It seems like all you do these days is work. Smartphones, telecommuting and constant connection to the Internet has left you tethered to your job. Plus, you're out of touch -- in any direct way, at least -- with your friends. This always-on-the-go mentality isn't doing your waistline much good either. If only there were a way to improve your social life and your health. That's where sports leagues come in.
One of the best ways to get rid of work-related stress is by exercising in a fun way with your buddies. When you join a sports league you get a chance to do just that. It doesn't have to be regimented and boring -- there are plenty of options out there, from kickball to ice hockey to flag football that'll keep you social and active. In addition, if you're new in town or just looking to branch out a bit, most leagues will take you on solo and find a team for you to join.
Read on to discover the ways joining a sports league will improve your social life.
5: Your Body Will Fuel Your Mind
After a long day of work there's a good chance you're suffering from brain drain. The desire to "veg out" in front of the TV is strong. But there is hope. Studies have shown that exercise can actually increase your brain power and improve your mood as well, making you the kind of person people actually want to be around [sources: The Medical News, University of Edinburgh]. Social interactions serve a similar function. Being around like-minded people can leave you feeling better than before. Why not combine the two? You can't lose.
But what if you don't have many friends? Lace up those sneakers and trot over to the next page.
You'll Connect With Strangers
It can be difficult to meet people who share your interests. Sure, you could try to mix and mingle with folks at a bar or hope that you'll meet a neat group of people at work, but both of those options can be hit or miss. Most sports leagues allow you to sign up as an individual and they'll connect you with a team. All you have to do is show up [source: Baltimore Sports and Social Club]. You're also guaranteed to have at least one thing in common with your teammates -- the sport you're playing. Chances are, you'll build new friendships that carry on beyond the field.
Ever notice how great friends seem to have a catalog of inside jokes? It's because they have shared memories, the next social benefit of sports leagues.
They Create Shared Memories
When a team captures a hard-earned win, everyone feels part of something special. Joining a sports league will enable you to tap into those shared memories that teams often create. You and your friends can revel in a come-from-behind victory or go through the play-by-play of your awesome catch in the end zone to win the game. And it doesn't have to be a moment of glory you share. Perhaps you'll laugh about the time you tripped while sprinting for home, or chuckle about that game when your buddy kicked a goal … into your own net. Being able to laugh at ourselves and share less-than-stellar performances is a bonding tool. Memories created in a team environment will last long after the season has ended.
Want to become childlike again? That's next.
By Creating Fun
A child tends to focus his or her life on play. Playing is fun and who doesn't want to have a good time? But as adults we tend to forget how to create fun -- and no one wants to hang out with an old, boring guy or gal. Sports leagues can help remind you how to be a fun-loving soul again. It doesn't even have to be a knock-down-drag-out-win-at-all-costs type of game. Leave that for the elite leagues if you'd like. Join a low-key sports league and watch how your playful side emerges from hibernation. Good friends, a fun game, plenty of laughter -- you'll feel like a child again.
It's easy to put your social life on hold; unless, of course, it has a definite place on your calendar. Click ahead to see what we mean.
It Makes Social Time a Planned Event
One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of seeing old friends and making new ones is your packed schedule. If it's not on your calendar or planner, it doesn't happen. Joining a sports league is the perfect solution to that problem. Games can't be postponed for you. A commitment is made, the team is depending on you, and besides, you've paid hard-earned money to be a part of that league. Having a date and time set aside every week will encourage you to get out there, play and mingle. As the old saying goes, "Fail to plan, plan to fail." So, join a sports league, make those plans and start enjoying the physical and social benefits.
Click ahead for lots more information on sports and friendship.
Studies have found sexism still abounds in sports. HowStuffWorks looks at five roles that reinforce sexual stereotypes throughout pro sports.
- Baltimore Sports and Social Club. 2006. (Feb. 27, 2011).http://www.baltssc.com/
- Moore, Susan. The Daily Star. "Adult sports leagues offer fun, fitness for local residents."May, 1, 2010. (Feb. 27, 2011)http://thedailystar.com/lifestylesmain/x1369564710/Adult-sports-leagues-offer-fun-fitness-for-local-residents
- The Medical News. "Exercise can help brain healing process." 2004. (Feb. 27, 2011).http://www.news-medical.net/news/2004/06/02/2144.aspx
- University of Edinburgh Student Webs. "How Does Exercise Affect Our Mood?" 2003. (Feb. 27, 2011).http://www.portfolio.mvm.ed.ac.uk/studentwebs/session5/26/HORMONES.html