Mens sana in corpore sano

Mens sana in corpore sano
9 de April de 2020 Lidia Torres

It is no secret that practicing sport is one the best activities we can do. The list of physical benefits is quite extensive, from stimulating the heart muscles and reducing blood pressure, to strengthening the skeletal muscle structure. But, we also don’t want to leave out it’s other good side…

Although it is true that these days it is not possible to work out in groups or outdoor physical activities, we can rethink new ways to discharge our energy. It is always good to direct our present state towards the future, thinking about what  we can do today to have beneficial effects for tomorrow.

Apart from being trendy, we cannot forget that physical exercise has been a part of our life from infancy; when our mothers and fathers moved our legs and arms so that we could strengthen our joints and begin learning muscle movement. Then we discover “balance” while attempting to crawl, walk and continually falling over… and as a side benefit, we learn persistence! We improve our abilities as children with games, play, and the introduction of sports, and in reality we are exercising our body from a very young age.

On occasion, we forget the importance of sport, and yet it is  an essential part of our continued physical education and well-being. Sport helps us to gain greater knowledge and control over our body.

Although daily physical activities are not always team oriented, we have all practiced sport as part of a group and, without realizing it, thanks to this we have also learned what the word “team” means, something fundamental in all stages of life.

Since ancient times, spiritual education has been connected with physical education, and the union between the body and the mind has always been fundamental for the promotion of care, respect, and freedom. A clear example was the gymnastic schools of the 19th century, where exercise was linked at all times to the learning of values ​​such as honesty, courage, sportsmanship and the power to excel.

Far beyond the data in history, it has been proven that sport helps in the prevention of antisocial behaviors, improving personal and social responsibility through developed communication and cooperation skills. But what relationship or direct effects does it have in our minds?

Sport helps us to complete the three basic psychological needs according to the theory of self-determination; which links personality, human motivation and optimal functioning in relation to the factors that stimulate “action”in people. These needs (autonomy, competence and social relationship) are also fundamental for personal well-being and growth.

Sport, from a positive and controlled point of view, helps to reduce stress in certain situations and with it also anxiety or the possibility of suffering depression.

When the brain considers a threatening situation, it releases neurotransmitters from stress that alter our reasoning and perception of well-being, however, thanks to sport, a series of values ​​are developed that promote self-control and thus our brain manages to relax and process information in a more rational way. In addition to the well-known production of endorphins, and their connection with feelings of well-being, pleasure and optimism, so necessary these days.

Endorphins, produced through sport and physical activity, are deeply connected with feelings of well-being, pleasure and optimism… things we could all use a little more of these days, right?

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