continuously and moderately provides numerous physical and psychological health benefits. Maintaining an active life contributes to the prevention, development and rehabilitation of health, establishing mental well-being, and increasing our quality of life.
Physical activity is a very effective complementary aid for preventing and treating psychological imbalances. We can broadly say that it improves the person’s autonomy, memory, and mental agility and promotes sensations such as optimism or euphoria, while improving self-esteem. All these benefits for our mental health make sport a necessary and beneficial activity at any age.
13 benefits of sport to improve mental and emotional health:
1. Release the hormones of happiness
The endorphins that our brain secretes during and after physical exercise induce us to a state of greater happiness and emotional well-being. It is highly recommended in cases of depression or anxiety as it helps reduce the symptoms of sadness, generates a feeling of relaxation and positively impacts the person’s quality of life.
It doesn’t matter if you run, swim or practice any sport. The important thing is to combat a sedentary lifestyle that can degenerate into coronary or neurovascular diseases. However, to notice the powerful benefits of sport, it is necessary to have some perseverance and practice it at least 3 times a week.
2. Relieves and reduces stress
Doing any physical activity is a healthy and effective way to unwind after work. In addition, by practicing sports we also increase the production of noradrenaline, whose functions include moderating our brain’s response to stressful situations. In this sense, the response to stress would be balanced by feelings of tranquility and well-being.
3. Improves social relationships
Performing any physical exercise in company is a way to encourage and motivate each other. It is another moment you can share with friends that will motivate you to continue this good practice for your health.
In case the gym is your sport sanctuary, numerous social activities are carried out in these centers for its users. Likewise, the guided activities that are offered in most of them also allow meeting new people with similar interests in terms of health.
An improvement in the emotional state and self-esteem leads to better management of social relationships. When we feel good, we project a sense of admiration to those around us and are better able to engage and engage socially.
4. Increases self-esteem
One of the explanations why many people start an exercise routine is the physical change derived from consistency. A more defined body translates into a better self-image and therefore an increase in self-esteem. The perception of oneself changes gradually and together with a better state of mind, levels of self-esteem inevitably rise by increasing confidence in ourselves.
5. how sports affect mental health Relieves anxiety
The effects of sport on brain chemistry occur during and after the activity. In cases of anxiety, the scientific literature has shown that sport is beneficial in relieving some of its most disabling symptoms.
Swimming is a very physically complete sport that allows us to release tension and relax, all at the same time. In addition, it reduces some of the symptoms of anxiety such as muscle pain and also acts against insomnia.
To combat acute or chronic states of anxiety, it is advisable to practice oriental sports that promote relaxation, such as Taichi, Yoga, Bodymind and Pilates. In which the body and mind are cared for, offering resources such as breathing management to learn to control reactions to the adversities of everyday life.
6.how sports affect mental health Improve our behavior
Sports help us reinforce our values and our behavior based on our choices and the right attitude. We must have respect not only for ourselves but for others (rivals, referees, etc.). It implies abiding by certain competition rules as well as learning to win and lose. It is what is called fair play.
Other factors that reinforce our positive behavior are teamwork, camaraderie, commitment and courage. Essentials to be a good player.
7. Slows down and prevents cognitive decline
Age is a decisive factor in cases of cognitive deterioration as well as for the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Science has once again shown that physical activity, especially in youth and adulthood, increases the chemical substances in the brain that prevent the degeneration of neurons in the hippocampus, an area affected in dementia.
Aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming or pedaling regularly and constantly are the physical activities most associated with better mental functioning. In the specific case of Alzheimer’s, its onset can be prevented or delayed with physical exercise, which also helps prevent its progression. The result is more excellent physical, mental, and cognitive health, especially important for people with a chronic condition.
Other studies have concluded that the practice of regular exercise increases life expectancy and decreases the suffering of diseases typical of this stage of life, given the cardiovascular protective effect.
8. How sports affect mental health and Increased memory
Sport stimulates the hippocampus area, whose main functions are memory and learning. In this sense, the retention of information, the learning of new vocabulary or even a new language would benefit by the practice of sport.
9. Fights sleep disorders: insomnia and drowsiness
Sleep is necessary for the human being, it is equivalent to almost a third of our life. When we sleep, the body makes a series of physiological changes necessary to recover from daily activity.
Insomnia is the most widespread sleep disorder in our society, due to the rhythm of life, more and more people have trouble sleeping. Sport, by combating stress and relieving anxiety, allows us to fall asleep easily.
Various studies have shown that sleepiness during the day was less in physically active people. If you have problems with sleepiness, practicing physical activity in moderation will allow you to enjoy a better quality sleep that allows you to be clearer during the day.
10. Helps control addictions
For people addicted to tobacco or alcohol, physical exercise is an exceptional ally to learn to control their addictions. Why? Our brain releases the same neurotransmitters as when we take those substances. Our brain releases dopamine (the neurotransmitter for reward). Practicing exercise can also help to restart the biological clock, whose function is affected by addictive substances that harm our physical and mental health.
11. How sports affect mental health Increases brain power
Getting the body in shape is synonymous with getting the brain in shape. Some research claims that intense training increases the levels of the protein BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic Factor) secreted in the brain, which could positively influence decision-making, thinking and learning.
12. Increase productivity
A healthy body promotes a healthy mind, and a better state of mind means better performance. The higher the performance, the more productivity.
With transformed energy, a routine workouts increase vital energy levels, influencing day-to-day productivity, whether at work, studies or daily tasks. We couldn’t make it easier for you!
13. Increases our ability to concentrate
All sports require a sure degree of concentration, in some it is vital. In separate sports such as chess, tennis or gymnastics, our mind is virtually as important as the body. Being focused or not makes the difference amid doing it well or badly.
In team sports, you must focus your courtesy during exercises and matches, thus increasing our ability to concentrate.
This characteristic is essential in childhood, so it is advisable to practice some sport during childhood.
Our professional advice:
The psychologists at the Canvis Psychology Center in Barcelona are very much in favor of instilling in people a healthy lifestyle, including physical exercise.
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