• Essay On Importance Of Sports

Essay on Sports

500+ word essay on the importance of sports.

Sports keep us healthy and active. We can have a healthy mind only when we have a healthy body. We can achieve anything in our lives if we have a healthy body and a peaceful mind. Physical and mental well-being comes naturally when we involve ourselves in sports activities. Sports help in improving our overall personality and make us more active and attentive. Here, students can find a 500+ Words Essay on the Importance of Sports where we will be discussing how important a role sports plays in our life.

Essay on the Importance of Sports

The topic of sports is very broad. It can serve as a form of therapy and a tool in different aspects of life, which can help change the world. Through sports, children develop physical skills, exercise, be team players, and improve their self-esteem. Sports play a significant role in advancing education and in enhancing knowledge.

Playing sports means regular exercising, jogging, going to the fitness centres or playing any game. There are different types of games involved in sports activities. Each game has its own specific rules. These sports activities are done either by individuals or teams for leisure, and entertainment as well as to compete against one another. Playing sports improves the physiological functions of the body organs and improves the functionality of the entire body system. Through sports, we learn different skills like leadership, patience, coordination, motivation, and team effort.

Sport has great importance in building personality, too. For some people, it is not only the body movement or playing strategy, but it’s a life philosophy. In the modern world, a positive attitude to sports is becoming a trend and style. Young people try to look sporty, fit and full of energy. A sports career in India was considered less lucrative in the past. However, now it has become one of the gainful professional options for students. Sometimes students take an interest in sports merely for adventure and a tension-free life. Now, sports games are gaining popularity. Various sports competitions are played at the international level, such as the Olympics. Apart from it, multiple matches and inter-city competitions are organised to promote the field of sports.

Benefits of Sports and Games

Nowadays, we can see problems related to unhealthy lifestyles. We sit more and more on the couch, surrounded by modern technologies. We don’t realise the importance and benefits of sports and physical activities. The lack of physical activity in our body leads to obesity and many other health problems such as heart disease and so. It has become a necessity of today’s world that all of us do daily physical activities or play any sports for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Regular physical activity benefits health in many ways. It helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, controls weight, reduces fat, and prevents high blood pressure. Children who participate in physical activities such as sports, experience positive health benefits. These health benefits include a decreased risk of high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Also, these children are less likely to smoke or use drugs and alcohol than children who don’t participate in sports.

Keep learning and stay tuned with BYJU’S for the latest update on CBSE/ICSE/State Board/Competitive Exams. Also, download the BYJU’S App for interactive study videos.

Frequently asked Questions on the Importance of Sports Essay

Why is playing sports important for us.

Playing sports not only helps in the active functioning of our body but also helps in flexibility and reduces the chances of falling sick.

Which was the first sport to be played in the world?

Wrestling is said to have been the first sport played in the world, depictions of the same can be found in the caves of France.

Which is the most famous sport in the world?

Football is ranked as the top sport with 3.5 billion followers, seconded by Cricket.

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Request OTP on Voice Call

Post My Comment

essay on sports for a healthy life

  • Share Share

Register with BYJU'S & Download Free PDFs

Register with byju's & watch live videos.



U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

  • Publications
  • Account settings

Preview improvements coming to the PMC website in October 2024. Learn More or Try it out now .

  • Advanced Search
  • Journal List
  • Sports (Basel)

Logo of sports

Physical Activity and Sports—Real Health Benefits: A Review with Insight into the Public Health of Sweden

Christer malm.

1 Sports Medicine Unit, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden; [email protected]

Johan Jakobsson

Andreas isaksson.

2 Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Solna, Sweden; [email protected]

Positive effects from sports are achieved primarily through physical activity, but secondary effects bring health benefits such as psychosocial and personal development and less alcohol consumption. Negative effects, such as the risk of failure, injuries, eating disorders, and burnout, are also apparent. Because physical activity is increasingly conducted in an organized manner, sport’s role in society has become increasingly important over the years, not only for the individual but also for public health. In this paper, we intend to describe sport’s physiological and psychosocial health benefits, stemming both from physical activity and from sport participation per se. This narrative review summarizes research and presents health-related data from Swedish authorities. It is discussed that our daily lives are becoming less physically active, while organized exercise and training increases. Average energy intake is increasing, creating an energy surplus, and thus, we are seeing an increasing number of people who are overweight, which is a strong contributor to health problems. Physical activity and exercise have significant positive effects in preventing or alleviating mental illness, including depressive symptoms and anxiety- or stress-related disease. In conclusion, sports can be evolving, if personal capacities, social situation, and biological and psychological maturation are taken into account. Evidence suggests a dose–response relationship such that being active, even to a modest level, is superior to being inactive or sedentary. Recommendations for healthy sports are summarized.

1. Introduction

Sport is a double-edged sword regarding effects on health. Positive effects are achieved primarily through physical activity, which is the main part of most sports. Many secondary effects of sport also bring health benefits, such as psychosocial development of both young [ 1 ] and old [ 2 ], personal development [ 3 ], later onset, and less consumption of alcohol [ 4 , 5 ]. Finally, those who play sports have a higher level of physical activity later in life [ 6 ], and through sport, knowledge of nutrition, exercise, and health can be developed [ 7 ]. Negative effects include the risk of failure leading to poor mental health [ 8 , 9 ], risk of injury [ 10 , 11 ], eating disorders [ 12 ], burnout [ 13 ], and exercise-induced gastrointestinal tract discomfort [ 14 ]. In sport, there are unfortunately also reports of physical and psychological abuse [ 15 ]. Negative aspects are more common in elite-level sports, where there is a fine balance between maximum performance and negative health. A somewhat unexpected effect of sport participation is that people submitting to planned training in some cases perform less physical activity compared to those who are exercising without a set schedule. One explanation can be a reduced spontaneous physical activity in the latter group [ 16 ]. Because physical activity is increasingly executed in an organized manner [ 17 , 18 , 19 ], sport’s role in society has become increasingly important over the years, not only for the individual but also for public health.

In this paper, we describe the health effects of sport from a physiological and psychological perspective, related both to physical activity and added values of sport per se. Initially, brief definitions of various concepts related to physical activity and health are given. This is then followed by: (1) A brief description of how physical activity and training affect our body from a physiological perspective; (2) a report on the health effects of physical activity and training; and (3) sport’s specific influences on the various dimensions of health. We chose to discuss the subject from an age-related perspective, separating children/adolescents, adults, and the elderly, as well as separating for sex in each age group.

2. Definitions of Physical Activity, Exercise, Training, Sport, and Health

Definitions and terms are based on “Physical activity in the prevention and treatment of disease” (FYSS, www.fyss.se [Swedish] [ 20 ]), World Health Organization (WHO) [ 21 ] and the US Department of Human Services [ 22 ]. The definition of physical activity in FYSS is: “Physical activity is defined purely physiologically, as all body movement that increases energy use beyond resting levels”. Health is defined according to the World Health Organization (WHO) as: “[…] a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” [ 21 ].

Physical activity can occur spontaneously (leisure/work/transport) or organized and be divided according to purpose: Physical exercise is aimed primarily at improving health and physical capacity. Physical training is aimed primarily at increasing the individual’s maximum physical capacity and performance [ 23 ]. Physical inactivity is described as the absence of body movement, when energy consumption approximates resting levels. People who do not meet recommendations for physical activity are considered physically inactive and are sometimes called “sedentary”. Sport can be organized by age, sex, level of ambition, weight or other groupings [ 24 ]. Sport can also be spontaneous [ 7 , 17 ] and defined as a subset of exercises undertaken individually or as a part of a team, where participants have a defined goal [ 7 ]. General recommendations for physical activity are found in Table 1 , not considering everyday activities. One can meet the daily recommendations for physical activity by brief, high-intensity exercise, and remaining physically inactive for the rest of the day, thereby creating a “polarization” of physical activity: Having a high dose of conscious physical training, despite having a low energy expenditure in normal life due to high volumes of sedentary time. Polarization of physical activity may lead to increased risk of poor health despite meeting the recommendations for physical activity [ 25 , 26 , 27 ]. During most of our lives, energy expenditure is greater in normal daily life than in sport, physical training, and exercise, with the exceptions of children and the elderly, where planned physical activity is more important [ 28 ].

Recommendations regarding physical activity for different target groups. Note that additional health effects can be achieved if, in addition to these recommendations, the amount of physical activity increases, either by increasing the intensity or duration or a combination of both.

Compiled from FYSS 2017 ( www.fyss.se ) and WHO 2017 ( www.who.int ).

3. Aerobic and Muscle-Strengthening Physical Activity

Physical activity is categorized according to FYSS as: (1) Aerobic physical activity and (2) muscle-strengthening physical activity. Physical activity in everyday life and exercise training is mainly an aerobic activity, where a majority of energy production occurs via oxygen-dependent pathways. Aerobic physical activity is the type of activity typically associated with stamina, fitness, and the biggest health benefits [ 29 , 30 , 31 ]. Muscle-strengthening physical activity is referred to in everyday language as “strength training” or “resistance training” and is a form of physical exercise/training that is primarily intended to maintain or improve various forms of muscle strength and increase or maintain muscle mass [ 32 ]. Sometimes, another category is defined: Muscle-enhancing physical activity, important for maintenance or improvement of coordination and balance, especially in the elderly [ 33 ]. According to these definitions, muscle-strengthening activities primarily involve the body’s anaerobic (without oxygen) energy systems, proportionally more as intensity increases.

Exercise intensity can be expressed in absolute or relative terms. Absolute intensity means the physical work (for example; Watts [W], kg, or metabolic equivalent [MET]), while relative intensity is measured against the person’s maximum capacity or physiology (for example; percentage of maximum heart rate (%HR), rate of perceived exhaustion (RPE), W·kg −1 or relative oxygen uptake in L·min −1 ·kg −1 (VO 2 )). In terms of recommendations to the public, as in Table 1 , the intensity is often described in subjective terms (“makes you breathe harder” for moderate intensity, and “makes you puff and pant” for vigorous intensity) [ 27 ]. While objective criteria such as heart rate and accelerometry will capture the intensity of activity, they may not distinguish between different types of physical activity behaviors [ 34 ]. FYSS defines low intensity as 20%–39% of VO 2 max, <40 %HR, 1.5–2.9 METs; moderate intensity as 40%–59% of VO 2 max, 60–74 %HR, 3.0–5.9 METs, and vigorous intensity as 60%–89% of VO 2 max, 75–94 %HR, 6.0–8.9 METs. Absolute intensity, however, can vary greatly between individuals where a patient with heart disease may have a maximal capacity of <3 MET, and an elite athlete >20 MET [ 35 ].

4. How does the Body Adapt to Physical Activity and Training?

Adaption to physical activity and training is a complex physiological process, but may, in the context of this paper, be simplified by a fundamental basic principle:” The general adaptation syndrome (GAS)” [ 36 , 37 , 38 ]. This principle assumes that physical activity disturbs the body’s physiological balance, which the body then seeks to restore, all in a dose-related response relationship. The overload principle states that if exercise intensity is too low, overload is not reached to induce desired physiological adaptations, whereas an intensity too high will result in fatigue and possibly overtraining. Thus, for adaptation to occur, greater than normal stress must be induced, interspersed with sufficient recovery periods for restoration of physiological balance [ 39 ]. During and immediately after physical exercise/training, functions of affected tissues and systems are impaired, manifested as temporarily decreased performance. You feel tired. In order to gradually improve performance capacity, repeated cycles of adequate overload and recovery are required [ 40 ]. In practice, positive effects can be seen after a relatively short period of a few weeks, but more substantial improvements if the training is maintained for a longer period.

As a rule of thumb, it is assumed that all people can adapt to physical activity and exercise, but the degree of adaptation depends on many factors, including age, heredity, the environment, and diet [ 41 , 42 , 43 , 44 ]. The hereditary factor (genetics) may be the most critical for adaptation [ 45 ]. The degree of adaptation also depends on how the person in question trained previously; a well-trained athlete usually does not have the same relative improvement as an untrained one. Even if training is thought to be specific to mode, intensity, and duration, there are some overlaps. For example, it has been found that strength training in some individuals contributes to a relatively large positive impact on health and endurance, effects previously associated primarily with aerobic exercise [ 46 , 47 ]. The overload principle may, if applied too vigorously in relation to a person’s individual adaptation ability, have detrimental effects, including reduced performance, injury, overtraining, and disease [ 10 ]. Training is a commodity that must be renewed; otherwise, you gradually lose achieved performance improvements [ 48 ], although some capacities, such as muscle memory, seem to persist for life [ 49 ].

General recommendations for health may be stated, but individual predispositions make general training schedules for specific performance effects unpredictable. All exercise training should be adjusted to individual purposes, goals, and circumstances.

5. Health Effects of Physical Activity and Training

Human biology requires a certain amount of physical activity to maintain good health and wellbeing. Biological adaption to life with less physical activity would take many generations. People living today have, more or less, the same requirements for physical activity as 40,000 years ago [ 50 , 51 ]. For an average man with a body weight of 70 kg, this corresponds to about 19 km daily walking in addition to everyday physical activity [ 52 ]. For most people, daily physical activity decreases, while planned, conscious exercise and training increases [ 19 , 53 ]. Unfortunately, average daily energy intake is increasing more than daily energy output, creating an energy surplus. This is one reason for the increasing number of overweight people, and a strong contributor to many health problems [ 54 ]. More sedentary living (not reaching recommended level of physical activity), combined with increased energy intake, impairs both physical and mental capabilities and increases the risk of disease. Despite this, Swedes (as an example) seemed to be as physically active and stressed but had better general health in 2015, compared to 2004 ( Figure 1 ). Compared to 2004–2007, the Swedish population in 2012–2015 reported better overall health (more county-dots are blue) and less fatigue (smaller county-dots) with similar level of physical activity (~65% indicated at least 30 min daily physical activity) and stress (~13% were stressed).

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is sports-07-00127-g001.jpg

Selected physical and mental health indicators of a Sweden cohort, in relation to the degree of physical activity for the period of years 2004–2007 ( N = 29,254) and years 2012–2015 ( N = 38,553). Surveyed subjects are age 16 to 84 years old, with data representing median scores of four years, not normalized for age. Y-axis: Percentage of subjects reporting “stressed”; X-axis: Percentage of subjects indicating physical active at least 30 minutes each day. Each dot represents one County (Län), dot-size indicates self-reported fatigue, and color self-reported healthiness of the County. If 70% of the population states they are having “Good/Very good” health, the dot is blue. If less than 70% states they are having good/very good health, the dot is red. The circle indicated with a black arrow corresponds to nation median. The black line connected to the nation circle represents the movement in the X–Y plane from the year 2004 to 2007, and from 2012 to 2015, respectively. Data retrieved from the Public Health Agency of Sweden 2019-04-22 ( www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se ).

Results in Figure 1 may in part be explained by a polarization of who is physically active: Some individuals are extremely active, others very inactive, giving a similar central tendency (mean/median). As physical activity and mental stress are not changed, but health is, the figure indicates that other factors must be more important to our overall health and fatigue. Recently, a national study of Swedish 11- to 15-year-olds concluded that this age group is inactive for most of their time awake, that is, sitting, standing or moving very little [ 55 ]. Time as inactive increased with age, from 67 percent for 11-year-olds to 75 percent for 15-year-olds. The study states that in all age groups, the inactive time is evenly distributed over the week, with school time, leisure time, and weekend. Further, those who feel school-related stress have more inactive time, both overall and during school hours, than those who have less school-related stress.

People active in sports have, in general, better health than those who do not participate in sports, because they are physically and mentally prepared for the challenges of sports, abilities that in many cases can be transferred to other parts of life [ 56 ].

However, there is a certain bias in this statement. Sport practitioners are already positively selected, because sickness and injury may prevent participation. As many health benefits of sport are related to the level of physical activity, separation of sport and physical exercise may be problematic. Regardless, societal benefits of these health effects can be seen in lower morbidity, healthier elderly, and lower medical costs [ 7 , 57 , 58 ].

Health effects of physical activity in many cases follow a dose–response relationship; dose of physical activity is in proportion to the effect on health [ 59 , 60 ]. Figure 2 depicts the relationship between risk of death and level of physical activity, in a Finnish twin cohort, adjusted for smoking, occupational group, and alcohol consumption [ 59 ]. Odds ratio (OR) for the risk of all-cause mortality in a larger sample in the same study was 0.80 for occasional exercisers ( p = 0.002, 95% CI = 0.69–0.91). This dose–response relationship between risk of all-cause mortality and physical activity is evident in several extensive studies [ 60 , 61 , 62 ]. The total dose is determined by the intensity (how strenuous), duration (duration), and frequency (how often). While Figure 2 shows sex differences in death rates, it is likely that sedentary behavior is equally hazardous for men and women, but inconsistent results sometime occur due to inadequate assessment measures, or low statistical power [ 59 , 63 ]. To obtain the best possible development due to physical exercise/training, both for prevention and treatment purposes, a basic understanding of how these variables affect the dose of activity is required, as well as understanding how they can be modified to suit individual requirements. A physically active population is important for the health of both the individual and society, with sport participation being one, increasingly important, motivator for exercise.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is sports-07-00127-g002.jpg

Relative risk (odds ratio; OR) of premature death in relationship to level of physical activity, in 286 male and 148 female twin pairs, adjusted for smoking, occupational group, and use of alcohol [ 59 ].

There is strong scientific evidence supporting an association between physical exercise/training and good physical and mental health. For example: A reduction in musculoskeletal disorders and reduced disability due to chronic disease [ 27 , 64 ], better mental health with reduced anxiety [ 65 , 66 ], insomnia [ 67 ], depression [ 31 ], stress [ 68 ], and other psychological disorders [ 69 ]. Physical and mental health problems are related to an increased risk of developing a number of our major public health diseases and may contribute to premature death ( Table 2 ).

Health-related physiological effects of aerobic and muscle strengthening physical activity. Green circle indicates that the activity contributes with an effect, whereas a red circle indicates that the activity has no proven effect. Orange circle indicates that the activity may in some cases be effective.

5.1. Effects on Physical Health

The effects of physical activity and exercise are both acute (during and immediately after) and long-lasting. Effects remaining after a long period of regular physical activity have far-reaching consequences for health and are described below. For example, some muscle enzymes’ activity can be quickly increased by physical exercise/training but just as quickly be lost when idle [ 118 ]. Other changes remain for months or years even if training ends—for instance, increased number and size of muscle fibers and blood vessels [ 49 , 119 , 120 ]. Good health, therefore, requires physical activity to be performed with both progression and continuity. Most of the conducted physical exercise/training is a combination of both aerobic and muscle strengthening exercise, and it can be difficult to distinguish between their health effects ( Table 2 ).

To describe ill-health, indicators of life expectancy, disease incidence (number), and prevalence (how often) are used [ 121 ]. In describing the relationship between physical activity and falling ill with certain diseases, the dose–response relationship, the effect size (the risk reduction that is shown in studies), and the recommended type and dose of physical activity are considered [ 122 ]. Table 3 shows the relative effects of regular physical activity ton the risk of various diseases (US Department of Human Services, 2009). The greatest health gains are for people who move from completely sedentary to moderately active lifestyles, with health effects seen before measurable improvements in physical performance. Previously, most scientific studies collected data only on aerobic physical activity. However, resistance exercise also shows promising health (mental and physical) and disease-prevention effects [ 123 , 124 , 125 , 126 , 127 ].

Disease prevention effects of regular physical activity.

Compiled from US Department of Health and Human Service, https://health.gov/paguidelines/report/ [ 62 , 146 ] 1 : Risk reduction refers to the relative risk in physically active samples in comparison to a non-active sample, i.e., a risk reduction of 20% means that the physically active sample has a relative risk of 0.8, compared to the non-active sample, which has 1.0. 2 : In general, general recommendations for PA that are described and referred to herein apply to most conditions. However, in some cases, more specific recommendations exist, more in depth described by the US Department of Health and Human Service, amongst others [ 62 ]. 3 : Evidence is dependent on cancer subtype; refer to US Department of Health and Human Service [ 62 ] for in-depth guidance. PA = Physical.

