Sports (or athletic activity) is any form of typically competitive physical action that, through organized or casual competition, attempt to utilize, enhance or refine certain physical abilities and skills while offering recreation to participants, and at times, spectators. These activities may include various types of sports competition such as Olympic games, soccer tournaments, tennis matches, boxing matches, wrestling competitions, track and field events, and numerous others. With the enormous amount of people who engage in these activities on a regular basis, it is not surprising that there are many different varieties of sports. The word “sports” could be applied to any of these, as it is an umbrella term generally applied to numerous different types of competition. This includes indoor and outdoor sports, non-sport athletic competition, motor sports, fencing sports, gymnastics sports, and fitness and wellness sports.
A wide variety of scientific studies have been conducted to determine the effects of these sports on the human body both in respect of skill and physical ability, and the results of these studies have consistently shown positive results. Sports have been proven to promote mental and physical health, to reduce stress, to improve cardiovascular fitness and to decrease the risk of injury or major surgery. Additionally, participating in sports can reduce the levels of certain stress hormones like cortisol that would normally be released when one is under stress. These sports activities also seem to promote long-term physical fitness and health, which are vital to promoting weight loss and maintaining optimal health.
In some cultures, sports are considered a vital part of social standing. In countries like Japan and China for example, sport is a significant component of social activity and often defines a particular person’s status, which may be seen through participation in organized sports like soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, wrestling, basketball, golf and so forth. In some parts of the world like the United States, the term “sport” has more recently been used to describe any type of physical activity that participants participate in whether it is a traditional sport like football or basketball or even more modern games like hockey. This has led to an increase in the interest in learning more about the physiological and psychological benefits of sports.