3 Reasons You Probably Shouldn't Be Giving Up on Sports

The huge changes in your body that inevitably come with middle age suggest that you're locked out of a lot of activities you've always wanted to try, especially some of the more demanding sports. This fact, however, could also come as a greater incentive and a source of motivation to pursue a sport that could potentially force you to push limits you never thought you could get to. The benefits that sports can provide for your physical, mental and emotional health are ultimately endless.

Finding a good coach and seeking advice from a medical professional will help you set realistic goals in the sport that you want to take up or go back to. This would also ensure your safety, as the risk of injury is real and completely different from when you were younger.

More importantly, having the right information about your body will let you play and get better without having to worry too much—so that you can enjoy the things that sports can do for you at this point in life, which include the following:


1. Sports Makes You Look Younger

This article on Health.com points out how good posture will do more to keep you younger than a face-lift or botox. A weak posture seems to naturally deteriorate with age but this doesn't have to be the case. Andrea Atkins wrote an article for the Huffington Post suggesting the definition of "good posture” as being keeping your body in proper alignment, improving your balance and maintaining that alignment as you move.

This leads to a whole range of benefits from giving you a more youthful appearance to keeping you from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases that are common in older people.

Sports pushes the muscles to work to stabilize the spine and keep the body upright during movements. Because there is progress to track, sports double the incentive for exercising all the things that your body is still able to do. The stress that movement puts on the bones also encourages an increase in density, enabling them to support your body and let you stand as tall as you can.


2. Sports Makes Food Taste Better

Physical activity and movement promote better appetite because your body becomes more sensitive to the effects of what you eat. While this means that unhealthy food will definitely make you feel sluggish and unstable, it also means that you'll be able to actually enjoy food that's good for you.

This is especially true for sports, as the reward lies in the visible signs of the progress that you make. This article by Jess Goulart, a regular contributor to specialist tennis website Play Your Court, points out that complex physical activities help people develop a sense of how food affects their performance. Little by little, you will discover which kinds of food do the most for your energy levels, focus, stamina, and—more importantly—how you feel. Truly good food, regardless of whether you're following a diet plan or not, will make you feel generally happy and confident about yourself.

Be sure too keep your expectations realistic, however. Trying to make too big of a change can do a lot to make you feel disappointed. Keep track of your gains, and don't dwell on the moments you find yourself falling short. It happens to the best of us.


3. Sports Can Help You Cope

Sports promotes good blood circulation along with proper posture and breathing. You'll be surprised at how much this can do for your mental and emotional stability. Purposeful physical activity exposes you to a tolerable amount of stress, along with an immediate reward—say, a score or a successful shot.

According to an article by Brain Flux, this teaches the body and brain to develop a healthier relationship with stress enabling them to deal with it better. In contrast with other situations in our day-to-day lives such as a difficult day at work or an uncomfortable commute, sports stimulates your stress response in a way that engages all, and not just one, of the body's faculties.

Considering how the emotions we feel in our bodies determine how we see ourselves and the world around us, sports doesn't just change your body. It can, on a modest and practical level, change your life.