With so many Olympic sports superstars proving their reputation, there’s plenty of inspiration out there to take up sport and aim high. But taking up even just a little sport has plenty of important advantages, in several different ways. Here’s how you can benefit a lot from taking up a little bit of exercise!

1) Achievement

Sports are often driven by targets, but this need not be too competitive. Try out a sport, and measure your own progress. Then plan to shave off a little bit of time, or go a little extra distance, a month of practice later. Show yourself you can achieve.

2) Health

Exercise helps your immune system function more efficiently and even reduces the risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure, and diabetes. This is because daily exercise, even just half an hour of swimming, improves your cardiovascular system (the way blood circulates around your body).

3) Stress release

Playing sport diverts your energies from sources of worry, and instead focuses them on the activity. Furthermore, it has been proven that exercise helps you cope better with stress and anxiety.

4) Injuries

Sports which involve weight-bearing help bone formation, which may help counter osteoporosis. Muscles and joints benefit too! With correct technique, the resulting minor aches and pains are the result of your body repairing muscle fibres, to make them stronger and suppler! So a little bit of time at the gym each day won’t go amiss!

5) Social life

Playing sports games are great ways to have fun with people. You don’t have to be a pro, however, to benefit from this! Enjoying a social life through sport can be done at a variety of abilities, from joining a five-a-side football league for the female footballers amongst you, to going to a swimming pool with a friend.

6) A break

On the other hand, sport can also be a chance to get away from people so that you have some time off, or a chance to think and reflect. Running isa good sport for this, as is cycling or even just walking.

7) Weight control

Regular sport encourages your body to process its resources more efficiently (so your metabolism speeds up). This means you’ll burn excess fat quicker, the more you exercise, without resorting to diets. One excellent sport for this is running, and all you need is a comfortable pair of trainers and a map!

8) Variety

Getting out of the house and doing a sport is a great way to introduce a bit of variety to your life, which can become a way to break out of depression. A lot of sports clubs have taster days or sessions, and are well worth trying out.

9) Fun!

Whether you enjoy achieving, the sense of a routine, playing competitively, the sense of freedom, or just want to do something different, sport is a way of having fun. Plus, exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones designed to make you feel good.

10) Daily life

The fitness benefits of sport will have knock-on benefits in your daily life, too. For example, these may include carrying objects without hurting yourself, or being able to run after the bus!

All these advantages need not result from years of training like Olympic athletes, but come from exercising a little, and often. The important thing is to keep it up daily, and have some fun with it, and you’ll reap the rewards!

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These suggestions have a track record of working for people in this situation. We recommend that you try these tips and see which ones are suitable for you. You may find that other approaches work for you too. Depending on your circumstances, a consultation with your GP may be advised.

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