Score! Being a Sports Fan Is Surprisingly Healthy
By Eric Requa, DO, Sports Medicine Specialist, Virtua Sports Medicine - Voorhees
Here’s a reason to stand up and cheer: Being a sports fan can be a slam dunk for your health. Win or lose, rooting for your team just might help your health and well-being come out on top.
Dedication to a sports team is about more than just entertainment. It’s psychologically beneficial. Unlike watching the news, which is filled with negative content and stories, the world of sports allows you to take part and cheer for the success of athletes and teams. You feel like you’re part of a community, connected to people just like you.
Following sports also promotes exercise and a healthy lifestyle, which may in turn encourage you to exercise more, which is great for your overall health.
For example, sports fans experience:
- Escape - Forget about that weird sound your car is making and focus on the game.
- Happiness - Even if your team comes up short, being a devoted fan brings you pleasure, which may buffer against depression.
- Friendship and fun - Whether you break out the body paint together or not, you feel more connected with others who support the same teams.
- An active mind - From yards per carry to save percentage, sports are full of statistics. Keeping track of it all keeps your brain nimble and healthy.
Your favorite players are at the top of their game—and there’s no reason you can’t be, too. Here are some ways being a sports fan can inspire healthier habits in your life:
- Join a sports league or toss a ball with your kids. You may not be LeBron James or Carli Lloyd, but increasing your physical activity can help you lose weight, prevent disease, and keep your mind sharp.
- Get off the bleachers and walk up and down the sidelines while attending your kids’ sports games. You can cheer and walk at the same time, we promise!
- No benchwarmers allowed. Ride a stationary bike, walk, or do yard work while watching your team play on TV.
- Go lighter. At your next tailgate party, offer healthier food options, such as air-popped popcorn or veggies and hummus, alongside the classics. Bonus: They probably won’t make as big of a mess as barbecue ribs when you leap up for a touchdown dance.
With the number of professional, college, and high school teams in the greater Philadelphia area, you’ll have plenty to cheer for all year long.
Get Back in the Game
Virtua sports medicine specialists offer a full range of nonsurgical services for everyone from high-performing athletes to active adults to children having fun on the pitch, field and court. Click here to schedule an appointment online.
Updated January 14, 2022