Does exercise only affect physical health?


Macie mastrola

WHEN SAD PLAY SPORTS: Student is introduced to putting his anger out into sports.

Macie Mastrola, Author

When I play sports it feels like everything else is just on pause. But one bad game or practice can alter my mood. Studies show many people in today’s society are athletes but the effects of being an athlete include time consumption, stress, and building character. But more studies show the positive effects of playing sports like being able to get that stress out. Studies even show how depression patients who play sports could benefit you more than medicine. Being an athlete also gives you great leadership skills. 

But even if you don’t play sports, exercising and working out isn’t easy and you need to be mentally prepared to work your body frequently. People who are working their way to a physical  goal don’t always see results immediately and mess with your mental health. Exercise was found to be as effective as standard antidepressant treatment in one study too . Low-self esteem is a huge issue in today’s world and it’s found that exercise will raise your self confidence.

So what are your experiences with sports and exercise? Why do or don’t you play? In this article you will find why these following people decide to play sports and exercise.

Hogan Boyd is a baseball and basketball player who has been playing sports his whole life. He loves watching and playing sports.

Boyd noticed many positives after joining; he realized he slimmed down after joining. “I have a better mood to my family and friends after winning a game,” Hogan realizes he gets his anger out when playing baseball. Boyd felt he became more social and made double the amount of friends he had before sports. Making friends isn’t always easy and studies show that sports tend to bring teens together and the friendships you create on the field remain intact even when you are not playing sports.

“Don’t be worried about tryouts. Confidence is key.”  Boyd also thinks you have to really focus to be a good athlete, “You need to be locked in when playing!” “Find something to motivate you to play.” He was motivated by his dad and he recommends finding someone or something to push you to get better or join sports. 

Boyd recommends going to a school counselor to talk about what you can do to help your physical and mental health, “They are very helpful to people’s mental health and are great listeners, also join Recreational teams for a way to start somewhere.”

Nate Langon is an 8th grade student at WMS. He is a baseball player and also exercises frequently. Nate has a strong feeling that deciding to play sports is one of the best decisions you can make.

Nate noticed how he was much more focused on things  after joining sports. “I get a lot of sleep at night after my games so when I sleep well I’m ready for school, but during my on season I can get stressed due to lots of baseball, but I get to be with my friends and do what I love.” 

Langon really thinks schools can teach us the benefits of health care and exercise not only in health class, “More clubs and different sports would be a good idea too.”

Mrs Malmstrom is a Language Arts teacher here at WMS, but is also training to be a pilates instructor. She loves pilates and shares her thoughts on why she loves to exercise.

“When I’m active I feel better about myself, less stressed and I feel motivated to do other things throughout the day,” Mrs Malmstrom explained that overworking yourself and not having a balanced diet and workout can damage your body. 

She would really like to see more options in gym class, “Not every kid is athletic and wants to play sports. Things like yoga, kickboxing or pilates where you don’t need to be athletic and kids could be interested in that.”

“Find something you enjoy and don’t put yourself into something you hate! You should enjoy exercising and working out.”  I can agree that doing something you can’t enjoy isn’t easy. I just feel that time goes by so slow and you don’t see progress because you just don’t like doing it.

Julianne or “Jules” McSorley is a soccer and volleyball player. She is an 8th grade student, but she has mixed feelings about this topic.

“Sports distract me from reality,” said Mcsorley. “Once I step on the soccer field, see my friends and start playing, all my worries and distractions like chores, homework, and social media issues just go away.”   I personally love seeing my friends from softball and volleyball too. They make me laugh and keep me smiling.

But she doesn’t always feel this way, she said, “Even though I truly love sports I can feel like I’m not a good player and it makes me feel upset… Also, I feel like coaches favorite some other teammates which can also bring me down.”  Similarly to Langon, McSorley also felt that, while sports can help mental health, there is also an element of pressure.

This is why Jules thinks sports are more mental, “When joining sports it isn’t going to be easy so prepare yourself for what the team coaches and your competition will be like.” 

I am also a multi-sport athlete and sports don’t always boost your happiness. I had a softball coach who really brought me down and made me lose my love for the sport. But all you have to think about when people make you feel upset is to prove them wrong. Derek Jeter, a Hall of Fame baseball player, quotes,” I love it when people doubt me. It makes me work harder to prove them wrong.’ 

She thinks that people work their bodies a lot when they should be working their mind and get more mentally tough, “Exercise leads me to many benefits, I feel like I don’t get as tired as I used to be and I am tougher than I used to be.” Mcsorley, similar to Hogan, met her best friends from joining soccer too.

Mrs Liastro is an energetic and positive history teacher at WMS. Mrs Liastro is also the cheer coach. She loves coaching and grew up cheerleading. If you didn’t know she is an amazing runner and can’t live without running.

“I feel so good after exercising physically and mentally,” said Liastro. After running for years she realized if she doesnt run it will ruin the rest of her day, “I won’t feel as good at the end of the day if I don’t run.” 

Mrs Liastro wanted to be healthier and running has no equipment and you don’t need a membership to run. “I love the challenge that it’s just me and I’m pushing myself to go faster,” Liastro explained. 

“I can really clear my head after running,” Liastro said. “When having a bad day I leave it all out there when I run.

So don’t be worried about putting yourself out there. Muhammed Ali,  the greatest and most famous boxer of all time, quoted that,” Even the greatest was once a beginner.” It won’t be easy but you will have so many more skills, friends and you will be mentally stronger after joining sports, exercising frequently or other types of physical movement. So what’s your decision?