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.