The Power of Sport
Participation in sport can help play a role in preventing mental health problems and improve the quality of life of those experiencing them.
Sport also brings people together. It is the reason why I devised a mixed softball series between Australian Lawyers v New York Lawyers to be held in New York (post COVID of course). It is also to raise awareness, tackle mental health stigmas and support those of us with mental health problems to become more active. Be part of it. Express your interest via our community forum.
Beyond Blue recites the benefits that team sport can have on your mental health:
- The social aspect that comes with being part of a team is fantastic for your wellbeing. Even if you join a team not knowing a soul, sport has a funny way of fast-tracking friendships. Human connection is such an important factor in maintaining good mental health. Being part of a team adds a support network that you wouldn’t otherwise have.
- Sport is a proven de-stressor. It forces you to apply yourself fully to the task at hand, leaving behind thoughts and worries you may have had beforehand. In their place, sport stimulates the release of endorphins, which are your body’s natural happy chemicals.
- Playing a sport alongside others teaches us the value of teamwork. Instead of reading about it or being lectured about it, sport forces you to put it into practice. It also helps develop leadership skills that can be applied in all areas of life.
- Team sports teaches you how to deal with setbacks. No team wins all the time. Dealing with a loss or a poor performance, learning from it and trying again is all part of the journey. Setbacks build resilience and this can be carried over into everyday life, helping you to navigate the tough times and find a way through them.
- Playing sport helps you get a better night’s sleep. We all know how important sleep is to our overall wellbeing – after training or competing, mind and body are ready for a good night’s rest.
Want to play but don’t have a team?
Just Play – Founded in Melbourne in 2013, they have 25,000+ members and 150+ venues across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra and Geelong. To make it as easy for individuals to play social sport as it is to join the local gym, yoga studio or HIIT class.
Any type of physical activity can have benefits for mental health and well-being. They say those who exercise regularly feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives.
Wondering just how much activity will give you a mental health boost? You don’t need to devote hours out of your busy day. You can reap all the physical and mental health benefits of exercise with 30-minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. Two 15-minute or even three 10-minute exercise sessions can also work just as well.
People who squeeze their exercise routines into one or two sessions during the weekend experience almost as many health benefits as those who work out more often. So don’t let a busy schedule at work, home, or uni be an excuse to avoid activity. Get moving whenever you can find the time.
Cycling ranks high for positive mental health. It provides a focus for connecting with others and a reason to get out of the house.
Cycling is a sport that has benefits for everyone. Whether you’re part of a cycling club or have a group of friends who cycle, coming together with people for fun is hard to beat
How to get back into the water after a long break
Life may be on pause, but the love of sport never stops – Team Oakley