You don’t need to be a genius to work out that playing sports can work miracles for health. Like exercise, a regular kickabout can reduce blood pressure and risk of disease. That’s an obvious and undeniable fact.
What you may not realize is that sporting fandom also brings health benefits. For the most part, sporting fans get a bad rep. We’re the guys eating mustard-slathered hot dogs while others do the hard work. In fact, most media outlets depict fans as couch potatoes with too much cushion for the pushin’.
But, times are changing. More people now realize that watching sports can help your health, too. That’s not to say watching a game is as good as playing one. We can’t work miracles, after all. But, our obsession with sports certainly seems to deserve more credit than society gives it. Far from being the lazy option, you’re doing your body a fair few favors here. But, how’s that possible? Let’s take a look.
Gets the heart pumping
Whether you’re watching the latest game, or searching for Cubs memorabilia from companies like Powers Sports Memorabilia, you can be sure your heart rate will raise a little.
Fans care about sports more than you could imagine. This is a passionate pursuit, and we approach it as such. Few fans sit immobile when their favorite teams are playing. Instead, we scream, shout, and throw our bodies down like we’re out on the field. During games, the blood pressure and heart rate of fans raise by a significant amount. And, that’s pretty much the same as what happens when you’re out there playing. What’s more, finally finding that much-coveted memorabilia can have the same effect. If you’ve been after a particular player’s sweater for months, finding it is sure to get your palms sweating and your pulse flickering fast. What’s more, pursuits like these have the benefit of bringing the same hormonal benefits as exercise. In fact, studies suggest that fans experience a drop in testosterone after a loss. So, you may not be working out as such, but your body will effectively treat each sporting pursuit as though you are. We can’t promise this will help you shed the pounds, but it can at least keep your ticker healthy and your hormones in check.
A reason to get out and about
Our love of sport also gives us a pressing reason to get out and about often. While we sometimes have no choice but to settle for television, few fans would turn down a live match. You can always guarantee there’s some game or another going on each weekend. So, instead of sitting in and wallowing in the only two days we have to relax, us fans head out into the real world. That in itself is better for our health. And, that’s before you consider the fact that the event in itself can take things further. Again, you get the usual benefits of in-game passion. But, this time, you also get the plus point of traipsing up and down those stadium stairs to get to your seat. In fact, it’s thought we burn a minimum of 100 calories per hour, even with sitting tickets. Then, of course, there’s the benefit of walking to and from the event, and being out in the fresh air. You may want to say no to that second hotdog, but it’s still difficult to ignore the rewards which can be found here.
Following sporting figures can also give us a good old dose of sporting envy. They look so strong and healthy out on that field, don’t they? And, besides, they make the whole thing look incredibly easy! Before we know it, most of us fans are giving at least some sports a shot. That’s not to say that we become as good as the pros we know and love. That’s not even to say that we have to take up a regular sporting hobby. But, if our favorite team has a good game, it isn’t unusual for inspiration to strike. And, even just a quick hour session after a team success can make a huge difference to health as a whole. You never know; the spirit within the teams you follow most could even inspire you to join a local club. In that instance, the benefits of your fandom will be clear for all to see.
A healthy social circle
Fans also have a way of coming together and bonding over games. As such, your love of sports could lead you to a fantastic social circle. You may be wondering what your social circle has to do with your health, but bear with us. For one, having a strong group of friends around you can work wonders for mental health. We’re social creatures, and we often thrive in group environments. If you know you’ll meet up with your mates each time a game is on; this could work wonders for your general happiness. What’s more, socializing is thought to bring real health benefits to the table. In fact, studies suggest that a secure social network can help you live up to 50% longer. A study by Brigham Young University even found friends double your odds of fighting diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. So, if you often invite people over for a game, you could be saving your health without even knowing it.
A workout for the brain
Watching sports can also prove a workout for your brain. Or, at least, that’s what a 2008 study by the University of Chicago suggests. This is especially the case in team sports. Here players strategize and plan methods to help them win. It seems that, as we watch them play, we too start to absorb these methods. As such, those who watch sports have more activity in the parts of their brain which deal with organization and performance. So, if you can never tackle that to-do list, your love for sports could help you do it.