Elena Pegoraro is a Psychology teacher and Secondary Wellbeing Advisor. She explained why sport helps us and what are the connections between wellbeing and sport.
Tips for parents who fail to convince their children to play sports? Or for parents who can’t convince themselves to play sports?
The key tip is to start seeing movement and exercise as a lifestyle rather than one more thing to fit into our day. Once we understand the benefits of moving, we can make a choice of investing our time differently. For example, we might decide to switch off the tv and take a walk instead, or we might spend less time on social media and use some of that time for a fitness class, or we might spend some family time going on a hike or swimming instead of going to the mall. By prioritising your health and committing to it, you will find ways to enjoy exercise and you will most likely inspire people around you to do the same. Be open, be creative, forgive yourself if sometimes you take the lazy option and get back to doing what is best for your body and mind!
What is the connection between sports and wellbeing?
We are our body. Sometimes, if not often, we forget this and we get stuck in our mind. Exercise keeps our body (that is, us) healthy, so it is one of the key elements of wellbeing. By moving our body, we maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, we release hormones that improve our mood and we build up muscles that reduce our fat (which is linked to inflammation and water retention). This improves our relationship with ourselves. Moreover, exercise can be a great social activity, thus it improves wellbeing by improving the quality and quantity of relationships with others.
A moment in your life when or after which you were better off because of sports?
I feel better with myself each time I do a yoga session. The deep connection with my breath and body makes me forget about everything else going on in my life. I am alone with myself and listening to my body deeply. This gives me a lot of focus that I then bring into my everyday life. Sometimes, I experience emotional release during a yoga session, I might have a good cry and feel refreshed afterwards. Other times, I find myself able to do a yoga pose that only one week before seemed impossible, and that gives me determination and the ability to see things from new perspectives.
Is there anything else you would like to add about sports and the connections with wellbeing?
Commit yourself to your own wellbeing with happiness and curiosity! Keep an open mind and enjoy the process (i.e. the activity itself) rather than the result.