Aerobic physical activity has been shown to benefit weight maintenance after prior weight loss, reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, normalize blood lipids, and help with cancer/cancer-related side effects ( Table 2 and Table 3 ), while effects on chronic pain are not as clear [ 29 ].

Muscle-strengthening physical activity has, in contrast to aerobic exercise, been shown to reduce muscle atrophy [ 128 ], risk of falling [ 75 ], and osteoporosis [ 74 ] in the elderly. Among the elderly, both men and women adapt positively to strength training [ 129 ]. Strength training also prevents obesity [ 130 ], enhances cognitive performance if done alongside aerobic exercise [ 131 ], counteracts the development of neurodegenerative diseases [ 132 , 133 , 134 ], reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome [ 135 ], counteracts cancer/cancer-related side effects [ 135 , 136 ], reduces pain and disability in joint diseases [ 137 ], and enhances bone density [ 137 , 138 ]. The risk of falling increases markedly with age and is partly a result of reduced muscle mass, and reduced coordination and balance [ 76 , 139 , 140 ]. A strong correlation between physical performance, reduced risk of falls, and enhanced quality of life is therefore, not surprisingly, found in older people [ 141 ]. Deterioration in muscle strength, but not muscle mass, increases the risk of premature death [ 142 ] but can be counteracted by exercise as a dose–response relationship describes the strength improvement in the elderly [ 122 , 143 ]. Recommendations state high-intensity strength training (6–8 repetitions at 80% of 1-repetition maximum) as most effective [ 144 ]. Muscle strengthening physical activity for better health is recommended as a complement to aerobic physical activity [ 29 ]. Amongst the elderly, vibration training can be an alternative to increase strength [ 145 ].

5.2. Effects on Mental Health

Mental illness is a global problem affecting millions of people worldwide [ 147 ]. Headache, stress, insomnia, fatigue, and anxiety are all measures of mental ill health. The term “ ill health ” constitutes a collection of several mental health problems and symptoms with various levels of seriousness. Studies have compared expected health benefits from regular physical activity for improvement of mental health with other treatments, for example, medication. Most recent studies show that physical activity and exercise used as a primary, or secondary, processing method have significant positive effects in preventing or alleviating depressive symptoms [ 31 , 148 , 149 , 150 , 151 ] and have an antidepressant effect in people with neurological diseases [ 152 ]. Training and exercise improve the quality of life and coping with stress and strengthen self-esteem and social skills [ 69 , 153 ]. Training and exercise also lessen anxiety in people who are diagnosed with an anxiety- or stress-related disease [ 68 ], improve vocabulary learning [ 154 ], memory [ 155 , 156 ], and creative thinking [ 157 ].

The same Swedish data as used in Figure 1 show that between the years 2004–2007 and 2012–2015 anxiety, worry, and insomnia decreased but were not obviously correlated to the slightly increased level of physical activity in the population during the same period. Thus, in a multifactorial context, the importance of physical exercise alone cannot be demonstrated in this dataset.

Some of the suggested physiological explanations for improved mental health with physical activity and exercise are greater perfusion and increased brain volume [ 107 , 158 ], increased volume of the hippocampus [ 106 ], and the anti-inflammatory effects of physical activity, reducing brain inflammation in neurological diseases [ 159 ]. Physical exercise may also mediate resilience to stress-induced depression via skeletal muscle peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α), enhancing kynurenine conversion to kynurenine acid, which in turn protects the brain and reduces the risk for stress-induced depression [ 153 ]. Further, increased release of growth factors, endorphins, and signaling molecules are other exercise-induced enhancers of mental health [ 69 ].

6. How Sport Affects Health

Sport’s main purposes are to promote physical activity and improve motor skills for health and performance and psychosocial development [ 56 ]. Participants also gain a chance to be part of a community, develop new social circles, and create social norms and attitudes. In healthy individuals, and patients with mental illness, sport participation has been shown to provide individuals with a sense of meaning, identity, and belonging [ 160 , 161 ]. Whether the sport movement exists or not, training and competition including physical activity will happen. Sport’s added values, in addition to the health benefits of physical activity, are therefore of interest. Some argue that it is doubtful, or at least not confirmed, that health development can come from sport, while others believe that healthy sport is something other than health, reviewed in depth by Coakley [ 162 ]. In a sporting context, health is defined as subjective (e.g., one feels good), biological (e.g., not being sick), functional (e.g., to perform), and social (e.g., to collaborate) [ 163 ]. Holt [ 56 ] argued that the environment for positive development in young people is distinctly different from an environment for performance, as the latter is based on being measured and assessed. That said, certain skills (goal setting, leadership, etc.) can be transferred from a sporting environment to other areas of life. The best way to transfer these abilities is, at the moment, unclear.

Having the goal to win at all costs can be detrimental to health. This is especially true for children and adolescents, as early engagement in elite sports increases the risk of injury, promotes one-dimensional functional development, leads to overtraining, creates distorted social norms, risks psychosocial disorders, and has the risk of physical and psychological abuse [ 15 , 164 ]. Of great importance, therefore, is sport’s goal of healthy performance development, starting at an early age. For older people, a strong motivating factor to conduct physical activity is sports club membership [ 165 ]. One can summarize these findings by stating sport’s utility at the transition between different stages of the life; from youth to adulthood and from adulthood to old age. There, sports can be a resource for good physical and mental health [ 166 ].

Today, a higher proportion of the population, compared to 50 years ago, is engaged in organized sports, and to a lesser extent performs spontaneous sports ( Figure 3 ), something that Engström showed in 2004 [ 17 ] and is confirmed by data from The Swedish Sports Confederation ( www.rf.se ). Of the surveyed individuals in 2001, 50%–60% of children and young people said they were active in a sports club. The trend has continued showing similar progression to 2011, with up to 70% of school students playing sports in a club. Furthermore, the study shows that those active in sport clubs also spontaneously do more sports [ 167 ]. Similar data from the years 2007–2018, compiled from open sources at The Swedish Sports Confederation, confirm the trend with an even higher share of youths participating in organized sports, compared to 1968 and 2001 ( Figure 4 ).

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is sports-07-00127-g003.jpg

Spontaneous sport has decreased over the last decades, to the advantage of organized sport. Data compiled from Engström, 2004, The Swedish Research Council for Sport Science.

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is sports-07-00127-g004.jpg

Data compiled from open sources report Sport Statistics (Idrotten i siffror) at The Swedish Sports Confederation for the year 2011 ( www.rf.se ).

Taking part in sports can be an important motivator for physical activity for older people [ 165 , 166 ]. With aging, both participation in sports ( Figure 4 ) and physical activity in everyday life [ 168 ] decreases. At the same time, the number of people who are physically active both in leisure and in organized sports increases (The Public Health Agency of Sweden 2017; www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se ). Consequently, among elderly people, a greater proportion of the physical activity occurs within the context of sport [ 8 , 28 ]. Together, research shows that organized sports, in clubs or companies, are more important for people’s overall physical activity than ever before. Groups that are usually less physically active can be motivated through sport—for example, elderly men in sport supporters’ clubs [ 169 ], people in rural areas [ 170 ], migrants [ 171 ], and people with alternative physical and mental functions [ 172 ]. No matter how you get your sporting interest, it is important to establish a physical foundation at an early age to live in good health when you get older ( Figure 5 ). As seen in Figure 5 , a greater sport habitus at age 15 results in higher physical activity at 53 years of age. Early training and exposure to various forms of sports are therefore of great importance. Participation creates an identity, setting the stage for a high degree of physical activity later in life [ 173 ].

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is sports-07-00127-g005.jpg

Odds ratio (OR) of physical activity at age 53 in relation to Sport habitus at age 15. Sport habitus (“the total physical capital"), including cultural capital, athletic diversity, and grades in physical education and health are, according to Engström [ 173 ], the factors most important for being physically active in later life. For a further discussion on sport habitus, the readers are referred to Engström, 2008 [ 173 ]. Numbers above bar show the 95% confidence interval. ** = significant difference from “Very low”, p < 0.01. *** = p < 0.001.

7. Sport’s Effects on the Health of Children and Young People

The effects of participation in organized sports for children and young people are directly linked to physical activity, with long term secondary effects; an active lifestyle at a young age fosters a more active lifestyle as an adult. As many diseases that are positively affected by physical activity/exercise appear later in life, continued participation in sport as an adult will reduce morbidity and mortality.

It must be emphasized that good physical and mental health of children and young people participating in sport requires knowledge and organization based on everyone’s participation. Early specialization counteracts, in all regards, both health and performance development [ 174 , 175 ].

7.1. Positive Aspects

According to several reviews, there is a correlation between high daily physical activity in children and a low risk for obesity, improved development of motor and cognitive skills, as well as a stronger skeleton [ 176 , 177 ]. Positive effects on lipidemia, blood pressure, oxygen consumption, body composition, metabolic syndrome, bone density and depression, increased muscle strength, and reduced damage to the skeleton and muscles are also described [ 178 , 179 ]. If many aspects are merged in a multidimensional analysis [ 8 , 173 ], the factors important for future good health are shown to be training in sports, broad exposure to different sports, high school grades, cultural capital, and that one takes part in sport throughout childhood ( Table 4 ).

Compiled health profiles for men and women at the age of 20 years, depending on participation in organized sports at the age of 5, 7, 8, 10, 14, and 17 years.

Classification with repeated latent class analysis creates three groups for girls and boys, respectively: Children who never participated (girls only), participated, quit prematurely, or began late (only boys) in sports. Arrows indicate whether participation in sports at young age has an effect on health at 20 years of age. Green up arrow is positive, red down arrow negative, and a horizontal black double arrow shows that sport had no significant effect. Modified from Howie et. al., 2016 [ 8 ].

Psychological benefits of sports participation of young people were compiled by Eime et al. [ 1 ], where the conclusion was that sporting children have better self-esteem, less depression, and better overall psychosocial health. One problem with most of these studies, though, is that they are cross-sectional studies, which means that no cause–effect relationship can be determined. As there is a bias for participating children towards coming from socially secure environments, the results may be somewhat skewed.

7.2. Negative Aspects

As Table 4 and Table 5 show, there are both positive and negative aspects of sports. Within children’s and youth sports, early specialization to a specific sport is a common phenomenon [ 175 ]. There is no scientific evidence that early specialization would have positive impact, neither for health nor for performance later in life [ 175 ]. No model or method including performance at a young age can predict elite performance as an adult. By contrast, specialization and competitiveness can lead to injury, overtraining, increased psychological stress, and reduced training motivation, just to mention a few amongst many negative aspects [ 174 , 175 ]. Another important aspect is that those who are excluded from sports feel mentally worse [ 8 ]. As there is a relationship between depressive episodes in adolescence, and depression as adults [ 116 ], early exclusion has far-reaching consequences. Therefore, sports for children and young people have future health benefits by reducing the risk of developing depression and depressive symptoms, as well as improved wellbeing throughout life.

Positive and negative aspects with sport (at young age).

While some degree of sport specialization is necessary to develop elite-level athletes, research shows clear adverse health effects of early specialization and talent selection [ 180 ]. More children born during the fall and winter (September–December) are excluded [ 181 ], and as a group, they are less physically active than spring (January–April) children, both in sports and leisure ( Figure 6 ). In most sports and in most countries, there is a skewed distribution of participants when sorted by birth-date, and there are more spring children than fall children among those who are involved in sport [ 182 , 183 , 184 , 185 , 186 ]. Because a large part of the physical activity takes place in an organized form, this leads to lower levels of physical activity for late-born persons (Malm, Jakobsson, and Julin, unpublished data). Early orientation and training in physical activity and exercise will determine how active you are later in life. Greater attention must be given to stimulating as many children and young people as possible to participate in sport as long as possible, both in school and on their leisure time. According to statistics from the Swedish Sports Confederation in 2016, this relative-age effect persists throughout life, despite more starting than ending with sport each year [ 18 ].

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is sports-07-00127-g006.jpg

The figure shows the distribution of 7597 children aged 10 years and younger who in 2014 were registered as active in one particular, individual sport in Sweden (data compiled from the Swedish Sport Confederation, www.rf.se ). Spring, Summer, and Fall represent January–April, May–August, and September–December, respectively.

When summarize, the positive and negative aspects of sport at a young age can be divided into three categories: (1) Personal identification, (2) social competence, and (3) physiological capacity, briefly summarized in Table 5 . A comprehensive analysis of what is now popularly known as “physical literacy” has recently been published [ 187 ].

7.3. Relevance of Sports

Sports can make children and young people develop both physically and mentally and contribute with health benefits if planned and executed exercise/training considers the person’s own capacities, social situation, and biological as well as psychological maturation. In children and adolescents, it is especially important to prevent sports-related injuries and health problems, as a number of these problems are likely to remain long into adulthood, sometimes for life. Comprehensive training is recommended, which does not necessarily mean that you have to participate in various sports. What is required is diverse training within every sport and club. Research shows that participation in various sports simultaneously during childhood and adolescence is most favorable for healthy and lifelong participation [ 8 , 173 , 188 , 189 ].

8. Sport’s Effects on the Health of Adults and the Elderly

Adults who stop participating in sports reduce their physical activity and have health risks equal to people who have neither done sports nor been physical [ 190 , 191 ]. Lack of adherence to exercise programs is a significant hindrance in achieving health goals and general physical activity recommendations in adults and the elderly [ 192 ]. While several socioeconomic factors are related to exercise adherence, it is imperative that trainers and health care providers are informed about factors that can be modulated, such as intervention intensity (not to high), duration (not too long), and supervision, important for higher adherence, addressed more in depth by Rivera-Torres, Fahey and Rivera [ 192 ].

Healthy aging is dependent on many factors, such as the absence of disease, good physical and mental health, and social commitment (especially through team sports or group activities) [ 193 ]. Increased morbidity with age may be partly linked to decreased physical activity. Thus, remaining or becoming active later in life is strongly associated with healthy aging [ 194 ]. With increased age, there is less involvement in training and competition ( Figure 4 ), and only 20% of adults in Sweden are active, at least to some extent, in sports clubs, and the largest proportion of adults who exercise do it on their own. The following sections describes effects beyond what is already provided for children and youths.

8.1. Positive Aspects

Participation in sports, with or without competition, promotes healthy behavior and a better quality of life [ 166 ]. Exclusion from sports at a young age appears to have long-term consequences, as the previously described relative age effect ( Figure 6 ) remains even for master athletes (Malm, Jakobsson, and Julin, unpublished data). Because master athletes show better health than their peers [ 95 ], actions should be taken to include adults and elderly individuals who earlier in life were excluded from, or never started with sport [ 195 ]. As we age, physical activity at a health-enhancing intensity is not enough to maintain all functions. Higher intensity is required, best comprising competition-oriented training [ 196 , 197 ]. One should not assume that high-intensity exercise cannot be initiated by the elderly [ 198 ]. Competitive sports, or training like a competitive athlete as an adult, can be one important factor to counter the loss of physical ability with aging [ 199 ]. In this context, golf can be one example of a safe form of exercise with high adherence for older adults and the elderly, resulting in increased aerobic performance, metabolic function, and trunk strength [ 200 , 201 ].

8.2. Negative Aspects

Increased morbidity (e.g., cardiovascular disease) with aging is seen also among older athletes [ 202 ] and is associated with the same risk factors as in the general population [ 203 ]. An increased risk of cardiovascular disease among adults (master) compared to other populations has been found [ 204 ]. Unfortunately, the designs and interpretations of these studies have been criticized, and the incidence of cardiac arrest in older athletes is unclear [ 205 ]. In this context, the difference between competitive sports aiming to optimize performance and recreational sports has to be taken into account, where the former is more likely to induce negative effects due to high training loads and/or impacts during training and games. Although high-intensity training even for older athletes is positive for aerobic performance, it does not prevent the loss of motor units [ 206 ].

Quality of life is higher in sporting adults compared to those who do not play sports, but so is the risk of injury. When hit by injury, adults and young alike may suffer from psychological disorders such as depression [ 207 ], but with a longer recovery time in older individuals [ 208 ]. As with young athletes, secession of training at age 50 years and above reduces blood flow in the brain, including the hippocampus, possibly related to long-term decline in mental capacity [ 209 ].

8.3. Relevance of Sport

As for children and young people, many positive health aspects come through sport also for adults and the elderly [ 210 ]. Sport builds bridges between generations, a potential but not elucidated drive for adults’ motivation for physical activity. The percentage of adults participating in competitive sports has increased in Sweden since 2010, from about 20 percent to 30 percent of all of those who are physically active [ 18 ], a trend that most likely provides better health for the group in the 30–40 age group and generations to come.

9. Recommendations for Healthy Sport

  • 1. Plan exercise, rest, and social life. For health-promoting and healthy-aging physical activity, refer to general guidelines summarized in this paper: Aerobic exercise three times a week, muscle-strengthening exercise 2–3 times a week.
  • 2. Set long-term goals.
  • 3. Adopt a holistic performance development including physiological, medical, mental, and psychosocial aspects.
  • ○ a. Exercise load (time, intensity, volume);
  • ○ b. Recovery (sleep, resting heart rate, appetite, estimated fatigue, etc.);
  • ○ c. Sickness (when–where–how, type of infections, how long one is ill, etc.);
  • ○ d. Repeat type- and age-specific physical tests with relevant evaluation and feedback;
  • ○ e. Frequency of injuries and causes.
  • ○ a. Motivation for training, competition, and socializing;
  • ○ b. Personal perception of stress, anxiety, depression, alienation, and self-belief;
  • ○ c. Repeat type- and age-specific psychological tests with relevant evaluation and feedback.
  • 6. Register and interpret signs of overtraining, such as reduced performance over time, while maintaining or increasing exercise load.

Author Contributions

C.M. and A.J. conceived and designed the review. C.M., A.J., J.J. and interpreted the data and drafted the manuscript. J.J. edited the manuscript, tables, and figures. All authors approved the final version.

This work was supported by the Swedish Sports Confederation.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

  • Milano Cortina 2026
  • Brisbane 2032
  • Olympic Refuge Foundation
  • Olympic Games
  • Olympic Channel
  • Let's Move

How sport can have a positive impact on mental and physical health

It’s not always easy to start a workout, but research shows that sport and exercise are beneficial not only for your physical health, but your mental well-being, too. Let us help!

Olympic Flame passes iconic London landmarks on penultimate day of Olympic Torch Relay

Health experts and Olympic athletes agree: Your mental and physical health benefit when you get active and participate in sport – whatever that means for you.

From daily exercise to choosing a sport to practice or play, the body and mind are worked in new and different ways each time you move your body.

On June 23rd every year we come together to celebrate that, as part of Olympic Day.

For the 2020 edition, we connected with Olympians around the world for Olympic Day 2020 at-home workouts – and a reminder: We’re stronger together, especially when we stay active!

And those are still available online to help inspire you today.

Sport benefits: Both the physical and mental

While the physical benefits are numerous (more on that below), the UK's National Health Service (NHS) report that people who take part in regular physical activity have up to a 30 percent lower risk of depression.

Additionally, exercise can help lower anxiety, reduce the risk of illness and increase energy levels. Want better sleep? Work up a good sweat!

Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep for longer, research says.

It was in June 2020 that the IOC partnered with the World Health Organization and United Nations to promote the #HEALTHYTogether campaign , which highlights the benefits of physical activity in the face of the pandemic.

Over 50 at-home workouts are searchable across Olympics.com for you, each which help further the idea that moving and challenging the body can only prove beneficial for your physical and mental well-being.

The athletes' perspective: 'I used this strength to survive'

“If I had sat doing nothing, I would have gone crazy,” says Syria's Sanda Aldass , who fled the trauma of civil war in her country, leaving behind her husband and infant child.

Instead, she had judo - and has been selected for the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020 for the Games in 2021.

“Running around and doing some exercises filled up my time and also kept me in good mental health,” Sanda said of the impact of sport on her life during nine months spent in a refugee camp in the Netherlands in 2015.

The same power of sport goes for Iranian taekwondo athlete Ali Noghandoost.

"When I had to leave my family and my home in Iran, the first things I packed in my bag were my belt, my dobok, my shoes and my mitt for taekwondo," Noghandoost said . "I took some documents that said I was a champion in Iran and in a national team, so I could prove I was a fighter and continue to train in any city I went to."

