Team Sports for More than Kids?
With the beginning of the new year many of us are setting fitness goals that let’s be honest we probably aren’t going to keep. But let’s just say we want to give ourselves a fighting chance of keeping those goals. One of the best ways we can do so is to give ourselves more than just cosmetic reasons for getting in shape. If our only reason to hit the gym is to look more attractive the likelihood of staying engaged is very small. This is why it is helpful to try and find a social reason for exercising and eating right and this can be helped by joining a team sport.
We are great as a culture at encouraging team sports in children. Many Moms will tell you that is most of their job these days driving kids to various games and practices! However, for some reason we stop seeing the value of such activities once we become adults. This is a shame because team sports have a lot of benefits for more than just kids but adults as well.
The first benefit of participating in team sports is social. As busy adults it can often be hard to make friends and find people with common interests. Outside of work and perhaps church, we don’t interact with many people besides our family and this can be discouraging especially when trying to do something as difficult as keeping fitness goals.
Group sports can also help boost our confidence as we hopefully all encourage each other and point out the improvements individuals are making as the entire team improves. For example, if I improve my shooting in basketball through increased cardio the entire team performance improves along with me and that can be more encouraging when contributing to personal and group success.
Also hopefully spending time together in an athletic activity is just fun and when we are having fun we are mentally and physically healthier and more likely to continue with our goals.
The other key benefit to participating in team sports as an adult is it provides the group check to helping us stay active. It can be hard sometimes to get our exercise in and having scheduled activities where others are anticipating our involvement helps get us out the door on this tough days.
We are also more likely to push ourselves in those exercise routines because of the encouragement of our teammates and the desire to achieve as a group and not just our individual goals.
With a team sport we make a weekly commitment to others which is a great way to escape the pressures of our many other commitments. It also by necessity involves exercise. Instead of talking ourselves out of a workout we are more likely to push ourselves to do more. In a team we are accountable to others, and we will hopefully want the group to succeed. Think of it as positive peer pressure!
Go and Have a Blast
So often as adults we forget our own needs and that the things that benefit children oftentimes are still good for us. Just like kids are helped by participation in group sports so are we and it can be a fun way to help us be happy and make and keep all of our fitness goals.