Playing sports is generally a fantastic way to improve your fitness and health. Many of us may not feel at home pounding away on a treadmill or working up a sweat in the gym, but we’ll happily chase a ball around endlessly while playing a game of some sort. For most people, taking part in sport will improve their general health and wellbeing. There are plenty of reasons why you should become involved in sport with reduced body fat, bone strengthening, improved stamina, and flexibility, which is why you should take up a sport.

1. You’ll learn teamwork and sportsmanship

In sports, individuals learn to rely on each other and motivate one another to accomplish a common goal. Though individual sports are great, team sports actually do teach you a life lesson: the success of a team — or an organization — depends on how well the players work together. Not even the “star” player can win the game alone. Sports also teach you to play fairly and to respect the players on the opposing team. Cheating, gloating, and fighting do not belong in sports — or the professional world for that matter. Sports teach you to put forth your best effort and exhibit honorable behavior whether you win or lose a game.

2. Being part of a team enhances self-image

If you feel good about how you look, it may help you feel good about who you are. They also report fewer depressive symptoms because of the positive social interactions that team sports create.

3. You’ll be smarter

This shouldn’t be too surprising as exercise increases blood flow to the brain, and blood flow to the brain stimulates brain growth. Plus, playing a sport actually does require you to think on your feet and strategize, keeping your mind sharp and alert.

4. Team sports increase long-term happiness

Athletes who play team sports are healthier — and more satisfied with life. Physical activity (specifically playing sports) had a significant influence on participants’ life satisfaction. Part of this may be that being a part of a team gives athletes a sense of belonging. Social interaction produces strong feelings of self-identity, which increases happiness.

5. You’ll make friends

When you join a sports team, you will inevitably make friends. Because teammates share so many fun and exciting moments, your friendships should last long after you finish playing.  There is also one more perk: most teams traditionally go out to eat after a game!

6. You’ll strengthen your college resume

Though it should not be the main reason to join a sport, it’s a fact that colleges and universities do well-rounded favor applicants. Playing a sport will not only pad your resume, it will usually tell the admissions counselor that you are disciplined, confident, and work well with others.

7. Athletes who train with a team are healthier

Not only does being part of a team give you access to health professionals, but also provides a built-in support system that can rally around you when you are pursuing specific health goals.

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