"Taekwondo did not only help me physically; mentally, it stopped me from thinking about giving up and that we wouldn’t make it. I used this strength to survive," he added.

Noghandoost has worked as a coach for refugees in Croatia, where he has tried to pass the power of sport on to the next generation.

"When you’re living in a refugee camp, it’s a really hard situation, but when you play sport, you can release any negative energy and feel free. It’s a space – a paradise – for them to be themselves."

A member of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Rio 2016, Yiech Pur Biel says that the team provided a message of hope for those watching around the world.

"We were ambassadors for a message of hope, that anything is possible," Biel said . "A good thing had come out of our situations. The world understood. I am called a refugee, but you never know when someone else might become a refugee, through war or persecution. We wanted to show that we responded positively. So that made me very happy. Through sport, we can unite and make the world better."

Sport as a tool for much - including mental health

Sport is a powerful tool no matter from what angle you look at it, including mental health. The Olympic Refugee Foundation (ORF) has recently launched two different programs that are aimed at helping young refugees dream of a brighter future - through sport.

One of those programs, Game Connect, is a three-year initiative that was launched in August 2020 and aims to "improve the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of young refugees by improving their access to safe sport," as explained on Olympics.com last year.

We are "embarking on a three-year project to improve the psychosocial wellbeing and mental health of young refugees, working together with well-trained community-based coaches to deliver a Sport for Protection program and activities," explained Karen Mukiibi of Youth Sport Uganda, which has partnered with the ORF.

Related content

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong, Stay Active with the Olympic Day home workout

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong, Stay Active with the Olympic Day home workout

Paris 2024 – getting children moving more at school for 30 minutes a day

Paris 2024 – getting children moving more at school for 30 minutes a day

Daily routine: five things to do - 11 April 2020

Daily routine: five things to do - 11 April 2020

Olympic Day Workout | #StayActive with Bryan Clay

Olympic Day Workout | #StayActive with Bryan Clay

Olympic Day Workout | #StayActive with Hong Zhang

Olympic Day Workout | #StayActive with Hong Zhang

You may like.

Physical Activity Is Good for the Mind and the Body

essay on sports for a healthy life

Health and Well-Being Matter is the monthly blog of the Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Everyone has their own way to “recharge” their sense of well-being — something that makes them feel good physically, emotionally, and spiritually even if they aren’t consciously aware of it. Personally, I know that few things can improve my day as quickly as a walk around the block or even just getting up from my desk and doing some push-ups. A hike through the woods is ideal when I can make it happen. But that’s me. It’s not simply that I enjoy these activities but also that they literally make me feel better and clear my mind.

Mental health and physical health are closely connected. No kidding — what’s good for the body is often good for the mind. Knowing what you can do physically that has this effect for you will change your day and your life.

Physical activity has many well-established mental health benefits. These are published in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and include improved brain health and cognitive function (the ability to think, if you will), a reduced risk of anxiety and depression, and improved sleep and overall quality of life. Although not a cure-all, increasing physical activity directly contributes to improved mental health and better overall health and well-being.

Learning how to routinely manage stress and getting screened for depression are simply good prevention practices. Awareness is especially critical at this time of year when disruptions to healthy habits and choices can be more likely and more jarring. Shorter days and colder temperatures have a way of interrupting routines — as do the holidays, with both their joys and their stresses. When the plentiful sunshine and clear skies of temperate months give way to unpredictable weather, less daylight, and festive gatherings, it may happen unconsciously or seem natural to be distracted from being as physically active. However, that tendency is precisely why it’s so important that we are ever more mindful of our physical and emotional health — and how we can maintain both — during this time of year.

Roughly half of all people in the United States will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder at some point in their lifetime, with anxiety and anxiety disorders being the most common. Major depression, another of the most common mental health disorders, is also a leading cause of disability for middle-aged adults. Compounding all of this, mental health disorders like depression and anxiety can affect people’s ability to take part in health-promoting behaviors, including physical activity. In addition, physical health problems can contribute to mental health problems and make it harder for people to get treatment for mental health disorders.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the need to take care of our physical and emotional health to light even more so these past 2 years. Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General highlighted how the pandemic has exacerbated the mental health crisis in youth .

The good news is that even small amounts of physical activity can immediately reduce symptoms of anxiety in adults and older adults. Depression has also shown to be responsive to physical activity. Research suggests that increased physical activity, of any kind, can improve depression symptoms experienced by people across the lifespan. Engaging in regular physical activity has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing depression in children and adults.

Though the seasons and our life circumstances may change, our basic needs do not. Just as we shift from shorts to coats or fresh summer fruits and vegetables to heartier fall food choices, so too must we shift our seasonal approach to how we stay physically active. Some of that is simply adapting to conditions: bundling up for a walk, wearing the appropriate shoes, or playing in the snow with the kids instead of playing soccer in the grass.

Sometimes there’s a bit more creativity involved. Often this means finding ways to simplify activity or make it more accessible. For example, it may not be possible to get to the gym or even take a walk due to weather or any number of reasons. In those instances, other options include adding new types of movement — such as impromptu dance parties at home — or doing a few household chores (yes, it all counts as physical activity).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I built a makeshift gym in my garage as an alternative to driving back and forth to the gym several miles from home. That has not only saved me time and money but also afforded me the opportunity to get 15 to 45 minutes of muscle-strengthening physical activity in at odd times of the day.

For more ideas on how to get active — on any day — or for help finding the motivation to get started, check out this Move Your Way® video .

The point to remember is that no matter the approach, the Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (anything that gets your heart beating faster) each week and at least 2 days per week of muscle-strengthening activity (anything that makes your muscles work harder than usual). Youth need 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Preschool-aged children ages 3 to 5 years need to be active throughout the day — with adult caregivers encouraging active play — to enhance growth and development. Striving toward these goals and then continuing to get physical activity, in some shape or form, contributes to better health outcomes both immediately and over the long term.

For youth, sports offer additional avenues to more physical activity and improved mental health. Youth who participate in sports may enjoy psychosocial health benefits beyond the benefits they gain from other forms of leisure-time physical activity. Psychological health benefits include higher levels of perceived competence, confidence, and self-esteem — not to mention the benefits of team building, leadership, and resilience, which are important skills to apply on the field and throughout life. Research has also shown that youth sports participants have a reduced risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Additionally, team sports participation during adolescence may lead to better mental health outcomes in adulthood (e.g., less anxiety and depression) for people exposed to adverse childhood experiences. In addition to the physical and mental health benefits, sports can be just plain fun.

Physical activity’s implications for significant positive effects on mental health and social well-being are enormous, impacting every facet of life. In fact, because of this national imperative, the presidential executive order that re-established the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition explicitly seeks to “expand national awareness of the importance of mental health as it pertains to physical fitness and nutrition.” While physical activity is not a substitute for mental health treatment when needed and it’s not the answer to certain mental health challenges, it does play a significant role in our emotional and cognitive well-being.

No matter how we choose to be active during the holiday season — or any season — every effort to move counts toward achieving recommended physical activity goals and will have positive impacts on both the mind and the body. Along with preventing diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and the additional risks associated with these comorbidities, physical activity’s positive effect on mental health is yet another important reason to be active and Move Your Way .

As for me… I think it’s time for a walk. Happy and healthy holidays, everyone!

Yours in health, Paul

Paul Reed, MD Rear Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Director, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.

Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by ODPHP or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.

You will be subject to the destination website's privacy policy when you follow the link.

essay on sports for a healthy life

25,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today

Meet top uk universities from the comfort of your home, here’s your new year gift, one app for all your, study abroad needs, start your journey, track your progress, grow with the community and so much more.

essay on sports for a healthy life

Verification Code

An OTP has been sent to your registered mobile no. Please verify

essay on sports for a healthy life

Thanks for your comment !

Our team will review it before it's shown to our readers.

Leverage Edu

  • School Education /

Essay on Importance of Sports

' src=

  • Updated on  
  • Oct 7, 2023

Essay on importance of sports

Sports are an integral part of life. Sports are exciting activities which are not only fun to play but also promote physical fitness. But do you know the benefits of playing sports both mentally and physically? Well, we have come to your rescue. In this blog, you will read about the importance of sports and how it can help one learn several new qualities. These qualities will help one to be ahead in their life. We will also be discussing more on this topic through essays. 

essay on sports for a healthy life

Table of Contents

  • 1.1 Physical Benefits
  • 1.2 Mental Benefits
  • 2 Essay on Importance of Sports in 200 Words
  • 3 Essay on Importance of Sports in 300 Words
  • 4 Essay on Importance of Sports in 400 Words

Importance of Sports 

Sports are essential to every student’s life. Almost every parent believes their child should be involved in sports during their growing years. Moreover, playing sports keeps us fit, healthy and active. Sports teach essential life skills such as discipline, perseverance, teamwork, and time management. Here are all the benefits one gets by playing sports. 

Physical Benefits

  • By playing sports, one gets to be physically active and at the same time maintain discipline. 
  • By involving oneself in sports, it reduces the risk of obesity and other chronic health issues. 
  • Playing sports leads to muscle development, promotes strong bones and lastly reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

Mental Benefits

The benefits of sports are not limited to physical enhancement, they also help in brain functioning and mental activities.

  • Playing in team sports, helps one to learn to work together leading to achieving a common goal – leadership skills, teamwork and several other qualities. 
  • Sports also improve one’s decision-making skills and boost self-confidence.
  • Lastly, sports help one to reduce stress, depression and other mental issues.

Also Read: Essay on My Aim in Life

Essay on Importance of Sports in 200 Words

Sports are essential because they promote social, mental, and physical well-being. They are not only a source of amusement but also play a huge role in many facets of life.

To begin with, sports encourage physical fitness. Sports participation helps people maintain a healthy lifestyle by enhancing their stamina, strength, and cardiovascular fitness. The risk of obesity, diabetes, and other lifestyle-related disorders is reduced by regular exercise in sports.

Secondly, sports improve mental health. It encourages self-control, tenacity, and goal-setting. At the same time, athletes gain the ability to manage stress, develop resilience, and cultivate a solid work ethic. While team sports can foster interpersonal, communication, and teamwork skills.

Sports also help to maintain societal harmony. They give people from various backgrounds a place to interact, fostering friendship and harmony. Sporting events frequently foster a sense of belonging and pride among viewers.

Sports in the classroom impart important life lessons including cooperation, initiative, and sportsmanship. For gifted athletes, they can also result in scholarships and educational possibilities.

Also Read: Essay on Waste Management

Essay on Importance of Sports in 300 Words

The development of the body, mind and social structure are all considerably aided by sports in human society. They have a special and complex significance that goes much beyond simple competition or entertainment.

Sports are crucial for physical health in the first place. People who participate in sports and physical activity can keep up a healthy lifestyle. Sporting activity regularly enhances physical endurance, muscular strength, and cardiovascular health. It works well to combat the rising obesity pandemic, lower the likelihood of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes, and improve general health.

Sports are essential for mental health in addition to physical health. Athletes learn to be disciplined, determined, and have a strong work ethic. They get knowledge on how to set and accomplish goals, manage stress, and develop resilience. These life skills learned via sports are transferable to many facets of success on both a personal and professional level.

Sports also encourage social growth. They give people from various backgrounds a place to interact, fostering social cohesiveness and harmony. Sporting activities foster a sense of community by inspiring people to interact, find common ground, and form enduring friendships.

Sports in education provide a distinctive learning opportunity. They impart characteristics like leadership, sportsmanship, and teamwork, which are crucial in both academic and professional environments. Many students find that participating in athletics paves the way for scholarships and other educational opportunities that might not otherwise be possible.

Sports are economically significant as well. They open up positions in the sports sector for everyone from athletes and coaches to event planners and sports medical specialists. Major athletic events can promote local economies, increase income, and create jobs by boosting tourism.

In conclusion, sports are more than just amusement; they are essential to leading a balanced existence. Sports have an enormous value that goes well beyond the pitch or court, making them an essential component of human society.

Essay on Importance of Sports in 400 Words

Sports plays a crucial role in our lives, promoting our physical and mental health as well as our social and economic development. Sports provide entertainment and recreation for both participants and spectators. They offer an escape from daily routines, a source of excitement, and a sense of shared experience.

First off, sports are essential for fostering physical wellness. People can keep up an active lifestyle by participating in sports. It improves muscle strength, total physical endurance, and cardiovascular health. Regular exercise dramatically lowers the risk of lifestyle disorders like diabetes, obesity, and heart problems. These health advantages help people live longer and with higher quality.

Second, engaging in athletics is crucial for mental health. Athletes learn valuable life lessons including self-control, tenacity, and goal-setting. They gain skills for dealing with stress, developing resilience, and upholding a solid work ethic. These mental skills developed via sports are transferable to many facets of life and can promote success and overall well-being.

Additionally, sports encourage social growth and unity. They bridge gaps in class, age, gender, and ethnicity by bringing people together. Sporting occasions foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie, inspiring people to interact, discover similar interests, and form enduring connections. This social component of sport fosters harmony and understanding between various groups.

Sports offer a special educational opportunity. They provide characteristics like leadership, sportsmanship, and teamwork, which are crucial in both academic and professional situations. Sports are given a high priority in the curriculum of many educational institutions, which recognise the benefits they provide for students’ all-around growth.

Sports are economically significant as well. They open up positions in the sports sector for everyone from athletes and coaches to event planners and sports medical specialists. Major athletic events have the potential to increase tourism, fire up local economies, bring in money, and provide jobs.

Sports also support a sense of national identity and pride. International sporting success may bring a nation together by fostering a sense of achievement and patriotism. Athletes serve as ambassadors for their nations, representing the commitment and labour of the populace.

To conclude, sports are more than just amusement; they provide the basis of a full existence. They encourage mental toughness, social harmony, physical fitness, and practical life skills. Sports participation should be promoted as a top priority by everyone—individuals, educational institutions, and governments. Sports are important for reasons that go beyond the physical, contributing to human society as a whole.

Related Articles:

  • Essay on Cricket
  • Essay on Teacher
  • Essay on Covid-19
  • Essay on Winter Season
  • Essay on Earthquake

Sports teaches one several values. These include discipline, elegance, sacrifice, instills leadership qualities which help people to lead a successful life.

When people participate together in a sport, they know that they competing against each other. This helps them to come together as a team.

As they keep kids physically fit and engaged, sports have a direct link to a healthy physique.

For more information related to such interesting topics, visit our essay-writing page and make sure to follow Leverage Edu . 

' src=

Malvika Chawla

Malvika is a content writer cum news freak who comes with a strong background in Journalism and has worked with renowned news websites such as News 9 and The Financial Express to name a few. When not writing, she can be found bringing life to the canvasses by painting on them.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Contact no. *

essay on sports for a healthy life

Connect With Us

essay on sports for a healthy life

25,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today.

essay on sports for a healthy life

Resend OTP in

essay on sports for a healthy life

Need help with?

Study abroad.

UK, Canada, US & More


Scholarship, Loans & Forex

Country Preference

New Zealand

Which English test are you planning to take?

Which academic test are you planning to take.

Not Sure yet

When are you planning to take the exam?

Already booked my exam slot

Within 2 Months

Want to learn about the test

Which Degree do you wish to pursue?

When do you want to start studying abroad.

January 2024

September 2024

What is your budget to study abroad?

essay on sports for a healthy life

How would you describe this article ?

Please rate this article

We would like to hear more.

Have something on your mind?

essay on sports for a healthy life

Make your study abroad dream a reality in January 2022 with

essay on sports for a healthy life

India's Biggest Virtual University Fair

essay on sports for a healthy life

Essex Direct Admission Day

Why attend .

essay on sports for a healthy life

Don't Miss Out

What are your chances of acceptance?

Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance.

Duke University

Your chancing factors


essay on sports for a healthy life

How to Write a Non-Cliche College Essay About Sports + Examples

What’s covered:, what makes a sports essay cliche.

  • How To Make Your Sports Essay Unique

Great Examples of College Essays About Sports

Where to get your college essay edited for free, or by an expert.

You’ve been brainstorming essay topics for your college applications, and you think you’ve finally found the right one: an extended metaphor likening your experience on the field with overcoming personal struggles. The problem: many other students have this same thought. 

The purpose of a college essay is to make yourself stand out as a unique individual, but when students write about sports, they often blend in. Because of that, students are usually advised to pick a different topic.

That being said, it is possible to write a non-cliche college essay about sports if you put in a little extra effort. Read along to learn how to make your sports essay different from all the other sports essays.

Sports essays are cliche when they follow a standard trajectory. Some of these trajectories include writing a story about:

  • An agonizing defeat
  • Forging bonds with teammates
  • Overcoming adversity
  • Overcoming an injury
  • Refusing to quit
  • Victory during a big game

Because sports essays have very similar themes and “lessons learned,” it can be difficult to make your story stand out. These trajectories also often focus too much on the sport or storyline, and not enough on the writer’s reflections and personality.

As you write your essay, try to think about what your experience says about you rather than what you learned from your experience. You are more than just one lesson you learned!

(Keep in mind that the sports essay is not the only college essay cliche. Learn about other essay cliches and how to fix them in our complete guide).

How to Make Your Sports Essay Unique

1. focus on a specific moment or reflection..

The college essay is a way for students to humanize themselves to admissions officers. You do not feel human if you are describing yourself as just another player on the field!

One important way to make your essay about you (not just about sports) is by focusing on a specific moment in time and inviting the reader to join you in that moment. Explain to the reader what it would be like to be sitting in that locker room as you questioned the values of the other players on your team. Ask your reader to sit with you on the cot in the trainer’s room as your identity was stripped away from you when they said “your body can’t take this anymore.” Bring your reader to the dinner table and involve them in your family’s conversation about how sports were affecting your mental health and your treatment of those around you.

Intense descriptions of a specific experience will evoke emotions in your reader and allow them to connect with you and feel for you.

When in doubt, avoid anything that can be covered by ESPN. On ESPN, we see the games, we see the benches, we even see the locker rooms and training rooms. Take your reader somewhere different and show them something unique.

2. Use sports to point out broader themes in your life.

The main risk when writing about sports is neglecting to write about yourself. Before you get started, think about the main values that you want to express in your sports essay. Sports are simply your avenue for telling the reader what makes you unique. 

As a test, imagine if you were a pianist. Would you be able to talk about these same values? What if you were a writer? Or a chemist? Articulating your values is the end, and sports should simply be your means.

Some values that you might want to focus on:

  • Autonomy (you want to be able to set your mind to anything and achieve it on your own)
  • Growth (you seek improvement constantly)
  • Curiosity (you are willing to try anything once)
  • Vulnerability (you aren’t afraid to fail, as long as you give it your all)
  • Community (you value the feedback of others and need camaraderie to succeed)
  • Craft (you think that with deliberate care, anything can be perfected)
  • Responsibility (you believe that you owe something to those around you and perhaps they also owe something to you)

You can use the ESPN check again to make sure that you are using sports as an avenue to show your depth.

Things ESPN covers: how a player reacts to defeat, how injuries affect a player’s gameplay/attitude, how players who don’t normally work well together are working together on their new team.

Things ESPN doesn’t cover: the conversation that a player had with their mother about fear of death before going into a big surgery (value: family and connection), the ways that the intense pressure to succeed consumed a player to the point they couldn’t be there for the people in their life (value: supporting others and community), the body image issues that weigh on a player’s mind when playing their sport and how they overcame those (value: health and growth).

3. Turn a cliche storyline on its head.

There’s no getting around the fact that sports essays are often cliche. But there is a way to confront the cliche head-on. For example, lots of people write essays about the lessons they learned from an injury, victory, and so on, but fewer students explain how they are embracing those lessons. 

Perhaps you learned that competition is overwhelming for you and you prefer teamwork, so you switched from playing basketball to playing Dungeons & Dragons. Maybe, when your softball career ended abruptly, you had to find a new identity and that’s when you became obsessed with your flower garden and decided to pursue botany. Or maybe, you have stuck with football through it all, but your junior-year mental health struggle showed you that football should be fun and you have since started a nonprofit for local children to healthily engage with sports.

If your story itself is more cliche, try bringing readers to the present moment with you and show why the cliche matters and what it did for you. This requires a fair amount of creativity. Ensure you’re not parroting a frequently used topic by really thinking deeply to find your own unique spin.

