Benefits of Sports in Mental Development

Sports are a major role player in enhancing children’s psychological stability. Besides making them have fun during play, sport enables kids advance in a number of ways in life, many of which hinge at the psychological aspect of kids’ growth. What is more interesting is that these psychological advantages can help the kids develop better personal traits from young age through adulthood.

We often hear about the physical benefits of exercise (e.g., increasing heart health), less often are the psychological benefits promoted. Yet, engaging in a moderate amount of physical activity will result in improved mood and emotional states. Exercise can promote psychological well-being as well as improve quality of life.

 The following are common psychological benefits gained through exercise.

Improved mood

Reduced stress as well as an improved ability to cope with stress

Improved self-esteem

Pride in physical accomplishments

Increased satisfaction with oneself

Improved body image

Increased feelings of energy

Improved in confidence in your physical abilities

Decreased symptoms associated with depression

As people experience these psychological benefits, it is likely that they also will be motivated to continue exercises so that they continue to receive these benefits.   How much exercise is needed to produce those effects?

Even a brief walk at low intensity can improve mood and increase energy. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a positive effect.

For long-term benefits, you should exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes per session at a moderate intensity.

Programs longer than 10 weeks work best for reducing symptoms of depression.

Sourced From: http://www.appliedsportpsych.org/resource-center/health-fitness-resources/psychological-benefits-of-exercise/

Physical activity is undoubtedly a commitment with assured benefits. From physical, mental to psychological and even social advantages sometimes, sports have more than one may need for development. When it comes to mental development, sports are a good activity for kids to keep their mental sharpness at its best, a goal which is achieved from the participation in various rigorous activities.

As adults we understand the necessity of staying physically active as we age. It not only keeps our bodies healthy and functioning optimally, but recent studies have found that physical activity can help prevent cognitive decline later in life.

Along with the plethora of physical benefits, the mental benefits are equally as impressive. When we are physically active our body releases serotonin which directly contributes to our feelings of well-being.

Exercise has also been found to relieve stress, depression and anxiety. Although often overlooked, children experience these emotions just as adults do and exercise is a great way to help combat these feelings.

Sport increases the likelihood of children staying active, allowing them to sleep better and keeps them mentally sharp. Recent studies have found that increased physical activity levels directly relate to school performance, particularly in the areas of math, reading and retention of information.

Sourced From: http://athletics.carleton.ca/2014/impact-sport-development-children/

Sport and mental development are always dependent on one another. The mind needs sport input to advance and develop, while on the other hand, success in sports relies on mental well-being. It is therefore important for the sports enthusiasts and the others alike to make the best out of the beneficial sports and mental dependence.

The Mental Health Model (MHM) of sport performance purports that an inverse relationship exists between psychopathology and sport performance. The model postulates that as an athlete’s mental health either worsens or improves performance should fall or rise accordingly and there is now considerable support for this view.

 Studies have shown that between 70 and 85% of successful and unsuccessful athletes can be identified using general psychological measures of personality structure and mood state, a level superior to chance but insufficient for the purpose of selecting athletes. Longitudinal MHM research indicates that the mood state responses of athletes exhibit a dose-response relationship with their training load, a finding that has shown potential for reducing the incidence of the staleness syndrome in athletes who undergo intensive physical training.

The MHM also has implications for the general care of athletes as support services have traditionally been limited to preventing or treating physical problems. Despite its simple premise and empirical support, the MHM has often been mischaracterized in the sport psychology literature and recently some authors have questioned its validity. This overview will summarize MHM research, including the more recent work involving the model’s dynamic features in an effort to resolve disputes surrounding the model.

Sourced from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11665914

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