Team sports are a fantastic way to boost fitness levels without even realizing you are exercising. Exercise has been scientifically proven to improve cardiovascular health, prevent disease, and improve quality of life. One study, in particular, showed those who participated in team sports had decreased rates of depression and anxiety with improved physical health and performance compared to the control group.
Exercise has been scientifically proven to improve cardiovascular health, performance, and mental well-being.
Participation in team sports can help improve depression and anxiety while providing a social boost. Humans are inherently social beings, so group integration is crucial.
Team sports can help boost confidence and improve communication skills. Communicating with teammates verbally, with gestures, or via facial expression requires you to think on your feet and problem solve.
Team sports help with weight management. You can burn around 450 calories during a one hour badminton game. Due to the fun and social nature of the game, this time can fly by.
To get involved, get clear on what you're looking for and find local studios/gyms, meetup groups, and events based on your preferences.
Read our article to discover a variety of fun team sports, their benefits, and how to find them in your community so you can get started today!
Team sports such as basketball, volleyball, or soccer are great ways to improve strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health. Along with the physical benefits, team sports can provide mental well-being benefits such as a sense of community, friendships, and stress reduction.
One study, in particular, showed team sports improve social behavior and a sense of identity. Humans are inherently social beings, and team sports are a great way to socialize, have fun, and exercise all at the same time. Keep reading to discover different types of team sports, their benefits, and how to find them in your community.
Team sports: what's the hype?
Team sports can provide physical health benefits such as improved cardiovascular health, muscle mass, and weight management while helping to prevent disease. Team sports may also offer mental health benefits such as improved confidence and communication skills, friendships, and personal enjoyment. This can provide individuals with a sense of purpose while also reducing stress levels.
Chronic stress has been scientifically proven to lead to further health conditions such as autoimmune disease and depression. Therefore, it is crucial to value physical and mental health equally, as they largely influence each other. Team sports often involve competition, which is an inherent part of human nature. Competition can improve performance and motivation. One study supported the fact that team sports provide psychological benefits, such as improved self-esteem and commitment.
Benefits of team sports
The number of benefits when comes to playing team sports is endless:
- Physical fitness. Improve muscle mass, endurance, and heart health through regular participation in team sports.
- Social interaction. Approximately 1 in 3 adults aged 45 and older report feeling lonely. This can lead to further health problems such as weakened immune systems or chronic stress.
- Accountability. Having other teammates encouraging you and holding you accountable provides consistency, helping you reap the benefits long term.
- Mental health. Exercise releases endorphins (a feel good hormone), which reduces stress and improves mood.
- Personal enjoyment. In this fast-paced world, we can forget to carve out time for ourselves to simply enjoy something. Feeling fulfilled helps improve quality of life.
Different team sports: exercise without realizing
There are many different types of team sports to choose from.
- Basketball. Is a great team sport to improve cardiovascular endurance and coordination due to the constant movement, sprinting, jumping, squatting, and physical communication with your teammates.
- Volleyball. Is a nice way for an interval training, as it involves short bursts of high-intensity activity, followed by periods of lower-intensity play. This is great for improving heart and lung health.
- Soccer. Is a good option when it comes to improving physical fitness and skills such as speed and agility. Regular sprinting for ball possession, tactical tackles, and quick footwork require rapid problem solving.
Whatever your preference; there are many great options out there!
Time flies when you're having fun. When participating in group sports time passes without you realizing it, unlike traditional workouts where you may be watching the clock. This can distract you from the fact you are exercising, which is great for those who need an extra push. The competitive nature of certain team sports can keep you mentally engaged as you don’t want to let your teammates down. All of this stimulation and energy from other teammates also distracts you from the fact you are working physically hard, making the experience more pleasurable.
Positive results of cardiovascular exercise
The positive effects of being involved in team sports include:
- Improved heart health. Cardio has been scientifically proven to improve heart health, enhancing its pumping efficiency and providing fresh oxygen to organs. This reduces the likelihood of heart related disease and illness.
- Weight management. Cardio helps burn excess energy that can be stored as fat within the body, promoting weight loss or management.
- Improved endurance. A vigorous game of volleyball or football increases stamina and fitness levels, allowing you to participate in physical activity for longer periods of time while experiencing less fatigue.
- Delayed aging. One study in particular showed that a person can delay aging by up to twelve years through regular cardiovascular exercise.
- Mood booster. Regular activity helps reduce stress and tension within the mind and body.
Where and how to find local clubs/community groups
Getting involved is the next step. Knowing where to find local clubs or groups can feel overwhelming. Let’s break down some simple actions you can take to start your search.
Identify your specific sports interests and preferences. Once you are clear about what you are looking for, you can attend appropriate local events in your area. Find out about these by going into local studios or gyms and asking for recommendations or having a look at their flyers. You can look on social media — find Facebook groups or Instagram accounts by typing in keywords or hashtags to narrow down your search.
Try searching online for local meetup groups and don’t be afraid to message the organizer to express your interest; it may be perfect for you!
Whether you are interested in team sports for improving health and fitness, having accountability, or making friendships, the benefits can be very rewarding. Being surrounded by like-minded people can help you feel part of a community. Community integration is important for a sense of self and something modern societies can often lack.
In addition to all of the physical health benefits (improved muscle mass, endurance, and heart health) team sports offer many mental well-being benefits. The fun and social nature of team sports makes time fly by, so you’ll forget you're even exercising. Struggle with consistency? Team sports can be a great way to be held accountable!
To get involved, start searching for local groups, studios, or clubs and reap the physical and mental benefits of team sports today and into the future! Start gaining valuable connections and feeling a part of something bigger than yourself.
- The Physician and sportsmedicine. The behavioural, psychological, and social impacts of team sports: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
- Future science OA. The effects of chronic stress on health: new insights into the molecular mechanisms of brain-body communication.
- BioMed research international. Intensity-Modified Recreational Volleyball Training Improves Health Markers and Physical Fitness in 25-55-Year-Old Men.
- Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology. The neurobiology of human social behaviour: an important but neglected topic.