Night had robbed the academy of its daytime colors, yet there was comfort in the dim lights that cast shadows of our advances against the bare studio walls. Silhouettes of roundhouse kicks, spin crescent kicks, uppercuts and the occasional butterfly kick danced while we sparred. She approached me, eyes narrowed with the trace of a smirk challenging me. “Ready spar!” Her arm began an upward trajectory targeting my shoulder, a common first move. I sidestepped — only to almost collide with another flying fist. Pivoting my right foot, I snapped my left leg, aiming my heel at her midsection. The center judge raised one finger. 

There was no time to celebrate, not in the traditional sense at least. Master Pollard gave a brief command greeted with a unanimous “Yes, sir” and the thud of 20 hands dropping-down-and-giving-him-30, while the “winners” celebrated their victory with laps as usual. 

Three years ago, seven-thirty in the evening meant I was a warrior. It meant standing up straighter, pushing a little harder, “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am”, celebrating birthdays by breaking boards, never pointing your toes, and familiarity. Three years later, seven-thirty in the morning meant I was nervous. 

The room is uncomfortably large. The sprung floor soaks up the checkerboard of sunlight piercing through the colonial windows. The mirrored walls further illuminate the studio and I feel the light scrutinizing my sorry attempts at a pas de bourrée, while capturing the organic fluidity of the dancers around me. “Chassé en croix, grand battement, pique, pirouette.” I follow the graceful limbs of the woman in front of me, her legs floating ribbons, as she executes what seems to be a perfect ronds de jambes. Each movement remains a negotiation. With admirable patience, Ms. Tan casts me a sympathetic glance.   

There is no time to wallow in the misery that is my right foot. Taekwondo calls for dorsiflexion; pointed toes are synonymous with broken toes. My thoughts drag me into a flashback of the usual response to this painful mistake: “You might as well grab a tutu and head to the ballet studio next door.” Well, here I am Master Pollard, unfortunately still following your orders to never point my toes, but no longer feeling the satisfaction that comes with being a third degree black belt with 5 years of experience quite literally under her belt. It’s like being a white belt again — just in a leotard and ballet slippers. 

But the appetite for new beginnings that brought me here doesn’t falter. It is only reinforced by the classical rendition of “Dancing Queen” that floods the room and the ghost of familiarity that reassures me that this new beginning does not and will not erase the past. After years spent at the top, it’s hard to start over. But surrendering what you are only leads you to what you may become. In Taekwondo, we started each class reciting the tenets: honor, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, courage, humility, and knowledge, and I have never felt that I embodied those traits more so than when I started ballet. 

The thing about change is that it eventually stops making things so different. After nine different schools, four different countries, three different continents, fluency in Tamil, Norwegian, and English, there are more blurred lines than there are clear fragments. My life has not been a tactfully executed, gold medal-worthy Taekwondo form with each movement defined, nor has it been a series of frappés performed by a prima ballerina with each extension identical and precise, but thankfully it has been like the dynamics of a spinning back kick, fluid, and like my chances of landing a pirouette, unpredictable. 

Why it works:

What’s especially powerful about this essay is that the author uses detailed imagery to convey a picture of what they’re experiencing, so much so that the reader is along for the ride. This works as a sports essay not only because of the language and sensory details, but also because the writer focuses on a specific moment in time, while at the same time exploring why Taekwondo is such an important part of their life.

After the emotional image is created, the student finishes their essay with valuable reflection. With the reflection, they show admissions officers that they are mature and self-aware. Self-awareness comes through with statements like “surrendering what you are only leads you to what you may become” and maturity can be seen through the student’s discussion of values “honor, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, courage, humility, and knowledge, and I have never felt that I embodied those traits more so than when I started ballet.” These are the kinds of comments that should find their way into a sports essay!

essay on sports for a healthy life

“Advanced females ages 13 to 14 please proceed to staging with your coaches at this time.” Skittering around the room, eyes wide and pleading, I frantically explained my situation to nearby coaches. The seconds ticked away in my head; every polite refusal increased my desperation.

Despair weighed me down. I sank to my knees as a stream of competitors, coaches, and officials flowed around me. My dojang had no coach, and the tournament rules prohibited me from competing without one.

Although I wanted to remain strong, doubts began to cloud my mind. I could not help wondering: what was the point of perfecting my skills if I would never even compete? The other members of my team, who had found coaches minutes earlier, attempted to comfort me, but I barely heard their words. They couldn’t understand my despair at being left on the outside, and I never wanted them to understand.

Since my first lesson 12 years ago, the members of my dojang have become family. I have watched them grow up, finding my own happiness in theirs. Together, we have honed our kicks, blocks, and strikes. We have pushed one another to aim higher and become better martial artists. Although my dojang had searched for a reliable coach for years, we had not found one. When we attended competitions in the past, my teammates and I had always gotten lucky and found a sympathetic coach. Now, I knew this practice was unsustainable. It would devastate me to see the other members of my dojang in my situation, unable to compete and losing hope as a result. My dojang needed a coach, and I decided it was up to me to find one. 

I first approached the adults in the dojang – both instructors and members’ parents. However, these attempts only reacquainted me with polite refusals. Everyone I asked told me they couldn’t devote multiple weekends per year to competitions. I soon realized that I would have become the coach myself.

At first, the inner workings of tournaments were a mystery to me. To prepare myself for success as a coach, I spent the next year as an official and took coaching classes on the side. I learned everything from motivational strategies to technical, behind-the-scenes components of Taekwondo competitions. Though I emerged with new knowledge and confidence in my capabilities, others did not share this faith.

Parents threw me disbelieving looks when they learned that their children’s coach was only a child herself. My self-confidence was my armor, deflecting their surly glances. Every armor is penetrable, however, and as the relentless barrage of doubts pounded my resilience, it began to wear down. I grew unsure of my own abilities.

Despite the attack, I refused to give up. When I saw the shining eyes of the youngest students preparing for their first competition, I knew I couldn’t let them down. To quit would be to set them up to be barred from competing like I was. The knowledge that I could solve my dojang’s longtime problem motivated me to overcome my apprehension.

Now that my dojang flourishes at competitions, the attacks on me have weakened, but not ended. I may never win the approval of every parent; at times, I am still tormented by doubts, but I find solace in the fact that members of my dojang now only worry about competing to the best of their abilities.

Now, as I arrive at a tournament with my students, I close my eyes and remember the past. I visualize the frantic search for a coach and the chaos amongst my teammates as we compete with one another to find coaches before the staging calls for our respective divisions. I open my eyes to the exact opposite scene. Lacking a coach hurt my ability to compete, but I am proud to know that no member of my dojang will have to face that problem again.

In the beginning, you might think this is another cliche sports essay about overcoming adversity. But instead, it becomes a unique statement and coming-of-age tale that reads as a suspenseful narrative. 

The author connects their experience with martial arts to larger themes in their life but manages to do so without riffing off of tried-and-true themes. Through statements like “I knew I couldn’t let them down. To quit would be to set them up to be barred from competing like I was” we learn about the students values and their desire to be there for those who depend on them. 

The student also brings it full circle, demonstrating their true transformation. By using the “Same, but Different” ending technique , the student places themself in the same environment that we saw in the intro, but experiences it differently due to their actions throughout the narrative. This is very compelling!

“1…2…3…4 pirouettes! New record!” My friends cheered as I landed my turns. Pleased with my progress, I gazed down at my worn-out pointe shoes. The sweltering blisters, numbing ice-baths, and draining late-night practices did not seem so bad after all. Next goal: five turns.

For as long as I can remember, ballet, in all its finesse and glamor, had kept me driven day to day. As a child, the lithe ballerinas, donning ethereal costumes as they floated across the stage, were my motivation. While others admired Messi and Adele, I idolized Carlos Acosta, principal dancer of the Royal Ballet. 

As I devoted more time and energy towards my craft, I became obsessed with improving my technique. I would stretch for hours after class, forcing my leg one inch higher in an effort to mirror the Dance Magazine cover girls. I injured my feet and ruined pair after pair of pointe shoes, turning on wood, cement, and even grass to improve my balance as I spun. At competitions, the dancers with the 180-degree leg extensions, endless turns, and soaring leaps—the ones who received “Bravos!” from the roaring audience—further pushed me to refine my skills and perfect my form. I believed that, with enough determination, I would one day attain their level of perfection. Reaching the quadruple-pirouette milestone only intensified my desire to accomplish even more. 

My efforts seemed to have come to fruition two summers ago when I was accepted to dance with Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet at their renowned New York City summer intensive. I walked into my first session eager to learn from distinguished ballet masters and worldly dancers, already anticipating my improvement. Yet, as I danced alongside the accomplished ballerinas, I felt out of place. Despite their clean technique and professional training, they did not aim for glorious leg extensions or prodigious leaps. When they performed their turn combinations, most of them only executed two turns as I attempted four. 

“Dancers, double-pirouettes only.” 

Taken aback and confused, I wondered why our teacher expected so little from us. The other ballerinas seemed content, gracing the studio with their simple movements. 

As I grew closer with my Moscow roommates, I gradually learned that their training emphasized the history of the art form instead of stylistic tricks. Rather than show off their physical ability, their performances aimed to convey a story, one that embodied the rich culture of ballet and captured both the legacy of the dancers before them and their own artistry. As I observed my friends more intently in repertoire class, I felt the pain of the grief-stricken white swan from Swan Lake, the sass of the flirtatious Kitri from Don Quijote, and I gradually saw what I had overlooked before. My definition of talent had been molded by crowd-pleasing elements—whirring pirouettes, gravity-defying leaps, and mind-blowing leg extensions. This mindset slowly stripped me from the roots of my passion and my personal connection with ballet. 

With the Bolshoi, I learned to step back and explore the meaning behind each step and the people behind the scenes. Ballet carries history in its movements, from the societal values of the era to each choreographer’s unique flair. As I uncovered the messages behind each pirouette, kick, and jump, my appreciation for ballet grew beyond my obsession with raw athleticism and developed into a love for the art form’s emotive abilities in bridging the dancers with the audience. My journey as an artist has allowed me to see how technical execution is only the means to a greater understanding between dancer and spectator, between storyteller and listener. The elegance and complexity of ballet does not revolve around astonishing stunts but rather the evocative strength and artistry manifested in the dancer, in me. It is the combination of sentiments, history, tradition, and passion that has allowed ballet and its lessons of human connection to become my lifestyle both on and off stage.

This essay is about lessons. While the author is a dancer, this narrative isn’t really about ballet, per se — it’s about the author’s personal growth. It is purposefully reflective as the student shows a nice character arc that begins with an eager young ballerina and ends with a reflection on their past. The primary strength of this essay is the honesty and authenticity that the student approaches it with.

In the end, the student turns a cliche on its head as they embrace the idea of overcoming adversity and demonstrate how the adversity, in this case, was their own stereotypes about their art. It’s beautiful!

“Getting beat is one thing – it’s part of competing – but I want no part in losing.” Coach Rob Stark’s motto never fails to remind me of his encouragement on early-morning bus rides to track meets around the state. I’ve always appreciated the phrase, but an experience last June helped me understand its more profound, universal meaning.

Stark, as we affectionately call him, has coached track at my high school for 25 years. His care, dedication, and emphasis on developing good character has left an enduring impact on me and hundreds of other students. Not only did he help me discover my talent and love for running, but he also taught me the importance of commitment and discipline and to approach every endeavor with the passion and intensity that I bring to running. When I learned a neighboring high school had dedicated their track to a longtime coach, I felt that Stark deserved similar honors.

Our school district’s board of education indicated they would only dedicate our track to Stark if I could demonstrate that he was extraordinary. I took charge and mobilized my teammates to distribute petitions, reach out to alumni, and compile statistics on the many team and individual champions Stark had coached over the years. We received astounding support, collecting almost 3,000 signatures and pages of endorsements from across the community. With help from my teammates, I presented this evidence to the board.

They didn’t bite. 

Most members argued that dedicating the track was a low priority. Knowing that we had to act quickly to convince them of its importance, I called a team meeting where we drafted a rebuttal for the next board meeting. To my surprise, they chose me to deliver it. I was far from the best public speaker in the group, and I felt nervous about going before the unsympathetic board again. However, at that second meeting, I discovered that I enjoy articulating and arguing for something that I’m passionate about.

Public speaking resembles a cross country race. Walking to the starting line, you have to trust your training and quell your last minute doubts. When the gun fires, you can’t think too hard about anything; your performance has to be instinctual, natural, even relaxed. At the next board meeting, the podium was my starting line. As I walked up to it, familiar butterflies fluttered in my stomach. Instead of the track stretching out in front of me, I faced the vast audience of teachers, board members, and my teammates. I felt my adrenaline build, and reassured myself: I’ve put in the work, my argument is powerful and sound. As the board president told me to introduce myself, I heard, “runners set” in the back of my mind. She finished speaking, and Bang! The brief silence was the gunshot for me to begin. 

The next few minutes blurred together, but when the dust settled, I knew from the board members’ expressions and the audience’s thunderous approval that I had run quite a race. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough; the board voted down our proposal. I was disappointed, but proud of myself, my team, and our collaboration off the track. We stood up for a cause we believed in, and I overcame my worries about being a leader. Although I discovered that changing the status quo through an elected body can be a painstakingly difficult process and requires perseverance, I learned that I enjoy the challenges this effort offers. Last month, one of the school board members joked that I had become a “regular” – I now often show up to meetings to advocate for a variety of causes, including better environmental practices in cafeterias and safer equipment for athletes.

Just as Stark taught me, I worked passionately to achieve my goal. I may have been beaten when I appealed to the board, but I certainly didn’t lose, and that would have made Stark proud.

This essay uses the idea of sports to explore a more profound topic—growing through relationships. They really embrace using sports as an avenue to tell the reader about a specific experience that changed the way they approach the world. 

The emphasis on relationships is why this essay works well and doesn’t fall into a cliche. The narrator grows not because of their experience with track but because of their relationship with their coach, who inspired them to evolve and become a leader.

Have a draft of your college essay? We’re here to help you polish it. Students can participate in a free Peer Review, or they can sign up for a paid review by CollegeVine’s experts. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to start improving your essay and your chances of acceptance!

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

essay on sports for a healthy life

Essay on Sports for Students and Children

500+ words essay on sports.

Sport plays an important role in students. As it develops the physical and mental health of the child. Moreover, adults should include in their daily life routine. Sports are not only played for physical health but also to create discipline in a person. Since all the sports require obedient towards a goal, it enlists hard work in a person. Furthermore, some people play sports to make their career in it.

essay on sports for a healthy life

In our country where cricket is more than a sport for us, many cricketers have got fame because of it. Moreover, cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar , M.S. Dhoni are renowned in the entire world. As they have much fame in the country. People recognize them just by their name.

But apart from cricket different organization organize different sports. Tournaments like Commonwealth Games , FIFA World Cup , Asian games have great importance in the world. The tournaments carry out on a huge scale.

There are many sports that have equal importance. Division of these sports is in two categories.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Outdoor sports

Outdoor sports as the name states takes place outside the house. For instance, some of these sports are: Football: This sport takes place on the ground. Moreover, there are two goalposts at the end. As two teams play this sport. So the players of the team have to kick in the ball in the opposite goals. However, the other teams have to defend their goalposts.

Cricket: As we all know about cricket It is also an outdoor sport. Players play cricket on a pitch. In this one team does batting while the other bowls and fields. Moreover, we can only play cricket on a dry pitch. So this game can only take place in pleasant weather.

Tennis: Player plays this sport with a racquet. Moreover, in this sport, only two or four players can play. Furthermore, this sport takes place in a tennis court. Hockey: Hockey is also a renowned sport. Our country excels in this game. Moreover, our hockey players are the best be it in the male or the female category. Players play hockey with a hockey stick and a synthetic ball. But the gameplay of this sport is the same as of football However, there are many outdoor sports but these are the major ones.

Indoor sports

Indoor sports usually take place in a confined place or a room. Some examples of these types of sports are:

Chess: Chess is a mind game. Only intellectual players play this sport. Because it requires a lot of knowledge and presence of mind. Participants play this sport on a chessboard. Moreover, each player has 16 pieces with which they have to play the game

Table Tennis: Players play table tennis on a table inside a room or a hall. Moreover, like tennis it also has racquets. But the size of the racquets is small and of a different material. Moreover, it has a set of rules so the players have to play accordingly.

Boxing: Boxing is a lethal sport. Players like Mary Kom from our country excel in this game. Moreover, Mary Kom makes a huge name worldwide because of her skills in this game. Boxing is a sport that takes place in a boxing ring. Two players land punches on each other until either one knocks out.

Badminton: Similar to tennis only two or four players can play this. Moreover, players play it wit a badminton racquet.

Moreover, there are other sports too but these have great significance in our country.

The FAQ on Essay on sports

Q1.What is the importance of sports in our life?

A1. Sports keep our physical and mental health stable. Moreover, it keeps our body free from any disease by keeping our heart fit.

Q2. Name any two renowned sports players in our country.

A2. The two renowned sports players in our country are Sachin Tendulkar and M.S. Dhoni.

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in.


  • Travelling Essay
  • Picnic Essay
  • Our Country Essay
  • My Parents Essay
  • Essay on Favourite Personality
  • Essay on Memorable Day of My Life
  • Essay on Knowledge is Power
  • Essay on Gurpurab
  • Essay on My Favourite Season
  • Essay on Types of Sports

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download the App

Google Play


Essay on Benefits of Sports

Students are often asked to write an essay on Benefits of Sports in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Benefits of Sports


Sports play a significant role in our lives. They are more than just games; they teach us important life lessons and have numerous benefits.

Physical Health

Engaging in sports helps maintain a healthy body. It strengthens muscles, improves heart health and boosts the immune system.

Mental Well-being

Sports also enhance mental health. They reduce stress, improve mood and promote better sleep.

Social Skills

Playing sports helps develop social skills. It encourages teamwork, cooperation, and communication with others.

In a nutshell, sports offer numerous benefits. They contribute to our physical health, mental well-being, and social skills.

250 Words Essay on Benefits of Sports

Sport, an integral part of human culture and society, is often viewed purely as a source of entertainment. However, it offers a multitude of benefits that extend well beyond the confines of a playing field or court.

Participation in sports contributes significantly to physical health. It helps maintain a healthy weight, combats health conditions and diseases, and promotes better sleep. Sports also enhance muscular strength, flexibility, and the efficiency of the heart and lungs, all contributing to improved physical health and well-being.

Sports also have a profound impact on mental health. They help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by releasing endorphins that act as natural mood lifters. Furthermore, the focus and concentration required in sports enhance cognitive abilities, including problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Engaging in sports fosters social skills. Team sports, in particular, promote cooperation, communication, and empathy as individuals work towards a common goal. This interaction nurtures a sense of belonging and helps build strong social networks.

Life Skills

Sports instill valuable life skills. They teach discipline, time management, and responsibility. Additionally, dealing with wins and losses in sports develops resilience and the ability to cope with life’s ups and downs.

In conclusion, sports offer an array of benefits that impact physical health, mental well-being, social skills, and life skills. The multifaceted benefits of sports make them an essential component of a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Therefore, the importance of incorporating sports into daily life cannot be overstated.

500 Words Essay on Benefits of Sports

Sports, often considered a means of entertainment, play a far more significant role in our lives than we usually acknowledge. They are not just about winning medals or achieving personal bests; they are about character building, health enhancement, and fostering social connections. This essay aims to delve into the multifaceted benefits of sports, extending from the individual to societal level.

Physical Health Benefits

Engaging in sports is instrumental in maintaining physical health. Regular physical activity helps to control weight, combat health conditions and diseases, and improve overall bodily functions. It enhances cardiovascular fitness, builds strong bones and muscles, and boosts endurance. For instance, sports like swimming provide a full-body workout, improving heart and lung efficiency, while weight-bearing sports like running can increase bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Mental Health Benefits

Beyond physical health, sports can significantly influence mental well-being. Participating in sports has been linked to reduced levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. The reason is twofold: the release of endorphins during physical activity that generates feelings of happiness and relaxation, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with achieving a sporting goal. Furthermore, sports can enhance cognitive function, improving concentration, learning, and critical thinking skills.

