While most of us know that being fit and active is crucial to staying healthy, many people find it difficult to exercise. Whether you’re pressed for time, juggling work and family life, or you’re bored of the same gym routines, it can be easy for exercise to fall by the wayside.
This is where team sports can help. In addition to health, playing team sports also offers a huge range of other benefits. If you’re considering taking up team sports, here are some of the benefits you could enjoy.
Better mental health
A study from 2022 found a strong correlation between exercise and mood. This study analysed the relationship between team sports and mental health in children with impressive results. This included a 19% reduction in depression and withdrawal, a 10% reduction in anxiety and a 17% reduction in thought problems. This was considerably higher than non-group sports which showed a 16% increase in anxiety and depression scores.
A fun hobby
We often view exercise as a chore but it doesn’t have to be. If this is how you feel about your workouts, then playing team sports could be the answer. Whether you love watching rugby fixtures, enjoy being in the water or you’d love to try roller derby, joining a team is a great way to transform your exercise routine. It could even lead to a fun new hobby.
Improved confidence and self esteem
Playing team sports can be an excellent way of pushing you outside of your comfort zone, boosting your confidence and improving your self-esteem. Whether you’re a complete beginner or returning to team sports after a break, feeling fitter and seeing improvements in your performance can deliver benefits that filter into almost every area of your life.
Enjoy friendship and camaraderie
We all want to belong and playing a team sport can deliver an instant sense of community. Team sports provide the opportunity to work together to reach a common goal, form new friendships and gain a sense of belonging to something bigger than yourself. This connection to others can be invaluable, providing connection and a sense of purpose – as the adage goes, no man is an island.
Reduced stress levels
Just like mental health, team sports have been shown to lower stress levels. In fact, a study conducted by the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine tracked the activity and mood of 69 medical students for 12 weeks. At the close of the study, researchers concluded that individuals who participate in team sports had a 26% reduction in perceived stress levels.