Athletes training in Iten, Kenya

Regardless of our age, there exists scientific evidence to prove that being physically active can help us lead healthier lives.

Medical research also proves that consistent physical activity can reduce the risk of contracting chronic conditions.

Engaging in sports has a number of health benefits according to research conducted by healthline; an online health publication based in San Fransisco in the United States which stresses that participation in sport has a wide range of mental health benefits.

A study by Sport England, a non-departmental public body under the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport also reveals that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of contracting coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity and musculoskeletal conditions.

The healthline study lists improvement of mood, enhanced concentration, reduction of stress and depression, quality sleep, healthy weight, confidence boost and development of leadership traits as some of the biggest health benefits of sports.

Mood

Physical activity triggers the release of brain chemicals that make a human body feel happier and more relaxed. The chemicals in question include endorphins, serotonin and oxytocin.

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“Endorphins are produced by the central nervous system to help us deal with physical pain. They also make us feel lightheaded and even giddy at times. One non-painful way to induce endorphins is exercise,” reads the report.

Concentration

Sports also help us maintain key mental skills sharp as we age. Physical activity helps us develop critical thinking, learning and use good judgment.

Depression

In similar fashion, sports can also act as a timely distraction from ill thoughts capable of sending us into depression. Engaging in physical activity reduces the levels of stress hormones in your body.

Sleep

Engaging in sports has also been scientifically proven to contribute to faster, deep and warmer sleep which in turn leads to a person being in the right frame of mind the next day. However healthline cautions sports men and women against late evening exercise drills as they get one too energized to have a good night’s sleep.

Leadership traits

The studies also reveal that the winning mentality encouraged in sports leads to one developing leadership qualities. The mentality of; This is my team, We cannot loose, We have to get the winning points have also been scientifically credited as being a plus healthwise.

SEE ALSO: KENYANS TO LIVE 10.5 YEARS LONGER BY 2040, NEW STUDY REVEALS

Confidence boost

Sports also lead to a person developing self drive. As a sports person works to horn their skill and develop their stamina, they also develop confidence which they take away from the field.

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About the Author

Samuel Gitonga is a senior reporter at BUSINESS TODAY. Email: [email protected]