Social Benefits

Sports also serve as a social platform, fostering a sense of community and belonging. Team sports, in particular, promote cooperation, communication, and understanding, essential skills not just on the field but in everyday life. They cultivate a sense of teamwork, teaching individuals the importance of working together towards a common goal.

Character Development

Character development is another significant benefit of sports. They teach essential life skills such as discipline, responsibility, self-confidence, sacrifice, and accountability. Sports offer a platform for learning how to deal with success and failure. They instill resilience, encouraging individuals to keep striving for their goals despite setbacks.

In conclusion, the benefits of sports are far-reaching and multifaceted. They contribute to the holistic development of an individual, improving physical and mental health, fostering social connections, and shaping character. In a world increasingly dominated by sedentary lifestyles and digital interactions, sports serve as a vital counterpoint, promoting well-being and community. While the competitive aspect of sports often takes the spotlight, the underlying benefits warrant equal, if not more, attention. As such, participation in sports should be encouraged, not just for the love of the game, but for the comprehensive benefits it brings to our lives.

That’s it! I hope the essay helped you.

If you’re looking for more, here are essays on other interesting topics:

  • Essay on Yoga for Health
  • Essay on History of Yoga
  • Essay on Hygiene Vital For Our Health

Apart from these, you can look at all the essays by clicking here .

Happy studying!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Home — Essay Samples — Life — Recreation and Sports — The Importance of Playing Sports


Social, Mental, and Physical Benefits of Sports for Young Adolescents

  • Categories: Physical Education Physical Exercise Recreation and Sports

About this sample


Words: 1334 |

Published: Dec 5, 2018

Words: 1334 | Page: 1 | 7 min read

Table of contents

Introduction, social benefits, effects on mental health, effects on physical health.

Image of Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Let us write you an essay from scratch

  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours

Get high-quality help


Verified writer

  • Expert in: Education Nursing & Health Life


+ 120 experts online

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy . We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

No need to pay just yet!

Related Essays

1 pages / 469 words

3 pages / 1386 words

2 pages / 919 words

2 pages / 710 words

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

121 writers online

Social, Mental, and Physical Benefits of Sports for Young Adolescents Essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled

Related Essays on Recreation and Sports

Games and amusements are critical for us. They keep us sound and fit. They offer us a change from the dullness of day by day life. It is a helpful methods for amusement and physical action. Games and recreations help in [...]

Volleyball is a popular sport that is played by millions of people around the world. It is a game that requires skill, teamwork, and athleticism. In this informative speech, we will explore the history of volleyball, the rules [...]

Sports have been an integral part of human society for centuries. From ancient civilizations to modern times, sports have played a crucial role in promoting physical fitness, mental well-being, and social interaction. In [...]

Violence has been around forever now. It’s everywhere. So what is violence? Violence is 'the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy.' Most will assume there is only one type of violence that people use, [...]

The Catastrophe theory is a severe version of the inverted U theory. At first, an athlete is under-aroused meaning that they are distracted and not aware of their surroundings. Then they are at optimum level of arousal meaning [...]

Coyle, J. T. (2004). Use it or lose it - Do effortful mental activities protect against dementia? The New England Journal of Medicine, 352(25), 2571-2572.Einstein, G., & McDaniel, M. (2004). Integrated memory for details and [...]

Related Topics

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement . We will occasionally send you account related emails.

Where do you want us to send this sample?

By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Be careful. This essay is not unique

This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

Download this Sample

Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts

Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.

Please check your inbox.

We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!

Get Your Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

We use cookies to personalyze your web-site experience. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy .

  • Instructions Followed To The Letter
  • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
  • Unique And Plagiarism Free

essay on sports for a healthy life

Kurt Ela Psy.D.

Sport and Competition

What being an elite athlete taught me about life, sports can be an amazing metaphor for the challenges of life..

Posted April 22, 2024 | Reviewed by Michelle Quirk

  • Playing a sport, at any level, can promote many benefits for children.
  • Parents can become part of the solution (or the problem) by how they support their children.
  • Lessons learned from sport can last a lifetime and prepare them for what lies ahead.

Source: Patrice Audet / Pixabay

During my psychoanalytic training, one instructor offhandedly stated that psychoanalysts often were not the athletes in high school or college; we were the studious ones. I didn’t dare argue at the time, but that was not my experience.

Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, I was a standout hockey player. The sport had an enormous impact on my life, and the lessons far outreached the athletic goals achieved. This blog post will explore the benefits and drawbacks of being an elite athlete and how to leverage the beneficial aspects of it as a parent, coach, or educator.

As a youth athlete, I witnessed all the joys of being a part of a team. I felt buoyed when I contributed to the team, and I felt good in cheering on my teammates. It also felt just as important when I consoled a player who made a mistake, and I benefitted from such kind words myself when I fell short.

Unfortunately, none of us is exempt from the worst of youth sports. I experienced a talented player or two getting cut to make way for the son of the coach’s friend. I also remember riding home with a teammate when his father reached over and punched him, hard, in the arm for not playing better. In reminiscing recently with my father, we recalled at least three instances where parents fought in the stands, sometimes even among parents of the same team.

In the end, my hockey career was both amazing and ordinary. On the one hand, I was one of 20 to represent Team Wisconsin in a national showcase and was named the most valuable player in Madison my senior year of high school. This was a big deal for me and contributed to my sense of accomplishment. It was also humbling when I considered (and sometimes played against) the respective best players from Minneapolis or Toronto or Stockholm. Madison began to look pretty small at that point. There’s always a bigger fish.

Still, I was able to play Division III at Amherst College and was fortunate to stay healthy enough to play in every game all four years. Some of the people I played with or against growing up have their names on the Stanley Cup. That would have been pretty special, but I am grateful for what hockey was able to provide in my life—mainly the lessons, not the hardware. Following are a few suggestions from my time as an athlete.

  • Find the right role models. As a hockey player, I was fast and had good hands. I was not big. Rather, I was tall but not heavy, so I spent my time trying not to get hit versus mixing it up in the corners. Fortunately, I had the perfect role model at the time in Wayne Gretzky. He was not the biggest guy on the ice. In fact, his size was notably average, but his play was anything but. In him, I saw someone who could excel through hard work (and, of course, enormous talent) to outplay the bigger guys. It was inspiring and motivating. My parents promoted my interest by bringing me to the University of Wisconsin hockey games. There, I watched Mark Johnston and Bobby Suter, two future Olympians who played for the Miracle on Ice team in Lake Placid. I interacted with both as a kid in summer hockey camps, and they were amazing role models.
  • Remember: Parents are the support, not the stars. Parents play an important role in promoting youth sports. More than just driving their kids to practice at 5 a.m. (Thanks, Mom!), they are often the first coaches and role models for young athletes. If you are a parent of an athlete, this is your chance to do it right! However you were parented or coached, you will want to be a cheerleader and best supporting actor here, not the star. Some parents play out their own sports fantasies or failures with their children. This rarely ends well. Far better to connect with your son or daughter around love of the game, hard work, and personal growth as opposed to becoming their biggest critic.
  • Speaking of effort... It has been fairly well documented that praising the effort is more effective than general praise. In her book Mindset , researcher Dr. Carol Dweck explains how praising a child’s effort leads to improvement in a task, whereas praising intelligence actually has a deleterious impact as it diminishes motivation and performance. Recent research added to this concept, specific to an athletic task. Sahli and colleagues found that verbal encouragement during high-intensity functional exercise testing increased performance more than general compliments. So, all that cheering at your kids’ games does make a difference!

Now that I am a psychologist, I work with individuals from all walks of life. I have also worked with professional athletes in three leagues during my career: Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and the National Hockey League. I am not a sports psychologist. Rather, I have been referred athletes who are dealing with life’s problems, like the rest of us. And that is the key, whether one is a professional athlete, woodworker, or lawyer. We all face challenges. Sometimes the problems differ, but human beings have human problems: relationship challenges, identity concerns, grief , loss, and trauma . I have found that sports can be a metaphor for many of these life challenges. We all win some, and we all lose some in our lives, no matter how good we might be at something. Knowing how to cope with the stressors and disappointments is one of the best lessons that athletics can teach a young person today and help to prepare them for what lies ahead in their lives.

Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Random House.

Sahli H, Haddad M, Jebabli N, Sahli F, Ouergui I, Ouerghi N, Bragazzi NL, Zghibi M. The Effects of Verbal Encouragement and Compliments on Physical Performance and Psychophysiological Responses During the Repeated Change of Direction Sprint Test. Front Psychol. 2022 Feb 18;12:698673. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.698673. PMID: 35250684; PMCID: PMC8896045.

Kurt Ela Psy.D.

Kurt Ela, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, and an associate professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

  • Find a Therapist
  • Find a Treatment Center
  • Find a Support Group
  • International
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
  • Asperger's
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Chronic Pain
  • Eating Disorders
  • Passive Aggression
  • Personality
  • Goal Setting
  • Positive Psychology
  • Stopping Smoking
  • Low Sexual Desire
  • Relationships
  • Child Development
  • Therapy Center NEW
  • Diagnosis Dictionary
  • Types of Therapy

March 2024 magazine cover

Understanding what emotional intelligence looks like and the steps needed to improve it could light a path to a more emotionally adept world.

  • Coronavirus Disease 2019
  • Affective Forecasting
  • Neuroscience

How do we love sports when sports aren't always good for the environment? 

Toronto-based scientist explores what can be done to make things better.

essay on sports for a healthy life

Social Sharing

There is no denying that environment and sport are inextricably linked. We play soccer on green fields, we swim in open water, we run through parks and trails. We rely on a healthy planet for recreation and elite sport. 

A couple of years ago before the Olympics in Tokyo, I read a column about how beach volleyball players had to stop practicing because their feet were burning on the sand. Of course Japan is hot in the summer, but the effects of environmental abuse were hitting athletes in unprecedented ways. 

We know that effects of mega events can be terrible on host regions , biodiversity, and levels of carbon emissions. But we aren't going to cancel the most prominent human gathering in sports. Is there a way to connect dots to try to build a better future and amend our wasteful ways ?

Dr. Maddy Orr is the founder of the Sport Ecology Group and an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Toronto. She has written a book called Warming Up: How Climate Change is Changing Sport . As an authority on environment and sport, she is the best person to speak about sports on Earth Day. 

<a href="https://twitter.com/maddyjorr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@maddyjorr</a> is an Assistant Professor at the <a href="https://twitter.com/UofT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UofT</a> and a co-founder of the <a href="https://twitter.com/SportEcoGroup?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SportEcoGroup</a>. In early May, she will be releasing a brand-new book called “Warming Up, How Climate Change is Changing Sport” which focuses on how sport is adapting to and wrestling with climate change. 📖 <a href="https://t.co/i5PWX2ovHQ">pic.twitter.com/i5PWX2ovHQ</a> &mdash; @SustainSportPod

I talked with her about what we need to do to help slow the devastating effects of climate change in sport. How do we love sports when sports aren't always good for the environment? 

"Talking about it is the scariest thing," she told me via Zoom. "But I ask innocent questions. I will write to the [sports] federations or associations and ask about what they are doing when temperatures go above a certain point five times in a year."

There are health guidelines about temperatures regulated all over the world and Orr pays attention to those numbers and what can be done about it.

"When hazards present themselves, it is our responsibility to be aware of that," she said. "These are not acts of god anymore, we can predict them." 

Orr became interested in climate change and sport when she was working in the French Alps and it became obvious that the winter conditions were not strong enough to sustain enough snow for ski conditions. This ended up delaying the season and because the snow was slushy and not natural powder, injuries became much more prominent and so did avalanches. She remembers when a neighbouring ski resort lost five children and an instructor on the slopes. 

WATCH: How climate change, a 'threat multiplier,' is affecting the future of sport:

essay on sports for a healthy life

How climate change, a 'threat multiplier,' is affecting the future of sport

My daughter plays soccer at the University of Calgary and in the past the team's practices have been interrupted by wildfire smoke wafting through the city. I visited Calgary last May and saw how the air was grey with ash and the city had a dystopian feel to it. It was hard to breathe outside let alone work out.  All the soccer events in the city were cancelled until the air index quality improved.

Orr said that in addition to prevention and warning systems, response actions are essential and education goes hand in hand with that, such as information from city recreations departments, clubs and teams. This is the information that the public should know to ask about and also research themselves.

"We need policies on how to keep people safe, safety first," she said. "It's not a complicated concept."

It also provides an opportunity for people to talk about climate change and how it is affecting our sports, which is essential. Accountability and education are imperative, Orr said. Building pathways to creating solutions and having more exchanges about these issues is critical. 

A cricket grounds is flooded.

Orr's research and work is not only science-based but rooted in human rights. She sees injustices and inequities tied to climate change. In her book Warming Up , there is a chapter about disadvantaged people and how climate change does not affect everyone equally, even within sport. The data shows that systemic inequalities are being exacerbated by climate change and it's important to recognize that. 

Orr talked about a representative from the International Olympic Committee who was speaking about sustainability at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. The speaker said there will be 20 fewer participating nations because of the devastating effects of climate change on sport in those places. That's unsettling and simultaneously mind-blowing. Be it environmental displacement or cities being too warm to host Winter Olympics, there are many ways in which climate change is affecting sport. 

  • Earth Day founder Denis Hayes says young climate activists carry the spirit of his generation

But Orr isn't worried that people aren't interested or don't care. 

"You would be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn't want fresh air, clean water, or a good place for their kids to play for their kids," she said.

The important thing is discussing it, checking to see what your soccer club is doing about recycling or about water consumption, using LED lights and even carpooling (there are websites to help map out more environmentally friendly transportation.)

Check out the powerful story of Jenny Casson, Canadian Olympic lightweight rower and new EcoAthletes Champion, a climate activist since she was 3 days old...for real! She will be <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ClimateComeback?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ClimateComeback</a> gold for sure! <a href="https://t.co/dMTCf7mp2v">https://t.co/dMTCf7mp2v</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MichaelEMann?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@michaelemann</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ActOnClimate?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ActOnClimate</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/rowingcanada?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rowingcanada</a> <a href="https://t.co/Gmms8rGG9h">pic.twitter.com/Gmms8rGG9h</a> &mdash; @ecoathletesteam

As lovers of sport, participants, and community members, paying attention to initiatives and green campaigns within sport is important. There are also organizations and movements from athletes like Ecoathletes trying to amplify climate change issues. 

Continuous learning and actions are what need to keep happening — for sport and because of sport. For Orr, all of this is centred around a culture of care.

"We have a duty of care to everyone, from Timbits soccer to FIFA World Cup players," she said.

According to Orr, this means that absence of harm must be considered as much as provision of care. That duty of care is everyone's responsibility irrespective of team preference and club loyalty. We want our pitches and fields green, so our practice in sports must be the same. It is that simple. 


essay on sports for a healthy life

Senior Contributor

Shireen Ahmed is a multi-platform sports journalist, a TEDx speaker, mentor, and an award-winning sports activist who focuses on the intersections of racism and misogyny in sports. She is an industry expert on Muslim women in sports, and her academic research and contributions have been widely published. She is co-creator and co-host of the “Burn It All Down” feminist sports podcast team. In addition to being a seasoned investigative reporter, her commentary is featured by media outlets in Canada, the USA, Europe and Australia. She holds an MA in Media Production from Toronto Metropolitan University where she now teaches Sports Journalism and Sports Media. You can find Shireen tweeting or drinking coffee, or tweeting about drinking coffee. She lives with her four children and her cat.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

Get up to speed on what's happening in sports. Delivered weekdays.

Talk to our experts


  • Healthy Lifestyle Essay


Essay on Healthy Lifestyle

The top secret of being physically fit is adopting a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise, a healthy diet, taking good care of self, healthy sleep habits, and having a physically active daily routine. Lifestyle is the most prevailing factor that affects one’s fitness level. A person leading a sedentary lifestyle has a low fitness level whereas living a healthier life not only makes a person fit but also extends life. Good health has a direct impact on our personality. A person with a good and healthy lifestyle is generally more confident, self-assured, sociable, and energetic.

A good and healthy lifestyle allows one to relish and savor all the pleasures in life without any complications. Even all the wealth is less valuable when compared to sound health. Having all the luxuries in the world does not fulfill its purpose when one is continuously ill, depressed, or suffering from a significant health complication. A healthy person has a clear and calm perception of everything without prejudice. His actions and decisions are more practical and logical and are hence more successful in life.

A good habit is a key factor for a healthy lifestyle. To maintain a stable body and mind, one needs to inculcate good habits. Waking up early in the morning, regularly exercising or a good morning walk helps to keep our body energetic and refresh our mind. Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet throughout the day is vital for maintaining a good lifestyle. Too much indulgence in alcohol or smoking excessively is not at all appropriate for a healthy lifestyle.


Self-discipline is important for maintaining a good lifestyle. When we are self-disciplined then we are more organized and regular in maintaining good health. A disciplined life is a regulated life. A man without discipline is a ship without a rudder. Discipline needs self-control. One who cannot control himself can seldom control others. The level of discipline and perseverance largely determines a person’s success. Self-discipline is the act of disciplining one’s own feelings, desires, etc. especially with the intention of improving oneself. It strengthens our willpower. The stronger our will power the positive will be our decision. It enables us to conquer our own self.


Punctuality is the habit of doing things on time. It is the characteristic of every successful person and everyone must observe punctuality in order to win success in life. Punctuality is necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It should become a habit with us. A punctual person is able to fulfill all his responsibilities and hence is treated with respect in society. It is needed in every walk of life.

Diet is an important component for overall fitness and works best in combination with exercise. A balanced diet and exercise regularly help to maintain good health. It is necessary to reduce weight if one is overweight or obese, failing which one cannot be physically fit for long. For people with obesity, more exercise and a strict regime are necessary, preferably under guidance. There are many ways of making the diet healthier.

Use less sugar and salt while cooking food.

Use less oil while cooking. Avoid deep-frying as much as possible. 

Eat more fruits daily. They provide more vitamins and minerals to our bodies.

Add sprouts of gram and moong dal to at least one meal in a day. Add fiber to your diet. Use whole grains instead of polished cereals. Eat lots of salad and yogurt.

Eat fermented food regularly. Fermented food contains many useful bacteria that help in the process of digestion.

Prevention of Lifestyle Diseases

By adopting a healthy lifestyle one can avoid lifestyle diseases. The following are some ways in which we can prevent lifestyle diseases.

Eat a balanced diet that contains important nutrients. One must include more fresh fruits and green vegetables in the diet. Refrain from eating junk food. Stay away from foods that contain large amounts of salt or sugar.

Exercise regularly. Spend more time outdoors and do activities such as walking, running, swimming, and cycling.

One must avoid overindulgence in alcohol, junk food, smoking, and addiction to drugs and medicines.

Avoid spending too much on modern gadgets like mobile phones, laptops, televisions, etc. Spend time on these gadgets for short intervals of time only.

Set a healthy sleeping routine for every day. Waking early in the morning and going to bed early at night should be a daily habit. Lead an active life.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

Bad food habits and an unhealthy lifestyle such as less or no physical activity may lead to several diseases like obesity, high blood pressure or hypertension, diabetes, anemia, and various heart diseases. An unhealthy lifestyle reduces productivity and creativity in a person. It also adversely affects moods and relationships. It leads to depression and anxiety in human beings.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle not only makes a person confident and productive but also drives him to success. A person with a healthy lifestyle will enjoy both personal and social life.


FAQs on Healthy Lifestyle Essay

What Do You Understand about a Healthy Lifestyle?

A healthy lifestyle is a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a healthy diet, taking good care of self, healthy sleep habits and having a physically active daily routine.

How is Punctuality Important for Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle?

Punctuality is the habit of doing things on time. It is the characteristic of every successful person and everyone must observe punctuality in order to win success in life. It should become a habit with us. A punctual person is able to fulfil all his responsibilities and hence is treated with respect in society. It is needed in every walk of life.

What Happens When One Does Not Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle?

When one does not maintain a healthy lifestyle then several diseases like obesity, high blood pressure or hypertension, diabetes, anaemia and various heart diseases can occur. An unhealthy lifestyle reduces productivity and creativity in a person. It also adversely affects moods and relationships. It leads to depression and anxiety in human beings.

