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April 19, 2012 at 2:33 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

It's Healthy to Be a Sports Fan

By Matthew More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Extreme Existence Blog Series

We commonly think of the typical American sports fan as an overweight, middle-aged man with a bag of chips in one hand and a beer in the other, sitting alone and watching television. We imagine sports fans as lazy and unhealthy. While this may be true for some people, the majority of sports fans are actually quite active. I'm a proud follower of many sports teams, and I'd like to think that my time spent watching games hasn't been wasted. Fortunately, there are healthy physical, social, and mental benefits to being a sports fan.

Physical Benefits

  1. Sports inspire us to become active. On Thanksgiving, my family always watches the Detroit Lions' game after dinner, followed by some football outside. Watching people be active is great motivation for us fans to become active as well. We see them doing cool, active things, and we want to participate.
  2. Raised testosterone levels. Excitement from a sporting event has been shown to raise the testosterone levels of both men and women. This gives us more energy and we become more active.
  3. Participation. Jumping up and down cheering for your team does count as activity. In addition, if you go to the game, you will probably be doing a lot of walking and stair-climbing and perhaps a lot of standing as well. If you're home, you can watch the game while exercising on a treadmill or lifting free weights.

Social Benefits

  1. Fan groups. My favorite thing about going to a game is seeing all of the people cheering for the same reasons as me. We all win and lose together. We are thrilled when our team scores, and we sulk when our team struggles. For a few hours, these people are my best friends in the world.
  2. Relationships. I love watching the game with friends and family. Perhaps I’ll have some people come over, or we’ll all go out to watch the game. It’s also good for romantic relationships. My fiancée and I both love baseball, so we have a lot of fun going to games or watching them on television. We become closer... Except for when our favorite teams play against each other.
  3. Family time. We often grow up as fans of the same teams our parents cheered for. Lots of families bond over watching sporting events together. Perhaps they traditionally go to games together or always watch matches at home. In any case, it creates memories and strengthens relationships between family members.

Mental Benefits

  1. Learning languages. Every sport has a very distinct lingo that fans must be able to learn, understand, and speak. Words have specific meanings, and people must speak in certain ways. For instance, if you’re going to watch baseball, you should know the proper adjectives and terms associated with a home run (bomb, belted, hard knock, clobbered, crack-of-the-bat, out of the park). If you say, “Well, he sure hit the ball with the bat,” people will look at you funny. You need to use your brain to learn about the game in order to communicate effectively about it.
  2. Processing information. When your eyes watch a game, your brain plays the game as well. For instance, when you watch hockey, you must follow the puck, be aware of where players are, and remember the score. This is good exercise for your brain, as it teaches you to take in and process information faster and more efficiently.

Beware

Of course, the stereotypes about sports fan food are all true. If you go to a game, your food choices will be limited to hot dogs, pizza, cotton candy, and popcorn. Sitting at home, lots of people prefer munchies like chips. Beverages generally include beer and soda. Being a sports fan can be healthy, but all physical health is lost if you eat a lot of unhealthy food. Improve your experience by finding healthier things to eat.

There are many advantages when it comes to cheering for your favorite team. When you partake in a sports event, you better yourself physically, socially, and mentally. So the next time you and your friends sit down to watch the game, make sure to enjoy it as healthy, happy fans.

What healthy habits do you follow as a fan?

References:

Source 1  

Source 2

Photo Credit:

50%ChanceofRain  

Trev Stair  

Lafayette College  

ricardodiaz11  

wader

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Previously:Is Your Alarm Clock Bad For Your Health?

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2 Comments

  • I love this! I know that myself and a few of my friends definitely fit into the getting exercise from jumping up and down. When the Lions are playing, I invite a group over and we go crazy, either with excitement or pain. We always say that it's bad for our hearts, but it probably is actually quite good for our hearts!

  • Matthew it's nice how you made something as easy as watching a game benefit your health. My friend loves Notre Dame Football. Talk about screaming and jumping up and down, she is a pro - she even knows the fight song from start to finish and sings it after every game (maybe it's the school song) we have lots of fun when we watch the game together.

    Now my husband loves to watch golf - that's because he thinks he's as good as the pros. It's all I know is this sure is a challenging sport.

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