By Sharon Jones
If you visit any college in the land, you’re likely to come across lots of fit young men and women sweating it away on the football, volleyball or basketball fields to make a few. You might wonder how they find the time to take sports so seriously when they have so much school work to do, but if you knew about the many benefits for college spots, you shouldn’t question it one little bit, and if you’re currently at college, you would try getting involved too! Not convinced, here are just some of the brilliant benefits of playing college sports:
Get a Scholarship
Okay, so the most commonly recognized reason for individuals to get into college sports is the scholarships that great athletes can win. Of course, unfortunately, most of us aren’t great athletes, but if you are, there’s no denying that you can benefit from free or subsidized tuition should you choose to play, so it’s well worth mentioning here.
Team sports are an excellent way to get to know new people in college. Whether you’re the shy type, someone who likes to know as many people as possible, or even someone who wants to make as many lasting connections that could help you out in the future as possible, get your name on that softball lineup card, join your college’s football team or get involved in lacrosse. Why? Because you’ll form lifelong bonds with your peers, ensuring that you have a social life/support now, and quite possibly, high powered connections to help you get along when you graduate, and you’re looking to start your career!
Avoid the Freshman 15
Many people, when they head off to college for the first time gain a lot of weight. This is probably a combination of always having had someone else cook for them and the convenience of fast food when studying for that important test. Whatever the cause, getting involved in college sports will help the average student involve college weight gain and quite possibly help to alleviate the stresses of college life too.
Do Better in Class
Did you know that playing sports can, as mentioned above, reduce stress, improve concentration and even boost your willpower? These are all skills that the average student needs to master if they want to do as well as they possibly can in class, so even if you’ve never thought of playing basketball or tennis before, give it a try, and you might just be surprised by the results.
Boost Your Resume
A lot of employers know that a person who plays sports is quite likely to have learned how to be a team player, have lots of motivation, stamina and a competitive way of thinking, amongst other things. These are all excellent qualities to have in the average workplace. So having a long history of college sports on your resume really can’t hurt.
Of course, the main reason you should consider giving college sports a go is because it’s fun. Do it for the fun and the extensive benefits will surely follow!
By Lina Martinez
Is the belt on your trousers starting to feel a bit tighter? The simple truth is that your waistline is growing. If you’re happy with that then great but your health may be suffering because of it. If you let yourself get to a stage where you are clinically obese then it could result in an early death. So how are you going to go about changing that other than promising yourself you’ll try harder and let everyone know you’ve made up a silly New Year’s resolution. Here’s how…
Be honest with yourself
If you need to replace the Casters on your office desk chair then it may be time to think about losing some weight. If they’ve completely collapsed in on themselves then that’s a pretty good sign you should have started doing so,etching about it yesterday. It’s often difficult to be brutally honest with yourself but it’s a necessary evil. Find some scales and do a quick bit of research into what a healthy BMI for someone your height and weight should be. If you’re tipping just over the edge then he first step is getting yourself a diet plan.
You are what should eat
That’s right, if you’re stuffing pizza and cheeseburgers down your throat then washing away the sins with fizzy drinks then you’ll be gaining pounds at lightning speed. The opposite of what you want right? A well balanced diet doesn’t just mean five a day. Extreme cases are cause for extreme measures. You really will have to start counting your calories. A great way of doing this is to prepare your food with a weekly plan and stick to it. Deny yourself those in-between meal time snacks and say no to those sweet after dinner time treats. If you’re clueless when it comes to what to eat then it could be in your best interest to seek advice from a nutritionist. Find out what’s actually good for you. There’s lots online about diet and health.
Time break a sweat
If your not already sweating at the idea of a diet plan then you soon will be. Dust of that gym membership card and put it to use. Exercise can be as simple as walking. If your doing it daily it will all add up. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see change immediately. These things take time and your already stepping yourself in the right direction. Sports are another great way of getting out the house, losing a few pounds and making some great friends in the process. Have a look online if there are any clubs near you that host your favourite sport. People are always looking for new members to build up the team. If you’ve got kids then why not help out or join a team together.
Don’t leave it till tomorrow or say you’ll start next week. Start now and give your body the best chance it can get. Your fit future self won’t be able to thank you enough.
By Jerry Mooney
Do you ever think that maybe you should try a little harder to be more active in your life? Even though we all know that leading an active lifestyle with plenty of exercise is the best way to stay fit and healthy, there are still a few people out there who aren’t putting in as much effort as perhaps they should. Do you think that you are one of them? In that case, you might need to look for some great inspiration to help you get off the couch.
One of the best places to look for inspiration is the world of sport. There are so many inspiring sports men and women out there, all of whom we should look up to when it comes to getting fit and healthy. Ready to be inspired by some truly excellent players and athletes? Read on for more!
