Sports, like ice hockey, football, orienteering, field hockey, tennis, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and surfing, are an essential ingredient of our modern fabric of life. They are universal recreational activities enjoyed by people of all ages, with both single people and groups joining in to compete, to enjoy, or to exercise. Physical activity offers the key components of agility, speed, strength, stamina, endurance, and power. As such, sports have served as a major form of social interaction for tens of thousands of years – perhaps as old as the stone age – with the added, yet important, contribution of emotions and feelings.
Sport also provides a great outlet for socializing, which in turn has had a significant impact on society as a whole. Today, we live in a much larger world, with more people than ever joining sports clubs, joining teams, watching sports on television, or even buying sports equipment. Whether playing sports competitively, like basketball or volleyball, or just playing recreational games such as bingo or board games, people are finding new ways to exercise, meet new people, and keep fit. With technological advances, the physical exertion involved in sports has also improved considerably, with equipment like the Wii helping avid gamers to not only master new game techniques, but actually to exert themselves physically in order to do better.
However, not all forms of sport are created equal. A common misconception is that competitive sports are exercises focused on the physical aspects of movement and action, while non-contact sports are ‘meditation and breathing exercises.’ While some sports involve physical contact, like wrestling or boxing, others, like golf or tennis, focus on different forms of energy expenditure (such as jogging, running, or biking) and reap different health rewards. Some people may find it beneficial to mix up their sport activity by doing some ‘all-round’ physical activities too. The great thing about sport is that it can be adapted to any kind of lifestyle.