No one can deny the effects of sports in terms of keeping us physically fit. Most sports, especially the ones that require lots of movement, work out your body from head to toe. Certain kinds of sports can also boost your mental aptitude and attitude, so they not only serve as a means to get physically active but they also exercise your brain.

Golf

If you’ve played golf, then you’re probably aware of how much patience and concentration is required as even the most basic of skills such as teeing off requires serious focus. But as good as it may already be for your brain, there’s more to golf than just sharpening active mental skills. The sport also has positive effects on the brain, which are considered passive.

The Huffington Post shared some research by the World Golf Foundation which conducts analysis on the effects of golf on wellbeing. It was found that aside from prevention of various internal organ diseases, the sport also reduces the risk of mental illnesses such as depression and dementia, it was also concluded that golf can help increase life expectancy as a result.

Tennis

Tennis might be more physically challenging than golf, but tennis has been proven to boost mental wellbeing just as well. Young Aces listed several mental benefits of the racket sport and highlighted effects such as improvement of alertness as well as heightening the regulation of neurochemicals like serotonin. Tennis is also a channel for continuous learning as it calls for highly strategic thinking in order for you to win in a game while also aiding in social wellbeing as players are constantly interacting with other people.

The tennis community is massive as tennis is a major sport here in Canada and in Grand Slam countries like the US & the UK. Cities in Canada and the US have an abundance of tennis facilities helping to promote the sport and increase participation levels. Did you know that in the Bay Area of San Francisco there are as many as 5,000 tennis courts? And Play Your Court San Francisco mentioned that it’s the home of the Stanford Classic – the “Bank Of The West Classic” which is the world’s longest running pro tennis tournament exclusively for women.

Here in Canada the rate of participation in tennis is growing rapidly, as parents consider it a much safer sport than hockey. Canadians Milos Raonic and Genie Bouchard have a huge fan base competing in both the Grand Slam and across the Atlantic in the UK, where the sport is much more deeply rooted and competitions like Wimbledon attract record-breaking viewers worldwide. In other words, tennis is great for cultivating your social life – and we all know that good friendships promote happiness which is so important for keeping your mind healthy.

Martial Arts Like Karate & Taekwondo

Martial arts like Karate and Taekwondo are well participated sprorts, in many countries. Karate will soon be debuting in the 2020 Olympics, while Taekwondo has been an established sport since 1988. These activities are as mentally challenging as they’re physically demanding. Our contributor Renshi Laura Sywyk posts monthly on the benefits of Karate, such as ‘Self Defense Classes Are For Everyone’  where the importance of values like determination and perseverance are emphasized. Moreover, quick decision-making and reaction time are developed when you’re mastering a sport such as Karate or Taekwondo.

Don’t Forget To Rest

Playing a sport is a great way of achieving overall wellbeing including a person’s mental health. But just like the body, the brain experiences fatigue, too, so be sure to have adequate rest or another regime to ease your mental state as well. If you’d like to learn how to calm your mind, check out the post about  meditation written by our contributor Georgina Rogers.