When we think of the plentiful benefits of exercise; the first thing that comes to our mind is physical fitness and health. Among the numerous benefits, the rarely spoken benefit is that exercise can contribute significantly in improving emotional skills. The emotional development is important to prepare children for the next phases in life; and playing sports is an important tool for emotional development. Studies report that emotional wellbeing is positively associated to sports.
We have often experienced that when we live through a moment it has a powerful impact on our mind than reading or listening to it. For example children hear moral stories narrating ‘cheating is bad’, but while playing when they are criticized by teammates for cheating it will leave a permanent impact on their psyche. They inculcate that cheating is bad and this prepares them for righteous behaviour in life.
Sports are an amazing tool for building self-confidence. The joyous victories and heart breaking defeats are lessons to combat difficult situations in life. These are the lessons that help keep composure during the ups and downs in life, that help deal with success and failure alike. Regular exercise keeps us energized & invigorated throughout the day to perform tasks successfully off the field boosting self belief and sense of worth.
Sports are also a source of constant motivation. For every missed goal; the spirit to keep trying and passion to work harder is learnt on the playground more than the classroom. Motivation is what drives us to the forefront and encourages us to keep moving.
Sports build strong mindsets. Team sports are breeding grounds for leadership traits and over time the mind is inclined to adopt the leadership mindset and take responsibility for the good or bad situations. The opportunity to try over and over again, accept victory and defeat helps to create a positive mindset and face difficulties in life gracefully.
Exercise is the best mood elevator but often ignored. A brisk walk in the nearby park or a workout at the gym triggers the chemicals in the brain that makes us feel happy and elevates the mood. It is an excellent way to unwind a busy day in addition to improving fitness. Exercise reduces stress by the secretion of mood elevating hormones endorphins; which elevate the mood and keep stress and depression at bay. Physical activity distracts the mind from physical stress in turn leaving us relaxed and optimistic.
A physical activity of any kind three to five times a week for minimum 30 minutes is an excellent means to sharpen the mental skills and help the brain stay young as ever.
The proven benefits of exercise linked to positive mental health and happiness provides yet another reason to take up a sport and get that trigger of endorphins.