What are the Main Factors that Determine a Good and Healthy Lifestyle?

In order to maintain a good and healthy lifestyle, one must be self-disciplined, self-motivated, maintain punctuality and have good habits like waking early in the morning and maintain a regular fitness regime and a balanced and nutritious diet.

Is writing an essay hard?

Essay writing is a difficult task that needs a great deal of study, time, and focus. It's also an assignment that you can divide down into manageable chunks such as introduction, main content, and conclusion. Breaking down and focusing on each individually makes essay writing more pleasant. It's natural for students to be concerned about writing an essay. It's one of the most difficult tasks to do, especially for people who aren't confident in their writing abilities. While writing a decent essay is difficult, the secret to being proficient at it is reading a lot of books, conducting extensive research on essential topics, and practicing essay writing diligently.

Why is it important for one to aspire to have a healthy lifestyle?

A healthy lifestyle is an important way for reducing the occurrence and impact of health problems, as well as for recovery, coping with life stressors, and improving the overall quality of life. An increasing collection of scientific data suggests that our habits have a significant impact on our health. Everything we eat and drink, as well as how much exercise we get and whether we smoke or use drugs, has an impact on our health, not just in terms of life expectancy but also in terms of how long we may expect to live without developing chronic illness. A large proportion of fatalities are caused by conditions such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, joint disease, and mental illness. A healthy lifestyle can help to avoid or at least delay the onset of many health issues.

How to download the Essay on Healthy Lifestyle from the Vedantu website?

The Essay on Healthy Lifestyle, which is accurate and well-structured, is available for download on the Vedantu website. The Essay is accessible in PDF format on Vedantu's official website and may be downloaded for free. Students should download the Essay on Healthy Lifestyle from the Vedantu website to obtain a sense of the word limit, sentence structure, and fundamental grasp of what makes a successful essay. Vedantu essay is brief and appropriate for youngsters in school. It is written in basic English, which is ideal for kids who have a restricted vocabulary. Following the Vedantu essay ensures that students are adequately prepared for any essay subject and that they will receive high grades. Click here to read the essay about a healthy lifestyle.

Who prepares the Essay for Vedantu?

The Essay on Healthy Lifestyle designed for the Vedantu is created by a group of experts and experienced teachers. The panel of experts has created the essay after analyzing important essay topics that have been repeatedly asked in various examinations. The Essays that are provided by Vedantu are not only well-structured but also accurate and concise. They are aptly suited for young students with limited vocabulary. For best results, the students are advised to go through multiple essays and practice the topics on their own to inculcate the habits of time management and speed.

What constitutes a healthy lifestyle?

Healthy life is built on the pillars of a good diet, frequent exercise, and appropriate sleep. A healthy lifestyle keeps people in excellent shape, it also gives you more energy throughout the day, and lowers your chance of developing many diet-related chronic diseases. Healthy living is considered a lifestyle choice that allows you to enjoy more elements of your life. Taking care of one's physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being is part of living a healthy lifestyle.

Good Nutrition, Eating Right and proper diet.

Getting Physically Fit, Beneficial Exercise and working out often.

Adequate rest and uninterrupted sleep.

Proper Stress Management.

Self-Supportive Attitudes.

Positive Thoughts are encouraged.

Positive Self-Image and body image.

Inner Calmness and peace.

Openness to Your Creativity and Self-care.

Trust in Your Inner Knowing and your gut feeling.

AZ Writing | Sample Essays, Example Research Papers and Tips

Free essay samples, research paper examples and academic writing tips for students

Essay on Sports and Health

Today increasingly more people think of the necessity to engage in sport activity to be able to lead a healthy way of life.

Sport prevents many health problems and renders enormous influence on our health. Sport and health are closely interrelated. It has emerged that health is the base for a human being in his ability to decide serious vital tasks and surmount various obstacles. It is a necessary condition for a man to live long and happy life.

What does happen in our body when we are engaged in the regular sport activity? During exercising we make work our muscles, bones, joints, ligaments in a stress mode, which results in their adaptation to such an intensive work. It makes our muscles grow stronger, adjusts our nerve system to more effective functioning and help us perform more difficult tasks, then we done before.

There are also positive changes in our joints, but those who are thinking the more, the better, are deeply mistaken.

The regular, moderate physical activity positively influences our cardiovascular system. The correct, sparing exercise stress help preventing phlebeurysm and thrombosis in lower limbs. Due to properly proportioned physical activity, the amount of red corpuscles increases in blood, which results in the improvement of oxygen assimilation. Our respiratory system is also one of the main beneficiary from engagement in sport. Better ventilation of lungs to a great extent lead to reduction of such diseases as bronchitis and inflammation of the lungs. There is also an improvement of metabolism, due to the acceleration of metabolism of fats…

As it was already mentioned above, sparing physical activity on the regular basis prevents diseases of blood vessels, such as atherosclerosis. It is also important to say that acceleration of metabolism of carbohydrates leads to better energy consumption.

Naturally, the healthy and active way of life implies total abandonment of fat products and tobacco smoking. Facts talk for itself: moderate physical activity, daily sport exercises, healthy diet effectively prevent such diseases, as diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, obesity and hypercholesterolemia. The decrease of blood cholesterol level beneficially affects not only on the health of the people, suffering cardiac diseases, but also those who suffers diabetes of the second group, increasing the sensitiveness to insulin.

From above-described it is possible to do the following conclusion: it is necessary to be regularly engaged in physical exercises, at least during 30 minutes a day, controlling your heart-rate (simpler speaking – you have to watch after your pulse), to avoid arrhythmia and remember that excessive physical exertion only harms your heart. Doctors meet in opinion that the most healthy sports for the heart are walking, swimming, wheeling and running in an unhurried rate.

Actually all free sample essays and examples available online are 100% plagiarized! If you need a high-quality customized essay on Sports and Health topics written from scratch, you can easily hire professional academic writers online:

Click here to read more about custom written essays here!

You will get a 100% non-plagiarized essay paper about Sports and Health from SmartWritingService essay writing service!

17 Replies to “Essay on Sports and Health”

  • Pingback: Effects Of Football – SPORTS

Karunu walata thanks

THANK YOU……………me karunu mata godak wedagath unaaaaa…….

Good it is right sports prevent our health

I got 2prise in essay competition

thank you very much

Thanks four your writing it’s very gooood

So helpful essäy thnq so much…♡

Thanks alot… This helped me in my assignment alot…..

Gsysusisidjjdgavavxuicidushs s s S S S a s

a a s f f g. f d.. V H ji k okk inter u

i never inderstand any thing

😊 thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

good and good

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Log in using your username and password

  • Search More Search for this keyword Advanced search
  • Latest content
  • Current issue
  • For authors
  • New editors
  • BMJ Journals More You are viewing from: Google Indexer

You are here

  • Online First
  • Cardiorespiratory fitness is a strong and consistent predictor of morbidity and mortality among adults: an overview of meta-analyses representing over 20.9 million observations from 199 unique cohort studies
  • Article Text
  • Article info
  • Citation Tools
  • Rapid Responses
  • Article metrics

Download PDF

  • http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1768-319X Justin J Lang 1 , 2 , 3 ,
  • http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6729-5649 Stephanie A Prince 1 , 2 ,
  • Katherine Merucci 4 ,
  • http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4513-9108 Cristina Cadenas-Sanchez 5 , 6 ,
  • http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5607-5736 Jean-Philippe Chaput 2 , 7 , 8 ,
  • http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1752-5431 Brooklyn J Fraser 3 , 9 ,
  • http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5461-5981 Taru Manyanga 10 ,
  • Ryan McGrath 3 , 11 , 12 , 13 ,
  • http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2001-1121 Francisco B Ortega 5 , 14 ,
  • http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7227-2406 Ben Singh 3 ,
  • http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7601-9670 Grant R Tomkinson 3
  • 1 Centre for Surveillance and Applied Research , Public Health Agency of Canada , Ottawa , Ontario , Canada
  • 2 School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine , University of Ottawa , Ottawa , Ontario , Canada
  • 3 Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA), Allied Health and Human Performance , University of South Australia , Adelaide , South Australia , Australia
  • 4 Health Library , Health Canada , Ottawa , Ontario , Canada
  • 5 Department of Physical Education and Sports, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Sport and Health University Research Institute (iMUDS) , University of Granada; CIBEROBN, ISCIII , Granada , Andalucía , Spain
  • 6 Stanford University, Department of Cardiology; and Veterans Affair Palo Alto Health Care System , Palo Alto , California , USA
  • 7 Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute , Ottawa , Ontario , Canada
  • 8 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine , University of Ottawa , Ottawa , Ontario , Canada
  • 9 Menzies Institute for Medical Research , University of Tasmania , Hobart , Tasmania , Australia
  • 10 Division of Medical Sciences , University of Northern British Columbia , Prince George , British Columbia , Canada
  • 11 Fargo VA Healthcare System , Fargo , North Dakota , USA
  • 12 Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences , North Dakota State University , Fargo , North Dakota , USA
  • 13 Department of Geriatrics , University of North Dakota , Grand Forks , North Dakota , USA
  • 14 Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences , University of Jyväskylä , Jyväskylä , Finland
  • Correspondence to Dr Justin J Lang, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; justin.lang{at}phac-aspc.gc.ca

Objective To examine and summarise evidence from meta-analyses of cohort studies that evaluated the predictive associations between baseline cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and health outcomes among adults.

Design Overview of systematic reviews.

Data source Five bibliographic databases were searched from January 2002 to March 2024.

Results From the 9062 papers identified, we included 26 systematic reviews. We found eight meta-analyses that described five unique mortality outcomes among general populations. CRF had the largest risk reduction for all-cause mortality when comparing high versus low CRF (HR=0.47; 95% CI 0.39 to 0.56). A dose–response relationship for every 1-metabolic equivalent of task (MET) higher level of CRF was associated with a 11%–17% reduction in all-cause mortality (HR=0.89; 95% CI 0.86 to 0.92, and HR=0.83; 95% CI 0.78 to 0.88). For incident outcomes, nine meta-analyses described 12 unique outcomes. CRF was associated with the largest risk reduction in incident heart failure when comparing high versus low CRF (HR=0.31; 95% CI 0.19 to 0.49). A dose–response relationship for every 1-MET higher level of CRF was associated with a 18% reduction in heart failure (HR=0.82; 95% CI 0.79 to 0.84). Among those living with chronic conditions, nine meta-analyses described four unique outcomes in nine patient groups. CRF was associated with the largest risk reduction for cardiovascular mortality among those living with cardiovascular disease when comparing high versus low CRF (HR=0.27; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.48). The certainty of the evidence across all studies ranged from very low-to-moderate according to Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations.

Conclusion We found consistent evidence that high CRF is strongly associated with lower risk for a variety of mortality and incident chronic conditions in general and clinical populations.

  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Cohort Studies
  • Physical fitness

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request.

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ .


Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions.

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


Many systematic reviews have examined the prospective link between baseline cardiorespiratory fitness and health outcomes, but no study has compiled all the evidence to help identify important gaps in the literature.


This study identified 26 systematic reviews with meta-analysis representing over 20.9 million observations from 199 unique cohort studies. Cardiorespiratory fitness was strongly and consistently protective of a variety of incident chronic conditions and mortality-related outcomes.

Gaps in the literature continue to exist, with limited evidence available among women, and certain clinical populations. Several health outcomes could benefit from future meta-analyses, including specific cancer types, especially among women (eg, breast cancer) and mental health conditions beyond depression.


Given the strength of the predictive utility of cardiorespiratory fitness across many health outcomes, cardiorespiratory fitness would be a valuable risk stratification tool in clinical practice.


Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is a physical trait that reflects the integrated function of numerous bodily systems to deliver and use oxygen to support muscle activity during sustained, rhythmic, whole-body, large muscle physical activity. 1 CRF can be objectively measured using direct (usually by maximal exercise testing with concomitant gas exchange analysis) 2 or indirect (exercise predicted equations) 3 4 methods with a variety of maximal or submaximal protocols using different modalities (eg, stationary cycling, treadmill running/walking, bench stepping, field-based running/walking). Non-exercise prediction equations with reasonable validity are also available when direct CRF measurement is not feasible. 5 6 CRF is commonly expressed as the maximum or peak rate of oxygen consumption per kilogram of body mass (common units: mL/kg/min) or metabolic equivalents of task (METs). Nearly half of the variance in CRF is attributable to genetics, with the remainder modified primarily through habitual physical activity. 7 For example, brisk walking for approximately 150 min per week can result in large relative improvements in CRF among sedentary and unfit individuals. 8 9 Even those with severe chronic disease can improve CRF through well-planned aerobic physical activity programmes. 10

Low CRF is considered a strong chronic disease risk factor that is not routinely assessed in clinical practice. 11 Evidence suggests that the inclusion of CRF as a clinical vital sign would enhance patient management by improving the classification of those at high risk of adverse outcomes. 11 The evidence supporting CRF as an important risk factor has accumulated since the 1980s through large cohort studies that investigated the prospective risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events associated with CRF. 12–14 Research has linked CRF to the incidence of some cancers (eg, colon/rectum, lung), 15 type 2 diabetes, 16 metabolic syndrome, 17 stroke 18 and depression. 19 Higher CRF may even improve the prognosis in those with chronic conditions such as cancer, 20 peripheral artery disease, 21 heart failure 22 and chronic kidney disease. 23

Given the mounting evidence supporting CRF as an important risk factor, numerous systematic reviews with meta-analyses summarising results of primary studies for various health outcomes have been published. Kodama et al 24 published the first meta-analysis on the health-related predictive validity of CRF and found that a 1-MET (3.5 mL/kg/min) higher level of CRF was associated with a 13% and 15% reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, respectively. This study helped to establish the meaningful clinically important difference (MCID) of 1-MET for exercise trials. Since Kodama’s study, there have been several systematic reviews with meta-analyses, with several published in recent years (ie, 2020+). Most systematic reviews have focused on a single health outcome. To date, there has not been a systematic synthesis of the relationships between CRF and a broad range of health outcomes. To help summarise the breadth of evidence, an overview of reviews provides a systematic method to examine evidence across a range of outcomes for a specific exposure. 25 Thus, the objective of this study was to conduct an overview of systematic reviews with meta-analyses from cohort studies that investigated relationships between CRF and prospective health-related outcomes among adults. We also aimed to assess the certainty of the evidence for each identified health outcome.

This overview followed the methods outlined in the Cochrane handbook, 25 and additional methods that were published elsewhere. 26 We adhered to both the Preferred Reporting Items for Overviews of Reviews statement 27 and the Meta-analyses of Observational Studies in Epidemiology reporting standards. 28 The overview was prospectively registered with the PROSPERO international prospective register of systematic reviews (#CRD42022370149). Here, we present a condensed methods section with the full methods available in online supplemental methods .

Supplemental material

Eligibility criteria.

Adult populations (≥18 years) including apparently healthy and clinical populations with diagnosed chronic conditions. Studies that focused on certain special populations were excluded (ie, those recovering from surgery, athletes, disease at birth, pregnant individuals).

The primary exposure was CRF measured using the following approaches: (1) maximal exercise testing with gas analysis (ie, directly measured V̇O 2max/peak ), (2) maximal or submaximal exercise testing without gas analysis, which used either exercise prediction equations to estimate CRF or the measured exercise performance (ie, indirect measures) or (3) non-exercise prediction equations for estimating CRF.

Any health-related outcome such as all-cause or cause-specific mortality, incident conditions related to physical risk factors, chronic conditions or mental health issues were included. Among populations with diagnosed chronic conditions, we included evidence on outcomes such as mortality or disease severity.

Study design

Only systematic reviews with meta-analyses that searched a minimum of two bibliographic databases and provided a sample search strategy were included. We also included meta-analyses that pooled data from primary prospective/retrospective cohort or case-control studies. These studies were the focus because of their ability to assess causality for observational research.

Publication status and language restriction

Only systematic reviews published in peer-reviewed journals in English, French or Spanish (based on authors’ language capacity) were eligible. Conference abstracts or papers, commentaries, editorials, dissertations or grey literature were ineligible.

Systematic reviews published during the past 20 years for the initial search.

Information sources

Five bibliographic databases, including OVID Medline, OVID Embase, Scopus, CINAHL and EBSCOhost SPORTDiscus, were searched from 1 January 2002 to 21 November 2022. The search was later updated from 1 November 2022 to 8 March 2024.

Search strategy

A research librarian (KM) created the search strategy in collaboration with the authorship team, and the final search was peer-reviewed by an independent research librarian using the Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies guidelines. 29 The search strategies for each database are available in online supplemental appendix 1 . The reference lists of included papers were also searched for additional relevant systematic reviews.

Selection process

All records were imported into RefWorks where duplicates were removed using automated and manual methods. Records were imported into Covidence for further deduplication and record screening. Reviewers were not blinded to the study metadata when screening. The title and abstract from each record were screened by two of the following independent reviewers (JJL, SAP, CC-S, J-PC, BJF, TM, BS and GRT) against the inclusion criteria. Full-text papers were obtained for each record that met the inclusion criteria or provided insufficient evidence to make a conclusive decision at the title and abstract stage. Conflicts during title and abstract screening automatically advanced to full-text screening. Each full-text record was screened by two of the following independent reviewers (JJL, SAP, CC-S, J-PC, BJF, TM, BS and GRT) against the inclusion criteria. Conflicts at the full-text stage were resolved through discussion by two reviewers (JJL and SAP), with a third reviewer resolving disagreements (GRT).

Data collection process

Data extraction was completed in Covidence using a form that was piloted by the authorship group for accuracy. Data from the included studies were extracted by two of the following independent reviewers (JJL, SAP, CC-S, J-PC, BJF, TM, FBO, BS and GRT). Conflicts were resolved by one reviewer (JJL), who contacted the reviewers who extracted the data when necessary to resolve conflicts.

The data extraction form included several items related to the demographic characteristics of the primary studies, the meta-analyses effect estimates and related statistics, and details for risk of bias and subgroup analyses.

Review quality

We extracted the original risk of bias assessment for each primary study, as reported by the study authors. Most of the included studies used the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) to assess risk of bias for cohort studies. 30 In the event that risk of bias was not assessed, a new assessment was conducted and verified by two reviewers using the NOS. We also assessed quality of the systematic reviews using the second edition of A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews 2 (AMSTAR2) checklist. 31 Two of the following independent reviewers (JJL, SAP, CC-S, J-PC, BJF, TM, FBO, BS and GRT) assessed review quality. Conflicts were resolved by one reviewer (JJL), with the reviewers who extracted the data contacted to resolve outstanding conflicts.

Effect measures

We presented pooled hazard ratios (HRs) or relative risks (RRs) for an incident event (ie, mortality or morbidity) across the included systematic reviews. We extracted data from models that compared high versus low CRF and those that examined the impact of a 1-MET higher level of CRF.

Synthesis of data

We followed an outcome-centric approach, as outlined by Kho et al . 26 Our goal was to identify systematic reviews with non-overlapping primary studies for each outcome to avoid double counting evidence. When more than one eligible systematic review was identified for a single outcome, we calculated the corrected covered area (CCA) to assess the degree of overlap in the primary studies. 32

Where, N is the total number of times a primary study appeared across reviews (inclusive of double counting), r is the number of unique primary studies and c is the number of systematic reviews included for the outcome.

The CCA was interpreted as slight (0%–5%), moderate (6%–10%), high (11%–15%) or very high (>15%). If the CCA was slight or moderate, we included multiple systematic reviews per outcome. If the CCA was high or very high, we selected the highest quality systematic review according to the AMSTAR2 assessment. We included the most recent systematic review when reviews of the same outcome were rated as equal in quality.

Synthesis of results

For each health outcome, we reported evidence for apparently healthy and clinical populations separately. We summarised results using a narrative synthesis approach using summary of findings tables. Results were reported as described by the systematic review authors. Meta-analytical results, including the effect, confidence limits, number of studies and number of participants, were presented by outcome using a forest plot to allow for easy comparison between studies. RR values were taken to approximate the HR. When comparing high versus low CRF, we inverted the scale when studies compared low versus high by taking the reciprocal (ie, HR=2.00 was changed to HR=0.50). Dose−response values were rescaled to a 1-MET higher level of CRF when more than 1-MET was used or if the unit increase was in VO 2 . We rescaled by taking the natural log of the HR, dividing or multiplying it to correspond with 1-MET, and exponentiating the result. Subgroup analyses for sex were described when available.

