Sport is Health

Juan Antonio Samaranch who served as President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980–2001 made the following statement at the 1996 Olympic Opening Ceremony:

2- Sport is Health

It is common knowledge that participating in athletics will improve one’s muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and overall body composition. Besides just looking better in a swim suit you will also mentally feel better as a result in your participation in sport. The brain releases Endorphin's and Dopamine that produce feelings of accomplishment during or after a hard workout and leave us satisfied when we’ve accomplished a task. But can’t we get the same results by joining a gym or purchasing a treadmill for our home? Yes, but we gain additional Health Benefits from Sport.

Regardless if it is an individual or team sport by participating we must spend an extraordinary amount of time with a particular group of people (Coaches, Teammates, Trainers, etc.) thus also repeating the benefits of the chemical oxytocin which is The feeling of friendship, love or deep trust. Simon Sinek writes in his book, Leaders Eat Last “The more time with spend with someone, the more we are willing to make ourselves vulnerable around them. As we learn to trust them and earn their trust in return the more oxytocin flows. In time as by magic, we will realize we have developed a deep bond with this person. Oxytocin boosts our immune system, makes us better problem solvers and makes us more resistant to the additive qualities of dopamine. Unlike dopamine, which is largely responsible for instant gratification, oxytocin gives us lasting feelings of calm and safety.” Not only do we improve physically but also gain mental benefits from sport. We develop skills and friendships that will continue to serve us long after the final whistle blows.

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