We all know the importance of sports and exercise. The benefits that sports have on our physical health is common knowledge. But there is more to it, in recent years there are many researches done that have shown that sports have a number of mental benefits. And it is not only good for adults, but also beneficial for children’s development. Sports are also associated with an uplift of body, mind and spirit. Team sports are helpful to learn accountability, dedication and leadership. Continue to read below to find out the mental benefits of sports.

1. Sports Improve Your Mood

Are you familiar with the burst of happiness, optimism and relaxation after an intense work out? Yes, that is what exercise gives you. Playing sports, working out and going for a walk or a run and other physical activities can trigger your brain to release chemicals called endorphins that make you feel better, happier and more relaxed. Team sports in particular help with relaxing the mind, improving self-esteem and getting a sense of fulfillment because you get to connect with teammates.

2. Sports Improve Your Concentration

Physical activity is beneficial for maintaining your mental wellbeing. When you put your effort into getting better at a sport, you practice your critical thinking, learning, and making good judgment. Research has shown that a combination of aerobic and muscle-strengthening sports is extremely beneficial for mental health. 3 to 5 times a week for over 30 minutes is absolutely ideal for one’s health.

3. Sports Reduce Stress and Depression

When you spend time exercising, your mind gets distracted from stressful factors and you don’t have time to hang around your negative thoughts. Sports reduce the stress hormone – called cortisol – levels in your body, and at the same time it produces endorphins. These endorphins are mood lifters that help keep your stress levels at bay. Endorphins may also make you feel more relaxed and optimistic.

4. Sports Improve Sleeping Habits

As long as you don’t have an intense workout or exercise a few hours before your bed time, you usually fall asleep faster and have deeper sleep, because intense exercise will leave you energized for the next couple of hours, and that will prevent you from falling asleep. Studies have shown that sports and other forms of physical activities improve the quality of sleep.

5. Sports Help You Maintain a Healthy Weight

Sports like running, cycling, and weightlifting help you maintain a healthy weight because they burn unwanted calories and build muscles.

6. Benefits for Children

Sports have benefits for children in many ways as they do adults. It is especially beneficial for children who start playing sports at a young age. Sports improve children’s concentration, attention, cognitive development and their academic performances, and they will also keep children more active as they grow older. Start today by signing up for some kids kung fu lessons or encourage him to join a football club in school.