Sports and health- the inevitable connection

Connection between good health and sports

Sports is the preserver of health- Hippocrates

As kids, many of us have had the experience of playing games and so we can all agree that the connection between good health and sports is inevitable.

It doesn’t matter what kind of games one would have played as a kid- group games, individual games, leagues. Not only was it a good way to bond with our friends or make new ones, but they also made us agile and helped create a competitive person. Playing sports is a crucial part of growing up years for a healthy mind and body development. This article lists the 5 benefits of playing sports as a kid.

More importantly, playing sports is a feasible hobby that helps in mental development along with providing physical fitness. Through participation in sports or games, a person gains several skill sets and gathers confidence which in turn helps in personality development.

The essence of games in our life is to provide with a creative environment which promotes individuality,
mental ability and seeing efforts come into existence.

I read somewhere “Importance of sports in our lives is like the importance of the brain in our body.”

I couldn’t agree more! There is, indeed, a much deeper connection between good health and sports than we perceive.

A sound body has a sound mind. Today there is excessive competition in every walk of life and to excel at it we need vigor and toughness which can be gained by playing sports. We learn to improve ourselves, to use our bodies more, teamwork, forbearance, on spot thinking, discipline and more importantly accepting and learning from our mistakes.

As parents, we tend to take a special interest in our kids’ active life. We make sure that they get adequate nutrition, rest and physical activity. We look for communities that are constructed to cater to our wants of having an active life for our children. Is there a play area for the kids? Is there a swimming
pool? Does this apartment have a basketball/tennis/badminton court?

Yet in the process of creating a better life for our children, we adults forget to consider sports as a feasible hobby for ourselves; between work and a family there just doesn’t seem to be enough time. Whereas, recreational sports have multiple health benefits for all age groups. In fact, as adults, we are more likely in need of the physical boost that playing league sports can provide.

When was the last time we made time for sports? And before we say we took the little one to a certain class last evening let me ask again.

When was the last time YOU were the one playing?

The truth is when it comes to active participation in sports, as adults we are more comfortable taking a back seat and sitting on the bench.

Another reason is as we grow older between work and family time, sports end up becoming an inconvenience and not the fun that it used to be when we were younger. With age comes responsibility. Responsibility towards work, family and children.

But when we are willing for our children to be active, it’s worth making the same investment in ourselves and setting an example for our kids.

That it’s ok to fall down.

It’s ok to get hurt {physically and/or mentally}.

It is ok to lose!

READ ALSO: THE IMPACT OF BODY-SHAMING ON KIDS

This happens more for mothers than fathers.

We let ourselves get so engrossed and involved in our kids and families we stop thinking about ourselves
as individuals or the carefree girls we once were.

As our bodies go through massive changes in starting our menstruation to giving birth our minds
become more settled into the nurturing phases and we stop being physically active. A mere walk in the evening is considered a huge boon for us.

So when the opportunity struck, I grabbed it with both hands { and probably my feet} and hugged it tightly. We have an annual sports fest in our community. I enrolled for badminton{ every
inactive mother’s easy choice} and, hold thy breath… Cricket!

Yes, you read it right!

We have a big ladies’ cricket team here along with proper coaches and team owners and practice sessions and a whole lot of team spirit or “spirited teams” LOL!

It was tough to leave my 2 young kids to go to practice every day but I had made a promise to myself.

Post-pregnancy weight gains had become a huge problem for me. I was always low on energy and irritable the entire time.

The day just tumbled into one meal after the other. From packing lunch boxes to waiting for nap times. The kids were totally dependent on me for everything. Zero independence despite my elder one being over 5.
And it was not easy for me as well. From being zero active to being ambitious enough to play a heavy sport. But taking one day at a time, one stumble at a time we became stable. The kids realized that Mumma has to go to practice. My body started accepting that this is a new way of life.

I failed on the ground a lot of times but the other ladies were compassionate enough to boost my confidence. My girls saw me being upset about losing a couple of games but they learned that it’s not the end of the world.

The entire community came together to cheer for us and it was the most exhilarating and liberating time of my life since I became a mother. We lost a lot of games and we won a lot of games but in the process, I gained so many friends. I gained a lot of new experience along the way.

More importantly, my body and mind became more resilient. I was happy to be playing and involved. Before this, I had no interest or knowledge about cricket much to my father’s disappointment {He is a cricket enthusiast}.
I gained some know-how and now we absolutely enjoy making conversations about it. We have plans to play matches together with my nephews who are full of energy during the summer vacations.

But once the fest ended, I went in my “mother mode” once again. And so did most of the other ladies.

Which got us discussing why it was so hard for us to understand and play the same things that the men find easy?

It is because we don’t indulge ourselves in sports. We are so engrossed in our work lives and home lives that we forget. Forget we need to keep our bodies healthy and our minds happy to maintain a happy family.

We play every week now. And I jog at least 4 times a week. The kids know that Mumma needs to play and they need to start looking out for themselves.

It pays to play. We are setting a better example for the next generation, are learning hands-on, feel less stressed and develop leadership skills. Not just that, we also build social skills, discipline, improved energy levels and get better at managing emotions.

“Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up”

What sports do you play to maintain good health?

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14 Comments

  1. Love this! Sports have always been a big part of my life when I was younger and my children’s. I played basketball and was a cheerleader in school. I still play basketball with my kids because it’s the sport I will always love. I also play whatever sport is in season for the kids so they get practice. My husband and I recently decided to take up pickle ball and ping pong as a couples activity so we shall see where it goes.

    1. Thank you!
      You are amazing, Rachel! It is courageous to keep up with heavy sports once the kids come along.
      Please enlighten me on “Pickle Ball”. I am sure a lot us have not heard about it and would like to know more.

  2. WOW beautifully written and very true so many mom’s won’t be able to make it, but you have to push yourself and make some time to workout which keeps us healthy mentally and physically makes more confident of ourselves

    1. Thank you Dakshayini! You are one hell of an inspiration already! It takes a massive amount of energy to do what you do. HAts off to you, dear!
      Take care and stay safe in such times.

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