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Peter Benedict St Andrews – Whether on the Field or in the Stands, You Benefit From Sports

February 19, 2017Fitness Standard

Sports fans like Peter Benedict St Andrews will be glad to know that you can get benefits from just watching sports in additional to playing them!  Here are just some of the benefits that come to the players on the field and the bench warmers in the stands!

 

Playing and watching can help keep a healthy weight

Playing sports on a regular basis is a great way to build strength, cardiovascular health, and burn calories.  Combined, this can contribute to the maintenance of a healthy weight.  Sports fans don’t receive these benefits to the same degree, but that doesn’t mean that they are not burning calories and getting a bit of a workout watching the game.  Fans jump (plyometric activity!), sit and stand (squats!), and get their hearts pumping while watching a game, and that is better than an evening spent passively in front of the television.  Fans also benefit to the extent that they are inspired to become more active as a result of watching their favorite sports.

 

Playing or rooting for the same team builds relationships

As a fan, you probably know the excitement that comes from rooting for your team whether in a packed stadium with thousands of other fans, or in your living room with family and friends.  The social bonding that results from this collective “we-feeling” is an important contributor to health and well-being; it is generally accepted that feeling part of a group is a key to preventing depression, anxiety and mental ill-health.  This same sense of being a part of a team that is pulling for the same goal is equally powerful for players.  They must become “other-focused” rather than “self-focused” in order to anticipate each other’s movements and intentions, and this generates the same sense of connection that fans experience.

 

It keeps the mind active

As a fan, you know that It isn’t always easy to keep your eye on the ball, especially in a fast-paced game.  However, the very act of trying to closely follow the plays the in context of the rules helps to keep your mind sharp.  According to a 2008 study, sports fans show higher levels of brain function in the areas responsible for planning, control and performance when listening to a sports broadcast than non-fans. Now imagine the added challenge that comes from actually playing the sport!  In addition to the brain power required to keep track of a game, players must also keep track of their fine and gross motor skills and coordination, and their location in space.

 

It releases tension and stress

Whether you are playing or watching, sports is a well-known stress buster. The physical exertion and excitement of the game releases endorphins which make you feel great!

 

As you can see, whether you are playing or watching, there are some excellent reasons to integrate sports into your life on a regular basis.

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