Certainty of the evidence assessment

For each outcome, the certainty of the evidence was assessed using a modified Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) approach. 33 Observational cohort evidence began at ‘high’ certainty because randomised controlled trials were deemed not feasible for our research question. 34 The certainty of the evidence could be rated down based on five domains (ie, risk of bias, imprecision, inconsistency, indirectness and publication bias). See online supplemental table 1 for a GRADE decision rules table.

Equity, diversity and inclusion statement

Our research team included diversity across genders with representation from researchers at all career stages. We stratified our results by sex which allowed use to identify the potential need for more diversity in this area of the literature. This stratification allowed us to discuss the overall generalisability of our results. The GRADE evaluation carried out in this study assessed the indirectness of the results. We downgraded evidence that did not demonstrate good global representation or did not provide a gender-balanced sample. Reducing indirectness is important for ensuring the results are representative of the target population.

We identified 9062 records after removing duplicates, assessed 199 full-text papers, and excluded 165 papers during full-text screening, and 8 papers because of high or very high overlap based on the CCA calculation (see figure 1 and online supplemental appendix 2 for full texts with reasons for exclusion). The proportion of agreement between reviewers for title and abstract screening ranged from 95% to 100% while the agreement for full-text screening ranged from 75% to 100%. We included 26 systematic reviews with meta-analyses representing over 20.9 million observations from 199 unique cohort studies, including 21 mortality or incident chronic disease outcomes. We identified CCA values in the high or very high range for sudden cardiac mortality (CCA=33%; n=2), incident heart failure (33%; n=2), incident depression (50%; n=2), incident type 2 diabetes (25%; n=4) and all-cause mortality among those living with heart failure (14%; n=3; see online supplemental appendix 2 for more details). We included multiple systematic reviews for all-cause mortality because the CCA was moderate (10%; n=3).

  • Download figure
  • Open in new tab
  • Download powerpoint

PRISMA flow chart depicting the number of papers identified, screened and included in the overview. *A list of excluded studies with reasons are provided in online supplemental appendix 2 .

Tables 1–3 describe the study characteristics. We identified 8 systematic reviews that investigated mortality outcomes, with pooled data from 95 unique primary cohort studies. Nine systematic reviews investigated incident outcomes, pooling data from 63 unique primary cohort studies. The remaining 9 systematic reviews investigated health-related outcomes among populations living with chronic conditions, which represented data from 51 unique primary cohort studies. 11 reviews were of critically low quality, 4 were low, 8 were moderate and 3 were of high quality as assessed using the AMSTAR2 (see online supplemental table 2 ). See online supplemental table 3 for a detailed summary of findings with the certainty of the evidence for each outcome.

  • View inline

Study characteristics for general populations without known disease at baseline and mortality outcomes

Study characteristics for general populations without known disease at baseline and incident outcomes

Study characteristics for clinical populations with diagnosed chronic disease at baseline and mortality outcomes

Figure 2 illustrates results for CRF as a predictor of mortality outcomes, which included all-cause, CVD, sudden cardiac, all cancer and lung cancer mortality. When comparing high versus low CRF across all outcomes, there was a 41% (HR for all-cause mortality 24 =0.59; 95% CI 0.52 to 0.66) to 53% (HR for all-cause mortality 35 =0.47; 95% CI 0.39 to 0.56) reduction in the risk of premature mortality. The certainty of the evidence was assessed as very low-to-moderate, mainly due to serious indirectness (ie, most studies only included male participants). In assessing the dose–response relationship, a 1-MET higher level of CRF was associated with a 7% (HR for all cancer mortality 35 =0.93; 95% CI 0.91 to 0.96) to 51% (HR for sudden cardiac mortality 36 =0.49; 95% CI 0.33 to 0.73) reduction in the risk of premature mortality. The certainty of the evidence ranged from very low-to-moderate, largely due to serious indirectness from a large proportion of male-only studies. Sex differences were similar between outcomes with larger CIs for females because of smaller samples (see online supplemental figure 1 ). For example, there were 1 858 274 male participants compared with 180 202 female participants for all-cause mortality.

HRs for each mortality outcome in apparently healthy populations at baseline for high versus low CRF and per 1-MET increase in CRF. Estimates from Laukkanen (2022), Han (2022), Kodama (2009) and Aune (2020) were reported as RR, the remaining studies were reported as HR. Qui (2021) reported estimates from self-reported CRF. Kodama (2009) reported low versus high CRF which were inverted for this study. CRF, cardiorespiratory fitness; CVD, cardiovascular disease; eCRF, estimated non-exercise cardiorespiratory fitness; GRADE, Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations; MET, metabolic equivalent of task; NA, not applicable; NR, not reported; RR, relative risk.

Figure 3 describes results for CRF as a predictor of newly diagnosed chronic conditions, including: hypertension, heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, dementia, chronic kidney disease, depression and type 2 diabetes. Online supplemental figure 2 describes results for all cancer (male only), lung cancer (male only), colon/rectum cancer (male only) and prostate cancer. When comparing high versus low CRF, there was a 37% (HR for incident hypertension 37 =0.63; 95% CI 0.56 to 0.70) to 69% (HR for incident heart failure 38 =0.31; 95% CI 0.19 to 0.49) reduction in the risk of incident conditions. The certainty of this evidence was rated as very low-to-low largely due to inconsistency and indirectness (ie, high heterogeneity that could not be described by subgroup analysis and largely male populations). The dose–response relationship per 1-MET higher level of CRF was associated with a 3% (HR for incident stroke 39 =0.97; 95% CI 0.96 to 0.98) to 18% (HR for incident heart failure 38 =0.82; 95% CI 0.79 to 0.84) reduction in the risk of incident conditions. The certainty of the evidence ranged from very low-to-low due to inconsistency and indirectness. Only two studies reported results for females separately. High versus low CRF was more protective for incident stroke and type 2 diabetes among females compared with males ( online supplemental figure 2 ). Among men, there was a null association between high versus low CRF for prostate cancer (HR=1.15; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.30). 40

HRs for each incident outcome in apparently healthy populations at baseline for high versus low CRF and per 1-MET increase in CRF. Note: Estimates from Cheng (2022), Aune (2021), Wang (2020), Xue (2020), Tarp (2019) and Kunutsor (2023) were reported as RR, the remaining studies were reported as HR. Kandola (2019) reported estimates for low versus high which were inverted for this study. The estimates from Tarp (2019) are fully adjusted for adiposity. Aune (2021) was reported per 5-MET increase which we converted to 1-MET increase for this study. CRF, cardiorespiratory fitness; CVD, cardiovascular disease; GRADE, Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations; MET, metabolic equivalent of task; NA, not applicable; NR, not reported; RR, relative risk.

Figure 4 highlights results comparing high versus low CRF among individuals living with chronic conditions. There was a 19% (HR for adverse events among those living with pulmonary hypertension 41 =0.81; 95% CI 0.78 to 0.85) to 73% (HR for cardiovascular mortality among those living with CVD 42 =0.27; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.48) reduction in the risk of all-cause and type-specific mortality. Comparing delayed versus not delayed heart rate recovery was associated with an 83% reduced risk of adverse events among those living with coronary artery disease. The certainty of the evidence for mortality in those living with a chronic condition was rated as very low-to-low largely due to risk of bias, indirectness and imprecision (ie, low-quality studies, mainly male participants and small sample sizes). No evidence examining sex differences were available. See online supplemental table 3 for a detailed summary of findings.

HRs for health outcomes in patients living with chronic conditions at baseline for high versus low CRF and delayed versus not delayed HRR. Estimates from Morris (2014) were reported as RR, the remaining estimates were reported as HR. Yang (2023), Fuentes-Abolafio (2020), Morris (2014), Rocha (2022) and Lachman (2018) reported estimates as low versus high which were inverted for this study. Cantone (2023) was reported per 1-unit VO 2 increase which we converted to 1-MET increase for this study. Adverse events for Lachman (2018) were all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality and hospitalisations for congestive heart failure. CRF, cardiorespiratory fitness; CVD, cardiovascular disease; GRADE, Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations; HRR, heart rate recovery; MET, metabolic equivalent of task; NA, not applicable; NR, not reported; RR, relative risk.

This overview of systematic reviews demonstrated that CRF is a strong and consistent predictor of risk across many mortality outcomes in the adult general population. Among populations living with chronic conditions such as cancer, heart failure and CVD, this study showed better prognosis for those with higher CRF. We also demonstrated that low CRF is an important risk factor for developing future chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, stoke, atrial fibrillation, dementia and depression. Given that we summarised evidence from cohort studies, and randomised controlled trials cannot be used in our investigation, the results of this study may signal a causal relationship between CRF and future health outcomes. We also found a significant dose–response effect showing protection for every 1-MET higher level of CRF. This evidence further supports 1-MET as an MCID for CRF and could be considered as a target for interventions. The strength and consistency of the evidence across a wide range of outcomes supports the importance of CRF for clinical assessment and public health surveillance.

Several studies have identified the need for the routine measurement of CRF in clinical and public health practice. 11 43 For instance, a scientific statement from the American Heart Association concluded that healthcare providers should assess CRF during annual routine clinical visits using submaximal tests (eg, treadmill, cycling or bench stepping tests) or self-report estimates and that patients living with chronic conditions should have CRF measured regularly using a symptom-limited direct measure. 11 There are several benefits to regular measurement of CRF in clinical practice. First, CRF is an important risk factor that provides additional information beyond traditional risk factors such as blood pressure, total cholesterol and smoking status. 44 Second, given the strong link with habitual physical activity, CRF could be a valuable tool to help guide exercise prescription. In those with low CRF (defined based on age, sex and health status), large relative improvements can be attained through additional moderate physical activity (ie, brisk walking at a heart rate of 50% of peakO 2 ). 45 The largest health benefits have been observed when individuals move from being unfit to fit. 46 Lastly, CRF measured using field-based tests are easy to implement with a variety of tests that could be adapted to suit space and time limitations.

Areas of future work

Applying the GRADE approach to evaluate the certainty of the evidence helped identify several important gaps in the literature. Nearly all the outcomes identified in this study were downgraded due to the evidence being generated largely from samples comprising males. Although an increase in female samples would help improve the certainty of the evidence, it likely would not impact the magnitude of the observed effects because the benefits of CRF were similar for males and females in our study (see online supplemental figures 1,2 ) and other large cohort studies. 47 There is also a need for higher-quality studies with larger samples sizes in clinical populations, as many of the outcomes were downgraded due to primary studies with high risk of bias, low sample sizes (<4000 participants), and inconsistencies in the measurement of CRF across studies. Improving the evidence for CRF in clinical populations remains an important research gap. For instance, outcomes in clinical populations with a serious or very serious risk of bias were often rated this way due to a lack of adequate control for confounding, including a lack of adjustment for age, sex, and body mass.

In addition to the need for higher-quality studies with greater samples in more diverse populations including females, we did not identify any systematic reviews that explored the association between CRF and breast cancer 48 or mental health outcomes beyond incident depression and dementia, as an example. These outcomes present important areas for future work. Finally, future studies would benefit from repeated longitudinal measures of CRF to further establish causality.

Implications for clinical practice

This study further demonstrates the importance of including CRF measurement in regular clinical practice. For every 1-MET (3.5 mL/kg/min) higher level of CRF, we identified substantial reductions in the risk of all-cause, CVD and cancer mortality. We also identified significant reductions in the risk of incident hypertension, heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation and type 2 diabetes per higher MET. For most, a 1-MET higher level of CRF is attainable through a regular aerobic exercise programme. For example, in a large population-based observational study of over 90 000 participants, nearly 30% were able to increase their CRF by 1-MET (median follow-up was 6.3 years) without intervention. 49 However, for some, improvements as small as 0.5-METs may substantially benefit health. 50 51

Given the strength of the predictive utility of CRF across many health outcomes, CRF would be a valuable risk stratification tool in clinical practice. Furthermore, the predictive strength of CRF is maintained regardless of age, sex and race. 47 Through regular CRF measurement, clinicians could better identify patients at greater risk of premature mortality, initiating the need for targeted exercise prescription. Improvements in CRF through regular physical activity results in a proportional reduction in mortality risk, regardless of the presence of other major risk factors such as higher body mass index, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidaemia, or smoking. 49 There is an important need for clinical and public health guidelines around the assessment, interpretation of results and MCID of CRF across age, sex and clinical populations.

Strengths and limitations

Our paper has several strengths, including a focus on pooled meta-analyses from cohort studies, assessment of the certainty of the evidence using a modified GRADE, and an evaluation of the systematic review quality using AMSTAR2. Our study identifies gaps where new evidence is needed across a broad range of health outcomes. However, this study is not without limitations. As in any overview, the quality of the data is restricted to the included papers. In our case, heterogeneity was high for many of the included meta-analyses and was often not explained by subgroup analyses. We also identified low-to-very low certainty of the evidence for most outcomes, suggesting the need for higher-quality studies in this research area including adequate adjustment for confounding and greater representation of females. The evidence was also limited to studies examining associations between a single measure of CRF and prospective health outcomes.

Our findings showed that high CRF is strongly associated with lower risk of premature mortality, incident chronic conditions (ie, hypertension, heart failure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, dementia and depression), and poor prognosis in those with existing chronic conditions. The consistency of the evidence across a variety of health outcomes demonstrates the importance of CRF and the need to incorporate this measure in routine clinical and public health practice. Future studies should focus on outcomes with limited evidence and where the certainty of the evidence was rated as very low by improving study quality.

Ethics statements

Patient consent for publication.

Not applicable.


We would like to acknowledge the support of Valentine Ly, MLIS, Research Librarian at the University of Ottawa for her help with translating and conducting the search strategy in CINAHL and SPORTDiscus. We would also like to acknowledge the Health Library at Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada for their support in constructing and carrying out the search strategy for MEDLINE, Embase and Scopus. The PRESS peer-review of the search strategy was carried out by Shannon Hayes, MLIS, research librarian, from the Health Library at Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. We would also like to thank Joses Robinson and Iryna Demchenko for their help with the paper.

  • Caspersen CJ ,
  • Powell KE ,
  • Christenson GM
  • Balady GJ ,
  • Sietsema K , et al
  • Pollock ML ,
  • Schmidt D , et al
  • Kaminsky LA ,
  • Vatten LJ ,
  • Nauman J , et al
  • Sun Z , et al
  • Bouchard C ,
  • Rice T , et al
  • Stofan JR ,
  • DiPietro L ,
  • Davis D , et al
  • Garber CE ,
  • Blissmer B ,
  • Deschenes MR , et al
  • Sandercock G ,
  • Hurtado V ,
  • Arena R , et al
  • DeRouen TA ,
  • Cumming GR ,
  • Borysyk L , et al
  • Paffenbarger RS , et al
  • Robsahm TE ,
  • Heir T , et al
  • Sieverdes JC ,
  • Lee D , et al
  • Lee DC , et al
  • Hooker SP ,
  • Colabianchi N , et al
  • Åberg MAI ,
  • Nyberg J , et al
  • Groarke JD ,
  • Claggett B , et al
  • Leeper NJ ,
  • Zhou M , et al
  • Ferreira JP ,
  • Anker SD , et al
  • Roshanravan B ,
  • Robinson-Cohen C ,
  • Patel KV , et al
  • Tanaka S , et al
  • Pollock M ,
  • Fernandes RM ,
  • Becker LA , et al
  • Poitras VJ ,
  • Janssen I , et al
  • Pieper D , et al
  • Brooke BS ,
  • Schwartz TA ,
  • McGowan J ,
  • Sampson M ,
  • Salzwedel DM , et al
  • O’Connell D , et al
  • Reeves BC ,
  • Wells G , et al
  • Antoine S-L ,
  • Mathes T , et al
  • Guyatt GH ,
  • Vist GE , et al
  • Spencer FA ,
  • Falavigna M , et al
  • Shi X , et al
  • Schlesinger S ,
  • Hamer M , et al
  • Chen S , et al
  • Leitzmann MF , et al
  • Cheng Y , et al
  • Pozuelo-Carrascosa DP ,
  • Alvarez-Bueno C ,
  • Cavero-Redondo I , et al
  • Barbagelata L ,
  • Bluro I , et al
  • Ezzatvar Y ,
  • Izquierdo M ,
  • Núñez J , et al
  • Kokkinos P ,
  • Gander JC ,
  • Hébert JR , et al
  • Church TS ,
  • Earnest CP ,
  • Skinner JS , et al
  • Barlow CE , et al
  • Faselis C ,
  • Samuel IBH , et al
  • Katsaroli I ,
  • Sidossis L ,
  • Katsagoni C , et al
  • Bonafiglia JT ,
  • Preobrazenski N ,
  • Islam H , et al
  • Poirier P ,
  • Norris CM , et al
  • Beets MW , et al
  • Caputo JL ,
  • Laukkanen JA ,
  • Isiozor NM ,
  • Kunutsor SK
  • Kandola A ,
  • Ashdown-Franks G ,
  • Stubbs B , et al
  • Kunutsor SK ,
  • Myers J , et al
  • Blond K , et al
  • Wu C , et al
  • Cantone A ,
  • Serenelli M ,
  • Sanguettoli F , et al
  • Ramírez-Vélez R ,
  • Sáez de Asteasu ML , et al
  • Fuentes-Abolafio IJ ,
  • Pérez-Belmonte LM , et al
  • Lachman S ,
  • Terbraak MS ,
  • Limpens J , et al
  • Morris DR ,
  • Rodriguez AJ ,
  • Moxon JV , et al

Supplementary materials

Supplementary data.

This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.

  • Data supplement 1

JJL and SAP are joint first authors.

X @JustinJLang, @SPrinceWare, @bensinghphd

Contributors JJL, GRT and SAP conceptualised and planned the study design. JJL and SAP led the study. JJL accepts full responsibility for the work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish. All coauthors contributed to article screening. JJL and SAP wrote the first draft of the article. All coauthors reviewed, revised and approved the final manuscript.

Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. Dr. Ortega is supported by the Grant PID2020-120249RB-I00 funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and by the Andalusian Government (Junta de Andalucía, Plan Andaluz de Investigación, ref. P20_00124). Dr. Cadenas-Sanchez is supported by a grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska Curie grant agreement No 101028929. Dr. Fraser is supported by a National Heart Foundation of Australia Postdoctoral Fellowship (106588).

Disclaimer The content and views expressed in this articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

Competing interests None declared.

Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

Read the full text or download the PDF:

The culinary game at MLB ballparks has exploded in the past 20 years. Eating healthy is a challenge

A Four Bagger hamburger is shown at Truist Park before a baseball game between the Texas Rangers and the Atlanta Braves Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Atlanta. The culinary game at MLB ballparks has exploded in the past 20 years. Eating healthy is a challenge. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Show more sharing options
  • Copy Link URL Copied!

Danielle LaFata’s been around major sports ballparks and arenas most of her adult life, so the nutritionist has one word of advice for those who want to eat healthy when attending a pro sports event.

“Go ahead and have your burger, have your hot dog, have your couple of slices of pizza,” LaFata said.

LaFata — the director of performance and nutrition for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns — says her advice is simply practical and based on her own appetite. Over the past 20 years, the culinary game across the baseball landscape has exploded, with offerings like The Renegade in Pittsburgh, The 4 Bagger in Atlanta or a Polish Sausage topped with smoked brisket and spicy BBQ sauce in Chicago.

Even glancing at the pictures feels like it can raise cholesterol.

Yes, there are a few health(ier) options, particularly in places like San Francisco, where the Giants have a place called The Garden that highlights “sustainability, urban farming, and healthy eating.” Most parks and arenas have a handful of areas that offer salads, gluten free or vegan offerings if fans are willing to hunt a little.

But the vast majority of people attending baseball games aren’t necessarily looking to eat healthy.

The food offerings reflect those cravings.

