We all know that sports are good for our physical health, but did you know that team sports can have huge benefits for your mental health too, particularly if you’re a man?
Whether you’re feeling a little stressed out about work, you’re feeling lonely, or you’ve got a dose of the blues, getting your kit on and playing with a team can dramatically improve your mental health. Here’s how:
It Connects You with Others
A lot of men are very reserved; they find it hard to open up to people, which means if they’re having a tough time they’re more likely than women to bottle it all up inside. However, if they have played as part of a team for a while, they will have built bonds with their teammates, which means they’re more likely to open up, seek advice and reach out when they’re experiencing mental health problems like loneliness and depression.
Sports Releases Endorphins
This is one that anyone, male or female can benefit from but it’s a biggie – when you get physically active, your body releases endorphins, which are basically feel-good chemicals that can help to make you feel calmer, happier and a lot more relaxed than you were before you started running around batting and throwing.
It Improves Concentration
Many mental health problems cause your concentration levels to plummet, and that isn’t good if you have a job to hold down and a million other things to do. Not only that, but poor concentration levels and mental skills, in general, can lead to illnesses like Alzheimer’s in later life. Luckily, playing sports doesn’t just strengthen your body and build your muscles – it does the same for your brain too. That’s why you should think about sending your teens to, for example, a soccer camp like the one here, as well as playing team sports yourself. It will help them with their studies and you to have a healthier brain and stronger career.
It Increases Motivation
When men are feeling low, they can find it difficult to get up and moving (as can women). However, research has shown that men who have team sports to go to are more likely to get up and moving, even when they’re stressed or depressed and don’t feel like it because they don’t want to let the rest of the team down. So, playing a team sport is a great way to ensure that mental health problems don’t totally pull you under.
It Boost Confidence
Due to the way we have always treated men in society, stressing the importance of strength, both physical and mental and how they should be the breadwinners, men have a lot of pressure on them, and it can cause them to feel pretty inadequate. Luckily, playing team sports can alleviate some of that inadequacy by making them feel good about their body and their discipline in turning up every week to play their very best.
If you aren’t already playing team sports, now might be the perfect time for you to get started. It is so beneficial, as you can see, in so many ways.