By Michele Ho Yeen Ping and Safwah binti Abdul Razak,
Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya
Sports is an activity that comes in different forms which brings a lot of benefits to our body, both mentally and physically. For example, football, basketball, swimming, and badminton are sports played by individuals from different ages. Some of the benefits that we can obtain by participating in sports are improvement in academic and social skills, physical health benefits, boost self-esteem and reduce stress.
First and foremost, many parents think that joining sports will distract their child from school work but it is actually the opposite because sports can be considered as a type of education where the student will have to learn, memorize and repeat whatever they have learned to play the particular sport.
This will help the students to absorb the knowledge given by their teachers more effectively and thus improve their academic results. They will not only be physically active but mentally active too when they are participating in sports activities.
In addition, social skills such as problem-solving skills and teamwork among them can be obtained through sports too. Sports that are played in the form of groups will teach them teamwork as they will need the help of one another to achieve their goal. They will learn to work with each other by listening to other people’s opinions and provide relevant ideas to the member of the group in order to be more efficient in their particular sports.
This will also help them to learn problem solving skills as they will need to brainstorm ideas and solution to the problems that were faced by them before advancing their athletic journey.
Besides, sports can help in maintaining a healthy lifestyle as sport is a form of exercise. Sports activities will result in sweating which can purge body toxin where this will eventually lead to a healthier body because when toxins are kept away from our body, nutrients taken by one individual will be more easily absorbed by their body system. Various diseases can be prevented by doing so.
Furthermore, sports are also able to help in lowering the risk of heart attack, breast cancer, osteoporosis and obesity. The risk of these health issues can be lowered, especially obesity because sports include physical movements such as running, walking, and jumping which can burn fats in our body.
This will help to maintain the weight of an individual from getting overweight. Sports can be one of the most efficient and proven ways to lose weight and obtain a fit body. Moreover, individuals that focuses in enriching their talents in sports are known as athletes.
In order to achieve their fitness goal, sport encourages them to make healthy decision-making such as having a balanced diet, eating at the right time, and avoiding unhealthy foods. This will indirectly help the athletes to have a healthy body and live a healthy lifestyle due to their passion for sports.
Another benefit of sports is it helps to boost our self-esteem. Learning how to play a particular sport, such as badminton, hockey or soccer, helps us to gain new skills. Thus, we can improve on these skills and become a more skilled player by training hard and competing with other players.
When we participate in competitions, we may set personal goals for ourselves. For example, a short-term goal may be to win in a competition and a long-term goal is to win in a tournament. When we achieve these goals, our confidence level and self-esteem will increase. This especially benefits children and teenagers, who may suffer from low self-esteem that is caused by factors such as bullying, stress or anxiety.
Providing a healthy outlet for children and teenagers to increase their self-esteem is extremely important as low-esteem can affect your mental health and cause more serious mental conditions, such as depression or anxiety. That being said, even adults need an occasional boost in their self-esteem. Sports is a healthy and easy way to help boost our self-esteem. When you have something you’re good at, it helps to reduce negative thoughts about our own self-worth.
Lastly, sports can help to reduce stress. In this modern day and age, we face stress almost everyday in our lives. Juggling work, family, studies and other priorities in life can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Sports is one of the most effective ways to combat stress.
However, some people may think that any sports activity takes up too much of their time. It only increases their stress levels as their bodies will be tired after playing sports. This is proven false because by engaging in physical activities, our brains release endorphins which are the chemicals that makes us feel happy. As a result, we feel happier and less stressed when we participate in a sport that we enjoy.
Furthermore, as office jobs become more common these days, people are leading more sedentary lifestyles. This sort of lifestyle can also cause us to feel stressed out as we spend hours sitting in front of the computer.
Playing badminton or swimming during the weekends can help to relieve some of the stress without disturbing our hectic work schedules. In fact, sports or even any type of physical activity should be prioritized in our lives as stress can cause a multitude of health problems such as high blood pressure, stomach pain and arrhythmia.
In conclusion, sports give us a lot of benefits, both mentally and physically. By participating in sports on a daily or even weekly basis, we can see many positive changes in our lives. Sports should definitely be prioritized in a person’s life and we can begin to implement this by encouraging our family and friends to join any kind of sports. Healthy minds come with healthy bodies and it is important that we invest time for any type of sports or physical activities in our daily lives.
*The authors of this article took part in the Buddy College Programme under Challenges Foundation. One of their assignment is to write an article about an issue in disability advocacy.