Baseball occupies a unique space in the sports food world because of a few factors. For one, the 162-game regular season means each team has 81 home games, so there are lots of opportunities to sell. There’s also the sport’s relatively slow pace, which permits plenty of time to down a hot dog or five.

Juan Villegas Sr. walked through the Chase Field concourse — home of baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks — with a big tray carrying two items called an XL Footlong Sonoran Style Dog and some Korean Pork Belly Nachos.

“Usually, I’m more of a classic guy, you know, like a regular hot dog,” Villegas said. “But me and my son had to give these a try. I’m about to devour them.”

LaFata said she likes to use an 80/20 rule when it comes to a diet, eating healthy 80% of the time while indulguing in some comfort food for the other 20%. The nutritionist said if a person knows they’re going to a sporting event, they should spend the previous few days eating healthy so they can enjoy themselves.

That means plenty of veggies and lean meats like fish.

“This is going to be my 20% day, or my junk food day,” LaFata said. “Thoughout the whole week, you’re eating your 80%, you’re eating clean, you’re eating often, you’re doing all the good things you need to do for your body.”

Most customers aren’t counting calories at the ballpark — and in fact, calorie counts frequently aren’t even posted. Diamondbacks executive chef Stephen Tilder said Chase Field offers a handful of healthy options, but the top five sellers are almost always some variation of hot dogs, chicken tenders, popcorn, soft pretzels and nachos.

“That’ll be 90 percent of your sales at any stadium and arena, because that’s just traditional fare,” he said.

There do seem to be a few exceptions in places like San Francisco, but most cities are more like Milwaukee.

“We had Impossible (Meat) at our taco stands, and we just found that it wasn’t very successful,” said Loren Rue, the executive chef at the Milwaukee Brewers’ ballpark. “We offered it at multiple locations, and the sales just weren’t there to prove that it was worth keeping on.”

Even so, Rue said people don’t have to pack on the pounds when watching the Brewers.

“It’s not that we’re trying to limit those options,” she added. “We still have veggie dogs. We still have veggie burgers. There are options that are available to our guests. It’s just making sure the menu speaks to what the fans want.”

LaFata — the nutrionist — said there are some tips for those who don’t want to pig out while watching a baseball game. Among them, it’s a good idea to walk a few laps around the park, getting an idea of the selection and what options might be better than others.

Healthy options are usually clustered in a few parts of the venue.

She also suggested eating before attending the game, so you’re not starving when staring at a display for an Apple Pie Chimichanga .

Though there are certainly ways to cut caloric corners, LaFata suggests it’s better to quit worrying. Those who have paid to attend a sporting event might as well spend their money on the good stuff.

“Sure, we could do a bunless hot dog, or a bunless burger, and that might save 100, 150 calories if we’re looking to do it that way, or if we’re following a specific paleo or keto type diet and trying to cut the carbs,” LaFata said.

“Or you can just take away the bun to make room for your beer!”

AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee in Milwaukee and Stephen Whyno in Washington contributed to this report.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Sign up for U-T Sports daily newsletter

The latest Padres, Chargers and Aztecs headlines along with the other top San Diego sports stories every morning.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

More in this section

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (21) shoots over New York Knicks' Isaiah Hartenstein (55) during the second half of Game 2 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

National Sports

DiVinzcenzo caps desperate rally with 3-pointer, Knicks beat 76ers 104-101 to take 2-0 lead

Donte DiVincenzo made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 13 seconds remaining after a desperate scramble, and the New York Knicks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 104-101 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series

Minnesota Twins' Max Kepler (26) hits an RBI-double during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, April 22, 2024, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Kepler has 3 RBIs in return from injured list; Twins beat White Sox 7-0

Max Kepler had two hits and three RBIs in his return from the injured list and the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 7-0 Monday night

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov (35) makes a save against a shot by Boston Bruins center John Beecher (19) during the second period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, Monday, April 22, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Matthews scores as Maple Leafs beat Bruins 3-2 to tie their series at 1 game apiece

Auston Matthews scored on a breakaway to snap a third-period tie and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 to knot their first-round playoff series at one game apiece

Atlanta Braves' Travis d'Arnaud runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins Monday, April 22, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Travis d’Arnaud homers again and Bryce Elder shuts down Marlins in Braves’ 3-0 win

Travis d’Arnaud hit his fifth home run in four games and Bryce Elder pitched 6 2/3 spotless innings in his return from the minors as the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 3-0

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots against Orlando Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. (34) during the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, April 22, 2024, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Donovan Mitchell scores 23 to power Cavaliers to 96-86 win over Magic and 2-0 lead in series

Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points, Jarrett Allen had 20 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers outlasted the Orlando Magic 96-86 to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round Eastern Conference series

New York Mets relief pitcher Michael Tonkin (51) sits in the dugout during the 11th inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader, against the Detroit Tigers, Thursday, April 4, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Mets cut reliever Michael Tonkin for 2nd time in 18 days, with a Twins stop in between

Michael Tonkin is on the move yet again

  • Share full article


Supported by

Guest Essay

We Regulate a Tiny Fraction of the 12,000 ‘Forever Chemicals.’ There’s a Better Way.

A black and white photograph of a hand holding a jar of water with sunlight shining through it.

By Kathleen Blackburn

Dr. Blackburn teaches creative nonfiction writing at the University of Chicago.

When I was 12 years old, I sat inside a raucous tent revival in West Texas, gripping my seat in fear that a traveling evangelist would accuse me of killing my father.

A healthy former Air Force pilot who’d averaged an eight-minute mile in the New York City Marathon, my father had just been diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer and been given a short time to live. Nothing about his predicament made sense to our family at the time. He was 38, a nonsmoker and nondrinker, with no history of cancer in his family.

My parents were conservative evangelicals deeply skeptical of the medical industry, and his diagnosis kicked their beliefs into high gear. When doctors couldn’t answer our questions — Why did Dad have cancer? What could we do? — we sought out faith healers who did. Traveling evangelists and local preachers claimed that the cancer was, in fact, a satanic attack. This gave us a way out: We simply had to muster enough faith to believe a miracle was possible and God would heal him.

What no one in my family knew at the time was that for most of his life my father had been exposed to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, the synthetic compounds known collectively as PFAS, which have been linked to increased risk of certain cancers . His fallow muscle, jaundiced skin and weight loss were very likely because of the decades-long accumulation of carcinogenic chemicals in the drinking water at the military sites where he had lived and worked since his childhood.

The environmental violence exacted by PFAS, like the effects of radiation and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, can be difficult to prove. Only a few studies have examined the relationship between PFAS exposure and colorectal cancer (though the Yale School of Public Health has estimated that around 80 percent of cases are linked to environmental exposure). But on April 10 the Environmental Protection Agency announced the first federal mandate to limit the level of six PFAS in tap water. Going forward, water systems where they are detected will be required to remove them. Michael Regan, the E.P.A. administrator, called the announcement “life-changing,” and for me it was — it validated what I’d long suspected, that exposure to these chemicals can be devastating.

But if six PFAS sounds like a small number, that’s because it is. At this point, more than 12,000 formulations of PFAS exist and only a fifth of Americans’ PFAS exposure comes from drinking water. That means additional PFAS that have not been targeted for regulation persist in our water, soil and consumer products, leaving many Americans vulnerable to exposure. To reduce the risk they pose, we need far more comprehensive mandates that test, monitor and limit the entire class of PFAS chemicals.

In the 1930s and ’40s, manufacturing companies like DuPont and 3M began developing these substances for use as repellent in nonstick items including Teflon pans, Scotchgard and firefighting foams. But the chemical bonds that make them so useful as a repellent also make PFAS nearly indestructible; it’s why they have been labeled “forever chemicals.” They don’t break down once they enter the environment, and instead they accumulate in water, soil and our bodies.

Firefighting foams have been a major source of PFAS contamination since their development in the 1960s. In collaboration with the U.S. Navy, 3M produced foams that the Defense Department sprayed in routine fire drills and emergencies around the country. The chemicals eventually leached into groundwater at military sites like the ones where my father lived and water sources surrounding them. In 2000, 3M began phasing out its use of perfluorooctanyl sulfonate, a component of PFAS-containing firefighting foam, citing health concerns. Still, it was not until 2023 that the Department of Defense was banned from purchasing foams containing PFAS.

The E.P.A.’s move this month to regulate PFAS is a significant next step, but even in places where the groundwater is not highly contaminated, we will all still be exposed to unregulated PFAS without further government action. The chemicals are used in a staggering number of consumer products, including carpet, pizza boxes, microwave popcorn, yoga pants, bags and toiletries like dental floss, shampoo and cosmetics. They are still key ingredients in some firefighting foams; many fire departments still use these foams in emergencies like chemical plant fires. And in Texas, thousands of pounds of PFAS are being shot into the ground to lubricate drill bits for fracking.

We already know that high levels of exposure to PFAS have been linked to disastrous health impacts like birth defects, liver damage and many kinds of cancer. Yet the rate at which PFAS are being released into the environment far outpaces toxicologists’ ability to study their consequences for human health. Some 31 percent of groundwater samples in places with no known source of PFAS have shown contamination levels that exceed E.P.A. limits. And in some locations with established sources, like military and industrial sites, the levels of PFAS are far higher than the standard set by the new rule.

We now need a federal ban on firefighting foams containing PFAS and regulations that are enforceable by law to limit not just specific compounds in our water, but the whole class of highly pervasive chemicals. Mandates should identify the historical sources of pollution to hold industries accountable and avoid further straining the communities exposed to PFAS with the additional cost of their cleanup. On Friday, the E.P.A. helpfully put two PFAS compounds under its Superfund authority, shifting accountability for cleanup from taxpayers to polluters.

I am now 39, the age my father was when he died from cancer in 1998. Nearly 20 years passed before I discovered that the Defense Department is responsible for a significant portion of the PFAS pollution in the United States and that dangerously high levels of PFAS have been confirmed or are suspected of contaminating the drinking water at military sites from Guam to Universal City, Texas, including where my father had lived as a child and worked as an Air Force officer. My father was no longer an officer when he was diagnosed, but the reality of PFAS exposure shows that we carry the traces of each place we’ve lived even after we’ve left.

This month’s federal announcement cannot resurrect the dead. Still, it gives context to tragedies that made no sense at the time and sent my family into a desperate search for a miracle that never came.

I would never wish such a revelation on my 2-year-old son’s generation. I would not have them blindly searching for answers that first manifest, as so often quests through oblivion do, in blaming oneself. This is exactly what companies like 3M and DuPont hope will continue happening — that those of us who were first exposed will still bear the burden of proof.

We should not have to risk repeated exposure to these substances, with the most powerful bonds in organic chemistry, caused by the willful negligence of industry each time we place our faith in a glass of water. Let’s not wait for more long-term effects on our health before we act.

Kathleen Blackburn teaches creative nonfiction writing at the University of Chicago. She is the author of “Loose of Earth.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow the New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Instagram , TikTok , WhatsApp , X and Threads .


  1. Health Benefits of Playing Sports Free Essay Example

    essay on sports for a healthy life

  2. 5 Paragraphs Essay About Sports & Its Importance In Our Lives

    essay on sports for a healthy life

  3. Essay on Sports

    essay on sports for a healthy life

  4. Essay on Importance of Sports

    essay on sports for a healthy life

  5. Benefits of Exercise Essay

    essay on sports for a healthy life

  6. Importance of sports in life essay in 150 words

    essay on sports for a healthy life


  1. Essay: sports and games for class10th preparation with quotations

  2. Essay Sports and Games/with Hindi explanation/important for exams//easy language

  3. Essay "Sports and Games" for 10th class

  4. A Healthy Thanksgiving Debate

  5. Quotations for essay sports and games 💥// for 10th class

  6. Importance of Sports in Student Life


  1. Essay on Sports and Health

    Regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and other lifestyle diseases. Sports also stimulate the production of endorphins, the body's natural mood lifters, promoting a sense of well-being. ... 500 Words Essay on Sports and Health The Interplay of Sports and Health.

  2. Essay on Importance of Sports for Students

    Physical Benefits of Sports. First of all, Sports strengthen the heart. Regular Sports certainly make the heart stronger. Hence, Sport is an excellent preventive measure against heart diseases. This certainly increases the life expectancy of individuals. Furthermore, a healthy heart means a healthy blood pressure.

  3. Essay on Sports For Students In English

    500+ Word Essay on the Importance of Sports. Sports keep us healthy and active. We can have a healthy mind only when we have a healthy body. ... Here, students can find a 500+ Words Essay on the Importance of Sports where we will be discussing how important a role sports plays in our life. Essay on the Importance of Sports.

  4. Essay on Sports

    Essay on Sports: Sports occupies a vital role in our lives. It keeps us fit, healthy and makes us active. The secret to having a healthy and positive lifestyle is to have a positive mind and body. Sports is one such activity which helps us in maintaining a proper physique and a positive mentality. Apart […]

  5. Importance of Sports Essay

    Importance of Sports in Student's Life. Sports are an important part of every student's life. In a survey conducted in England during the 2022/23 academic year, over 40% of kids aged 5 to 16 played football that week. Additionally, 27.7% had participated in activities like running, jogging, cross-country, or the Daily Mile.

  6. Physical Activity and Sports—Real Health Benefits: A Review with

    Finally, those who play sports have a higher level of physical activity later in life , and through sport, knowledge of nutrition, exercise, and health can be developed . Negative effects include the risk of failure leading to poor mental health [ 8 , 9 ], risk of injury [ 10 , 11 ], eating disorders [ 12 ], burnout [ 13 ], and exercise-induced ...

  7. How sport can have a positive impact on mental and physical health

    Sport benefits: Both the physical and mental. While the physical benefits are numerous (more on that below), the UK's National Health Service (NHS) report that people who take part in regular physical activity have up to a 30 percent lower risk of depression. Additionally, exercise can help lower anxiety, reduce the risk of illness and increase ...

  8. The Importance of Sports in Life: [Essay Example], 700 words

    Get original essay. Sportsmanship is an underrated aspect of playing sports. Despite being assigned as each other's rivals, athletes learn to develop mutual respect and love the game itself rather than the external rewards. A 2010 study by the Awards and Recognition Association (ARA) proved that 67 percent of Americans believe that sports ...

  9. Essay on Importance of Sports

    Engaging in sports is an excellent way to maintain physical health. It helps in the development of muscular strength and enhances body coordination. The physical exertion involved helps in burning calories, improving cardiovascular health, and boosting the immune system. Beyond physical health, sports also contribute to mental well-being.

  10. Physical Activity Is Good for the Mind and the Body

    Physical activity has many well-established mental health benefits. These are published in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and include improved brain health and cognitive function (the ability to think, if you will), a reduced risk of anxiety and depression, and improved sleep and overall quality of life.

  11. Essay on Importance of Sports

    Essay on Importance of Sports in 200 Words. Sports are essential because they promote social, mental, and physical well-being. They are not only a source of amusement but also play a huge role in many facets of life. To begin with, sports encourage physical fitness. Sports participation helps people maintain a healthy lifestyle by enhancing ...

  12. How to Write a Non-Cliche College Essay About Sports + Examples

    2. Use sports to point out broader themes in your life. The main risk when writing about sports is neglecting to write about yourself. Before you get started, think about the main values that you want to express in your sports essay. Sports are simply your avenue for telling the reader what makes you unique.

  13. Why is physical activity so important for health and well-being?

    Here are some other benefits you may get with regular physical activity: Helps you quit smoking and stay tobacco-free. Boosts your energy level so you can get more done. Helps you manage stress and tension. Promotes a positive attitude and outlook. Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.

  14. Essay on Importance of Sports in Students Life

    Promoting Overall Health. The importance of sports in promoting physical health is undeniable. Regular involvement in sports activities helps students maintain a healthy weight, boosts their immunity, and promotes overall physical well-being. Besides, sports also contribute to mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

  15. Importance of Sports Essay for Students in English

    Sports are very essential for every human life which keeps them fit and fine and physical strength. It has great importance in each stage of life. It also improves the personality of people. Sports keep our all organs alert and our hearts become stronger by regularly playing some kind of sports. sports has always given priority from old ages ...

  16. Essay on Sports for Students and Children

    500+ Words Essay on Sports. Sport plays an important role in students. As it develops the physical and mental health of the child. Moreover, adults should include in their daily life routine. Sports are not only played for physical health but also to create discipline in a person. Since all the sports require obedient towards a goal, it enlists ...

  17. Essay on Benefits of Sports

    Physical Health. Participation in sports contributes significantly to physical health. It helps maintain a healthy weight, combats health conditions and diseases, and promotes better sleep. Sports also enhance muscular strength, flexibility, and the efficiency of the heart and lungs, all contributing to improved physical health and well-being.

  18. Importance Of Sports For Healthy Life

    The benefits of sports in the development of children is well documented. An Ad Hoc Committee on Sports and Children said the potential benefits from sports to children and adolescents includes the development of healthy physical and social skills, the development of fine motor skills, and both improved health and sport-specific fitness.

  19. The Importance of Exercise for a Healthy Lifestyle

    Conclusion. The benefits of exercise are vast and well-documented. Regular physical activity has been shown to improve physical health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and enhance mental well-being. While barriers to exercise such as lack of time and motivation exist, it is important to recognize that even small amounts of physical ...

  20. Social, Mental, and Physical Benefits of Sports for Young Adolescents

    Sports are absolutely vital to a healthy and long lasting life. Lower body fat is extremely important to kids, because like stated before 87% of kids wish they could change their bodies. A recent study showed that people who are more physically active are less likely to die due to a cardiovascular disease.

  21. What Being an Elite Athlete Taught Me About Life

    The sport had an enormous impact on my life, and the lessons far outreached the athletic goals achieved. This blog post will explore the benefits and drawbacks of being an elite athlete and how to ...

  22. Managing Sport for Healthy Lifestyle: a Brief Review and Future

    Introduction. Having good healthy habits and making physical activity a lifestyle is everyone's dream. Along with improving the quality of life and physical activity, it is expected to affect a ...

  23. How do we love sports when sports aren't always good for the

    In early May, she will be releasing a brand-new book called "Warming Up, How Climate Change is Changing Sport" which focuses on how sport is adapting to and wrestling with climate change. 📖 ...

  24. Healthy Lifestyle Essay for Students in English

    Essay on Healthy Lifestyle. The top secret of being physically fit is adopting a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise, a healthy diet, taking good care of self, healthy sleep habits, and having a physically active daily routine. Lifestyle is the most prevailing factor that affects one's fitness level.

  25. Essay on Sports and Health

    Doctors meet in opinion that the most healthy sports for the heart are walking, swimming, wheeling and running in an unhurried rate. Actually all free sample essays and examples available online are 100% plagiarized! If you need a high-quality customized essay on Sports and Health topics written from scratch, you can easily hire professional ...

  26. Cardiorespiratory fitness is a strong and consistent predictor of

    Objective To examine and summarise evidence from meta-analyses of cohort studies that evaluated the predictive associations between baseline cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and health outcomes among adults. Design Overview of systematic reviews. Data source Five bibliographic databases were searched from January 2002 to March 2024. Results From the 9062 papers identified, we included 26 ...

  27. The culinary game at MLB ballparks has exploded in the past 20 years

    PHOENIX — Danielle LaFata's been around major sports ballparks and arenas most of her adult life, so the nutritionist has one word of advice for those who want to eat healthy when attending a ...

  28. Valleywise Health opens a new medical center in Phoenix to "serve the

    On April 3, Valleywise Health hosted an opening ceremony for its new medical center on E. Roosevelt Street in Phoenix. This center replaces the previous building, which served the public for 53 years. Standing 10 floors high and sprawling over 673,000 square feet, the new Valleywise medical center features upgraded facilities to provide ...

  29. Opinion

    We Regulate a Tiny Fraction of the 12,000 'Forever Chemicals.'. There's a Better Way. Dr. Blackburn teaches creative nonfiction writing at the University of Chicago. When I was 12 years old ...

  30. Damar Hamlin On the Best Tip He Got From His Cardiologist

    Damar Hamlin Shares the Life-Changing Tip He Got From His Cardiologist After He Went Into Cardiac Arrest. Plus, the habits he swears by for heart health. Leigh Weingus. Apr 22, 2024. Damar Hamlin ...