If you ask anyone who the most inspiring American sportsman in history is, they might mention Pat Tillman. Unfortunately, his story is a sad one. He started his American football career with the Arizona Cardinals. However, after just his fourth season with the team, he enlisted in the American army. He decided to change his career path after being deeply affected by the events of 9/11. Unfortunately, only two years after joining up, he was killed in action in Afghanistan. Still to this day, though, Tillman’s memory lives on and he is often quoted as being one of the most inspiring and patriotic football players that America has ever seen.
It’s impossible to think about tennis without thinking about the two Williams sisters. These are two of the best-known tennis players that have ever been, and when you look back at their careers there is no wonder why. Just take Venus Williams for example. Thanks to her brilliant strength, determination, and achievement, she has helped to change the face of women’s tennis for the better. Her serve reached the 100 miles per hour mark at the tender age of just ten years old! That’s impressive, even for adults! In 1997, she was the very first unseeded player to make it to the finals of an Open. She finally won Wimbledon in 2000 and has been inspiring young girls to make it in the world of tennis ever since!
When you are buying the best baseball gloves, you might want to look for a pair from a brand that was popular with a favorite player. Well, why not look for the brand of gloves that Josh Hamilton used to wear? He has played for a number of different clubs over the years, including the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, and the Angeles Angels of Anaheim. However, his career has had its own ups and downs, including a set back after he suffered from a drug addiction. Those down times haven’t been enough to completely derail Hamilton, though, and he continues to work as a professional baseball player and still inspires many fans to this very day!
You might have heard quite a bit about Caster Semenya as she has been in the news for the past couple of years. This South African runner is one of the world’s best middle-distance runners. She even won the gold medal for the 800 metres at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. However, Semenya has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. It is widely believed that Semenya suffers from hyperandrogenism which means that she has very high levels of testosterone in her body. This makes her much faster than her fellow female competitors. Because of this, there have been many calls for her to take hormone treatments or to stop competing as she has an unfair advantage. But Semenya isn’t going to let any of this negativity from her competitors get her down and she continues to compete to this day. Her attitude in such adverse situations is something that everyone should aspire to!
Muhammad Ali has to be one of the most famous boxers ever. He was also one of the best that ever stepped into a ring as well! He was the heavyweight champion of the world and at the height of his career was a complete legend in the ring. His fights against George Foreman and Joe Frazier were some of the most hotly anticipated that have ever been in the world of boxing. But it’s not just Ali’s fantastic sporting achievements that we should admire and look up to – he was also a very generous philanthropist as well! In fact, he was such a great philanthropist, that he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. Sadly, Ali died in 2016 after suffering from Parkinson’s for his last couple of decades.
Of course, there are some sports people out there who have to overcome some very serious health conditions. Sometimes, disabilities or illnesses can completely sidetrack someone’s career, but there are others out there who are so strong that they are able to get their career right back on track. Just take Bethany Hamilton as an example. She grew up in Hawaii and her family were always very keen surfers. Unfortunately, though, Hamilton was viciously attacked by a shark at the age of 13. Thankfully, she managed to escape with her life, but she lost an arm in the attack. That didn’t stop Hamilton wanting to make a career for herself in the world of surfing, though. She managed to keep on surfing, despite her disability. Only two years after her devastating attack, she managed to compete in the Explorer Women’s Division of the NSSA National Championships. She came first in the whole competition and was able to tell her inspiring story to a wider audience as a result.
Hopefully, the athletes mentioned above can really inspire you to get out there and be a bit more active in your life. It’s never too late to start with sport – there’s still time to be a champion!
By Lina Martinez
The thought of spending every Saturday coaching a team of eight-year-olds of varying abilities may fill you with dread. However, helping out with your child’s baseball, soccer or football team might be more worthwhile than you think. You might work hard during the week and value the downtime you have at the weekend, but that is more reason to volunteer. You don’t see your kids much from Monday to Friday, so it might pay to spend a few hours on Saturday morning with your kid’s little league team.
Quality Time Together
There’s nothing better than bonding with your offspring over a common passion. You might love heading down to the dojo and helping out the sensei with the kids. You could be setting up the pads, overseeing light sparring or helping out with drills. If your son or daughter is rapidly progressing through the martial arts belts, it’s heartwarming to be there with them and share in their joy and pride. Being part of their important childhood activities will give you both lifelong memories to keep and share.
It’s The Right Thing To Do
Schools across the nation are poorly funded, and those teachers and professionals that work with your child often give their own time on a weekend to set up extracurricular clubs. While they might need to spend some of the sporting budget on custom baseball uniforms for the little league team, they have no money to hire professional coaches to train the kids. This is where you and tens of other dads come in. By taking charge of pitching or batting, you can have an input into the team, and get invested. You’ll find yourself wanting to attend games, keep up with the league table and have a say in team selection.
