Watch local sports for better overall health.

Mind & Spirit
188

Good news! Your obsession for watching sports is actually really good for your health.

Researchers studying the characteristics, habits and overall health of sports fans found that many enjoy lasting psychological, emotional and social benefits from rooting for their favorite local team. So, next time you get flack for yelling at the TV on Sunday, use any of these points as back up:

  • Gaining connections mentally or physically to other fans and being part of the “team” make people feel accepted and boosts self-esteem.
  • Fans are said to be less lonely and aggressive than non-sports fans because of the mutual sympathy gained from one fan to another.
  • Understanding sports and talking about the latest scores with other fans improves language skills by turning on parts of the brain that might not go on in every day conversation.
  • While watching sports, your mind plans and controls moves even as a viewer, almost as if you were in the game yourself.
  • The mini-successes of catching the ball a few times in a mini backyard scrimmage makes you feel like you’ve succeeded at something.
  • When a man’s team wins, their testosterone levels also increase. Higher testosterone levels have been linked to increased energy.
  • Sports fans report lower levels of loneliness when the game is on because they feel a sense of community.
  • In cultures where men often feel that they must stifle emotional expressions, sports offer a safe space to feel, cry, laugh or show signs of affection.
     
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