Being Physically Active has a Positive Effect on Mental Health
By Maggie Dowd
Fitness and sports have always been a huge part of my life. From a young age, it gave me my first group of friends, a way to stay active, and goals to strive for. Now I can truly see how much of an impact sports have had on me, and I am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities it has given me.
Although many people view sports and fitness as just a way to stay healthy, no one realizes how many ways it can help change your mental and physical health. Physically, maintaining good fitness allows you to be the strongest and healthiest version of yourself. Working out leads you to feel better, eating better, and looking better. However, I believe that the mental aspect of being fit offers more than you could even imagine.
Living your life physically active makes you feel more confident, happier, less stressed, more energetic, more productive, and mentally tougher. I have seen firsthand the positive mental effects of being fit. After I started spending at least 30 minutes each day working out, I found that my entire mind frame shifted. I was able to continue to push myself even when it felt impossible. I also opened myself up to new experiences and went in confident that I would succeed. When I worked out early in the morning, I also found that that would instantly set me up for a good day. I felt happier and way more productive for the rest of the day by spending an hour first thing in the morning focusing on improving myself.
The thing I love most about sports is the amazing people that you meet. I have been fortunate enough to have played on the same travel softball and field hockey teams for the last eight years. I have been able to play with people who live in different places and come from all different walks of life. The bond that is created through working together to achieve the same goal is really special. Sports has given me my very best friends, who I am beyond grateful for. It has helped me plan my future, and it has exposed me to so many new experiences that I am so fortunate enough to have.