Your Child Will Love It
They might not say it, and yes, you will be a tad embarrassing at times, but they will adore having you with them and taking a real interest in what they love to do. If you’re helping out at a soccer session, you might be imparting your offside rule knowledge onto the team while your son or daughter is practicing their dribbling skills. As you catch their eye and give them a thumbs up and a cheeky wink, you can see the pride they feel from the look on their face. Being a supportive parent is more than just saying the right words, it’s about being there and motivating your offspring from the sidelines.
Volunteering is an altruistic notion. By helping out with your child’s sports teams and extracurricular activities, you can take an integral role in helping them succeed in their chosen physical activity. While initially the thought of your treasured Saturday mornings being taken up with a bunch of unruly kids scares the living daylights out of you, take a step back and think about the bonding opportunity you will have with your little one. You may even come to enjoy the volunteering experience.
By Sharon Jones
If you dream of spending your weekends on the clear blue waters, enjoying the sunshine and relaxing on a boat, you may be wondering whether the best approach is to buy or rent. There is no right or wrong solution, as there are pros and cons associated with both options. Let’s take a look at each approach in further detail to help you make up your mind…
PROS OF RENTING A BOAT / CONS OF BUYING A BOAT
Let’s start with the most obvious benefit of renting, and this is the flexibility that comes with it. You can try before you buy, so to speak. This will help you to determine whether a boat is right for your lifestyle and if it is something you will get enough use out of. Another evident benefit is the cost. A lot of people find it more manageable to rent a boat, as they will make manageable payments, as and when they need it. However, when you buy a boat, you obviously need to make a large upfront investment.
There are also additional costs that are associated with owning a boat. This includes maintenance, and you may need to pay for custom boat docks and, of course, storage too. A lot of people prefer the certainty that comes with renting. You know exactly what you are paying because you won’t need to take care of repairs and such like, meaning no nasty surprises along the way.
PROS OF BUYING A BOAT / CONS OF RENTING A BOAT
The main benefit associated with buying a boat is clearly the fact that you will own it. You will have something to show for your money – something that is yours, and something that you can sell when you no longer need it. Plus, while buying may cost more to begin with, you will often spend a lot more in the long run if you rent a boat. Plus, a lot of people will say that you stand a greater chance of breaking down on the water if you rent because the maintenance on a lot of rental fleets is substandard. Of course, this depends on where you hire the boat.
Another con associated with renting that a lot of people overlook is that you are going to have to haul all of your gear to and from the boat with each and every trip you take. This means everything you have aboard needs to go in and out of the car, and be transported to the boat, and then back again every time. If you own the boat, you can load it up with the gear you need and leave it on board for next time.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the pros and cons linked with owning and renting a boat. Of course, it is all about determining what is right for you. Consider the option with the greatest benefits in your eyes, and make sure you can handle the downsides.
By Jerry Mooney
Whatever your age gender or lifestyle, whatever your job career or hobbies each and every one of us should actively seek out opportunities for self-improvement and development. Human life is, after all, a journey filled with peaks and valleys, highs and lows, challenges and rewards. Only in growing in our mindset, our skills and our experience can we meet the challenges that life throws at us in the professional, educational and interpersonal spheres. When we’re kids, the tools for self-development are laid out before us and we have easy access to them and all the time in the world to engage with them. We’re given access to books and learning materials, sports and activities and our minds and bodies are agile and pliant enough to get to grips with them.
Later in life, although most of us have some access to the same materials, we feel less inclined to engage with them as our commitment to our work, our career, our spouse and our children increases. Even those of us who were total sports nuts in our youth can view such leisure activities as a frivolity that they no longer have time for.
We should, however, all make time because besides the obvious benefits such as physical fitness, weight loss and good health, sports have other benefits that are useful to people of all ages. Get yourself down to FCBC Canada soccer academy, your local fitness center or a public pool regularly and you’ll start to reap the following benefits…
Better quality of sleep
8 Hours a day under fluorescent lights chugging coffee is pretty much the norm for most of us, but this lifestyle is not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep can be ruinous for your health, as well as compromising your concentration and diminishing your energy levels throughout the day. Regular exercise and particularly participation in sports raises your core temperature, ensuring that when it cools back down again (i.e. at bedtime), you’ll fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Do you get cranky sitting behind a desk all day? Do you feel grumpy and irritable without quite knowing why? Do you find yourself affected by low mood despite being generally happy with your quality of life? A sedentary lifestyle has been strongly linked to depression while regular exercise stimulates the brain’s production of endorphins leading to better moods and increased vitality. Moreover, participating in sports increases your social circle and gives you more opportunities for human contact which is a guaranteed mood booster in today’s insular lifestyle.
Stress can be an extremely damaging but unfortunately inevitable part of modern life. While occasional bouts of stress and anxiety are natural and can even be a powerful motivator, excess stress can be damaging to your mental health. As tempting as it may be to use your busy schedule as an excuse not to engage in exercise, participating in sports can not only relieve stress but improve your body’s ability to cope effectively with stress meaning that you will be calmer and more collected while your colleagues are tearing their hair out!
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter.