Sports That Can Improve Your Mental Health
 
 

When people seek to improve their mental health, their principal focus is usually on issues related to their life as a whole. For example, if you’re struggling with work stress, it naturally follows that changing your working pattern or even pursuing a change of career can help to alleviate the issue.

However, mental health is a very complex subject; if you’re looking to improve your mental health, then you have to examine the issue on a holistic basis. You’ll need to think about eating the right food, getting enough sleep, ensuring you are well-hydrated at all times, but perhaps above all else, you’ll need to focus on increasing your activity level. Study after study has shown the benefits of sports when it comes to maintaining good mental health, and if you want to experience these benefits for yourself, here are three sports that you’ll definitely want to try… 

Hiking

Not only does hiking allow you to explore beautiful places in nature that most others will never see, but it is also an opportunity to pace yourself and explore. This can open up new ideas in your brand and the solitude can allow you to create new connections as well. Plus, the fresh air never hurts either!

Cycling

There are two reasons cycling can be beneficial to health. The first is the intensity; cycling raises your heartbeat and causes endorphins to be released, which helps to improve mood and well-being. Secondly, cycling also gives you the opportunity to explore nature, which is thought to be hugely beneficial for mental health.

Thankfully, getting started with cycling is incredibly simple. The bike is the primary investment, though secondhand options in great condition can help to keep the price manageable. You’ll also need a helmet and, in this case, secondhand or used isn’t sufficient, so do buy your own. However, with these two items in place, you’re ready to start exploring the world on two wheels - and boosting your mental health as a result.

Esports

The association between video games and mental health is usually talked about as overwhelmingly negative but, surprisingly, video games actually offer a number of psychological and emotional benefits. By engaging in esports, you merely add a layer of competition to these benefits, which many people find more exciting than simply playing alone. While once this was the domain of dark smelly basements, today's Esports Arenas such the one at Luxor Las Vegas are bright, clean, and exciting. Truly this sport has matured over the past few years and facilities have grown with it's popularity!

The one downside of esports is that getting started can be costly, especially if you don’t currently have a console available. However, online auction sites can help cut the costs, and there are usually special offers available for games subscriptions - such as Xbox One Pass - that can help to minimize the initial expenditure. The good news, however, is that when you’re set up, the ongoing costs are relatively minor, and research suggests your mental health will greatly benefit from your new hobby. 

Golf

When it comes to mental health, research has indicated that golfers tend to fare particularly well; for example, Roy Morgan Research found that 15.1% of Australians reported they had experienced issues with anxiety in the last 12 months, but that number fell to just 8.7% of golfers.

The one thing that tends to stop people trying golf is concerns over cost; the sport is, after all, somewhat synonymous with high-end prices and luxury. However, you don’t need to pay for a full club membership upfront; trial sessions are usually available, and publicly-owned courses tend to be more affordable. Clubs are also accessible, so you shouldn’t have too many problems finding the best budget iron, putter, and similar essential clubs at a reasonable price, so you can start enjoying the myriad mental health benefits of golf in no time at all.

If you’re hoping to improve your mental health and boost your overall happiness, then the sports above are definitely worth a try.