Why Are Sports Good for Your Health?

By Nicole Long

Participation in sports can set the groundwork for a healthy and active lifestyle. Providing a potent motivator---competition---sports fuel your inner athlete and help you achieve group and individual goals. Sports can impact not only your physical, but also your mental, well-being.

Self-Esteem

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD, reports on MedicineNet.com that exercise benefits and increases self-esteem. Participation in sports, which encourages regular exercise, helps increase endorphins and boosts mood.

Mental Effects

Mental effects of exercise include reduced anxiety, stress and depression, according to Zelman. Sports and physical activity can reduce the occurrence and severity of these conditions.

Heart Benefits

Your heart depends on regular activity and participation in sports and exercise programs to remain strong and healthy. Zelman says such exercise can lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack.

Disease Reduction

Besides protecting your heart and mind, exercise can also fight off disease. Regular participation in sports and physical activity throughout your life reduces your risk of more than 40 chronic conditions, such as diabetes and osteoporosis, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.

Reduced Weight

Exercise helps encourage maintenance of a healthy weight. Daily activity through sports and fitness programs help your body burn calories and fat.

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