Once upon a time, there was no such thing as “professional sports,” and sports were something that people played with their friends, relatives, and co-workers, on a regular basis.
Famously, the game of football was played between different rival villages, by mediaeval peasants in England. Then, during the Industrial Revolution, the members of different factories would get together and play football against each other as an after-work activity – and this was the origin of the modern football club.
These days, fewer and fewer of us play sports as adults, but more and more of us watch them. We get plenty of excitement from seeing what our favourite players and teams are doing – and no wonder, since sports are an incredibly powerful and dramatic spectacle to behold.
But, if you’re an adult sports fan who never actually plays any sports, there are some good reasons to think you are missing out.
By getting a few of your friends together, and finding an open space to use as a pitch or field, you could begin to rediscover the power of participating in sports, overnight. And, unlike professional athletes, it’s unlikely you’ll need sports injury treatment, endorsements, and all the rest, in order to make your weekend tournaments a reality.
Here are a few reasons why it’s still worth playing amateur sports as an adult.
- Sports are still one of the best avenues for bonding with your friends
One of the reasons why sport is so powerful, is that it simulates battle, but without all the horror, suffering, and mayhem, that comes with actually having a war or a real fight.
For that reason, sport helps you to burn off a lot of excess aggression and frustration, but it also helps you to bond really well with your friends. When you’re playing a sport together on the same team, you are participating in an adventure and a battle together, and that really helps to solidify the friendship, and make it more interesting than it would be if you were just meeting up sometimes for a beer.
Many people who involve themselves in amateur sports enjoy rich social lives as a result of being involved in the sports, and frequently have good stories and anecdotes to share whenever they meet up with their friend groups.
If you feel like a lot of your friendships are superficial, playing amateur sports can be a great way of helping to create deeper connections with people, and forging longer-lasting, and more interesting friendships.
- Playing sports is a great way of getting exercise, without even noticing it
Unless you have a physical job, it’s quite likely that you don’t get enough exercise on a day-to-day basis. Increasingly, this is the trend for people all over the world who live in cities, and have modern, tech-focused jobs.
Of course, getting exercise is really important if you want to be healthy, and if you want to feel your best, too. Spending too much time sitting around, and not enough time moving, increases your risk of suffering from all sorts of different diseases and illnesses, shortens your lifespan, and increases the likelihood that you will suffer from conditions like depression.
As a way of compensating for this fact, many people force themselves to get down to the gym and jog on treadmills each day, in order to get their recommended dose of exercise. For some people, this is great, but for other people, it’s boring, irritating, and unfulfilling.
Playing sports, on the other hand, is a great way of getting exercise, without even noticing it. That is – you will, of course, notice that you’re working up a sweat and getting out of breath. But you will be so focused on the game, that you’re not going to think much at all about actually “getting fit.”
Playing sports allows you to get fit while having fun, instead of while being bored.
- Playing sports is a great way of relieving stress and burning off excess energy
We all get stressed from time to time, and have to deal with situations at work, and in our personal lives, that we would rather avoid.
Maybe your boss is being unreasonable at work, and is expecting you to get a major project done, in virtually no time. Or, maybe you’ve got financial trouble hanging over your head, or drama between yourself and your romantic partner.
Playing sports is a great way of relieving stress and burning off excess energy – because it allows you to channel some of your aggression and frustration into the game, generate feel-good endorphins, and get out of your own thoughts for a while.
If you’ve got some sports to look forward to playing on a regular basis, it can make you a lot more resilient in life.
Of course, some sports are going to be better for this than others. You will probably burn off more aggression and frustration if you are playing a contact sport, than if you’re playing table tennis, for example. But, when all is said and done, any competitive physical activity can help significantly.
- It’s too easy to be “passive” these days – anything that causes you to be “active” is likely to be good for balance
As mentioned earlier in this article; more and more people around the world today are now living in cities, doing tech and knowledge-based work, and are also entertaining themselves at home with TV shows, and web surfing, more than anything else.
All of these things are fine in moderation, but if you take them too far, you can easily end up living a very “passive” life.
Sport is, by definition, a very “active” thing. It’s directly physically active, it forces you to get out there and run around, and exert yourself, and it puts you in a goal-focused mindset.
If you spent all your time playing sports and living a hyperactive lifestyle, that wouldn’t necessarily be good for you, either. But, assuming you spend a lot of your time involved in passive forms of entertainment, playing sports can really help to provide a bit of balance in your life and to set you on a healthy track.
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