Does Playing Amateur Sports Relieve Stress?

Is there a correlation between playing sports and the amount of stress a person is under? Many experts say that there absolutely is a link between the two. It doesn’t even have to be sports specifically. According to many studies, there is a clear link between physical activity and stress levels. Most of these studies point to the fact that people who are more physically active tend to have less stress in their lives generally.

Playing amateur sports is a great way to forget about your worries for a while and clear your mind. Also, health problems often lead to stress, and regular physical activity is a good way to stay healthy and keep health problems to a minimum.

Here is why playing sports can definitely help to decrease your stress levels in the long run.

It’s all about endorphins

Endorphins are hormones that improve your mood, and they are commonly released by physical activity. When you are physically active and breaking a sweat, your brain is sending these endorphins through your body and giving you that feeling of euphoria. According to the American Council of Exercise, this natural high from physical activity lasts up to two hours after finishing your workout.

Your mental health can improve

If you are someone who suffers from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, these problems are very closely linked to stress as well. Participating in sports and getting regular physical exercise can help with these problems too. When you are exercising regularly, you will be able to sleep better and for longer periods of time. A lack of sleep is something that people with these types of mental disorders have trouble with as well. And as a result of getting more sleep, you will be able to decrease your stress levels and relieve your anxiety and depression in the process as well.

Sports help with your social life

Not everyone is great in social situations, and social awkwardness is often a problem that leads to stress. Not being able to establish quality inter-personal relationships can definitely be a big factor behind high levels of stress. Sports are all about socialization. You are meeting up with other people regularly and associating yourself with a team and group of friends who share similar interests. This type of social contact is very conducive for reducing stress levels. When you are socializing, you are releasing a hormone called oxytocin, which makes you feel more relaxed and reduces stress and anxiety.

It can build self-esteem

Another way to decrease your stress levels is to increase your self-esteem. Participating sports can help you with that as well. Exercise generally leads to an improvement in mental health, but also in the way you look as well. Both are factors that can improve your self-esteem. It has also been proven that being sluggish and inactive for long periods of time can lead to low self-esteem, depression and, of course, stress as well. When you are exercising regularly, you are increasing your feeling of self worth, which is important in relieving stress.

It helps to create and keep healthy habits

If you are exercising regularly and playing sports regularly, then you are probably changing other aspects of your life as well. For example, if you have a basketball league that plays three times a week, that’s three less times a week that you are sitting at home in the evening eating fatty foods and drinking beers. Playing sports regularly enables you to improve your health habits and maintain them. If you are playing sports on a regular basis, you are probably eating healthier on a more regular basis and sleeping better as well. All this can lead to significant decreases in stress levels. 

Lesley writes on her blogs about sports.