Being a sports fan is actually good for your health!

Contrary to popular belief, being a sports fan does not necessarily mean you have to spend all your time sitting on the sofa drinking beer and slowly but surely gaining weight. For the majority of sports fans the reality is quite the opposite and can lead to a very healthy lifestyle. Thanks to the ever improving quality coverage of many sports on TV, more and more people now claim to be sports fans. A huge 64% of Americans now say they are football fans. And it’s not just men, as almost 50% of the NFL fan base is now made up of women. Psychological benefits Being a sports fan, following a particular team, or even just a sport as a whole helps to make us feel part of a group. Fans come together and go through ups and downs together as part of a ‘community’. Feeling part of a group, and rooting for a shared interest strengthens ties with those companions and actually makes it much easier to open up to those people. This emotional connection and release can help to prevent build up of stress and tension in all areas of life, which is ultimately good for your health. Motivation There is proof that watching sport actually encourages people to take part in sport and  motivates people to perform to a higher level in that sport or in life endeavors. Seeing how the professionals do it makes fans want to be able to improve their performance, get fitter and achieve better results themselves. Watching athletes perform at the top of their game makes viewers want to reach their own personal equivalent, even though that is likely to be a vastly different standard. Active viewing Merely being a spectator of sport can be a bit of a workout itself. If you are going to a live game then there is bound to be quite a bit of walking: to and from the parking lot, up the stairs in the stadium to your seat, a few more trips to the bathroom and back, and maybe to get snacks (although that may undo all your good work!). Then there is the cheering. This can use up an amazing amount of calories. Jumping up out of your seat and cheering every few minutes is quite a workout. In fact an average weight women burns more than 100 calories an hour while attending a live sporting event. Even if you don’t make it to a live game, watching a game in the comfort of your own home, or at a bar can burn over 200 calories during a 3-hour game. That’s a good enough reason to be passionate about your team! Healthy companions Research shows that if you are part of a friendship group who enjoys sportsand have active lifestyles then you too are more likely to be active and healthy. The way your friends live their lives has an influence on how you live yours, whether you are aware of it or not. Seeing a friend improve their fitness levels, lose weight etc., will drive you to do the same. It will also keep you away from more negative influences such as extreme drug and alcohol use as well as smoking, as these rarely go hand-in-hand with a sporting and active lifestyle. Such influences are frowned upon in the world of sports, and by immersing yourself in the sporting world you are far less likely to fall under their spell. Even in the hedonistic city of Las Vegas, Nevada, the partying and over-indulgence is balanced out by an impressive line up of sporting events. Sharing an interest in sport with your friends will drive you to succeed together. It may also bring out the competitive streak in you, which will drive you to succeed further! A shared interest is good for a relationship It’s not just your friendships that will benefit from a shared interest in sport but your relationships will too. The stereotypical relationship sees the man and woman arguing over what to watch on TV. He wants to watch sports, and she wants to watch a rom-com. In real life this is often far from the truth. Many couples share an interest in sports, and this shared interest leads to happier and more fulfilling relationships. People who are in happy relationships are also generally healthier as their stress levels are lower. A mental workout Rather surprisingly, watching a sports game can also be good for your brain. Sports fans who really get involved in the game they are watching start to assess tactics, examine game plans, formations and study the statistics. All of this can be great mental stimulation and keeps your grey matter working! Emotional release As well as the emotional connection you get from being part of a shared fan base, the actual emotions you feel yourself while watching a game can be a valuable release. In today’s modern world many of us bottle up our emotions because we feel it shows weakness if we express either sadness or extreme levels of joy. These rules don’t seem to apply to sport,s and we are free to scream and shout with joy or weep unashamed tears of sadness in the name of sports. This freedom to express our emotions for sports can be incredibly valuable as this emotional release can also relieve feelings caused by other areas of our lives. Expressing sadness due to a team losing will relieve feelings of sadness elsewhere in our lives that we may never have shared. Releasing and sharing emotions can play a vital role in maintaining a balanced emotional health. So, if you ever needed justification for going out on Monday night or spending all day watching sports on , you now have it. Being a sports fan is not only fun, but also good for your health. That’s all the justification we need! Your Jersey Girlfriend,  Clair Holt

Author: Jersey Girl Sports

Jersey Girl Sports is a lifestyle brand dedicated to the millions of women who like to watch sports. We present sports from the female perspective–the way we see it, how we talk about it and what we have to say about it. It’s sports on OUR terms. We can enjoy sports as much as any man, just with better shoes.

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