Sports that have been proven to improve mental health


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  • 20 Sep, 2021  |
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1 Sports that have been proven to improve mental health


Most people recognize the advantages sport can bring when it comes to our physical well-being. However, often less documented are the tremendous mental benefits sports can offer as well. Indeed, most analysts agree that sports exercise both the mind and the body - but just which sports are best for putting your brain through a work-out as much as your body?

Read on for a few mentally demanding sports that will improve not just your physical health but also your mental well-being.

Team sports

All team sports require that you interact and work together with other people cohesively as one single group. Team sports are great for building trust, encouraging reliance and promoting conversation plus they have the added advantage of providing a form of added support network. Often the friendships built from team sports last a lifetime as you learn about another side to people and build a link with teammates that’s impossible to replicate in almost any other life activity.

Moreover, team sports also require an understanding - almost a sixth sense - to know what your teammates are going to do next. This sense of belonging and reliance on one another is one of the fundamental building blocks of life and fundamental to our mental well-being.

Shooting sports

Shooting requires high levels of concentration while also staying relaxed - often under considerable pressure. Whether it be hunting sports or just shooting at a range, your body inevitably releases a burst of adrenaline as you line up a shot. This adrenaline, in turn, releases endorphins and specifically the feel-good endorphin, serotonin.

Furthermore, shooting requires regulated breathing skills, which are also good for lowering blood pressure and preventing heart damage. If you want to learn more about shooting, search online for a local club or range. Alternatively, for hunting information, ilearntohunt.com offers all of the education you need to ensure hunters safety.

Running sports

There is considerable evidence that shows runners experience increased levels of endorphins both during and after a run, which could explain the so-called ‘runner’s high’ phenomenon. Indeed, in 2008 German scientists conducted a test that produced evidence showing increased endorphin activity in runners following a two-hour session.

Endorphins are the body’s natural high, but they also reduce stress and have been proven to mitigate pain, too. These feelings of euphoria and high endorphin production were also found to be common in other forms of prolonged intense activity - particularly those that have an attainable goal at the end.

Swimming

Swimming has been proven to significantly reduce stress, anxiety and depression while also providing a fantastic overall body workout. When we swim, we exercise every muscle in the body - including the brain. The sport is fantastic for promoting self-discipline and a strong sense of determinedness, but also gives us time away from the grind of everyday life - time alone with our thoughts.

Whether you prefer open water swimming or the more traditional pool setting, check online for local clubs or nearby facilities to sign up as a member.

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