Intramural sports are recreation teams organized by an institution or area intended to bring people together for a good time. When you think of sports, you may think of either high school, college or the big leagues. However, you can continue to follow your passions and join a team in or outside of school. Whether you want to remain in practice or you are a newcomer looking to expand your horizons, here are just a few reasons to join an intramural sports team.
Make New Friends
Participating in an intramural sports team should be fun. One of the reasons large companies create intramural teams for sports like softball and basketball is so that they can improve camaraderie in the workplace. Both in and out of the office, coworkers are able to form stronger bonds and boost morale that doesn’t involve the daily grind. This is a great way for you to connect with your coworkers. Alternatively, you may want to join a community team. Cities often have intramural teams that you can find or use search tools online like Meetup.com. Sports vary from touch football to tennis, running to climbing, and everything in between. If you are new to a city, try joining an intramural team to make new friends.
Get in Shape
Whether you play kickball or join an intramural running group, you are going to need to get in shape. Fortunately, participating in an intramural sport you love will get you there. Typically, intramural sports will be upfront about their skill level and you will more than likely find a team you can jump in on at any level. When you join a team, they may even offer insight into how you can train to be better at the sport. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to join an intramural; in fact, most people are just in it for the fun!
Of course, in order to get in shape you will want to use the best gear to improve performance and decrease risk of injury. Make sure you are informed of the gear you need by contacting the coach or team captain. Buy only the best to suit your sport and your body including a helmet for cycling, shin guards for soccer, cleats for some sports and more. Ask your captain for recommended stores, such as shoes from Roadrunner Sports or find dedicated fastpitch softball bats here. Whatever your chosen sport or activity, you can find great online resources for inexpensive, high-quality gear.
Improve Your Mood
Exercise stimulates brain activity. When you work out, your brain releases chemicals such as serotonin, which are essential to alleviating feelings of depression and elevating feelings of happiness. You may also experience the positive feelings of accomplishment and confidence. If you experience depression, you may want to try joining a sport in order to engage your brain. A cognitive therapist may recommend that you include exercise as part of your routine alongside taking anti-depressant medication.
Gain More Energy
Psychological studies have indicated that the link between energy and physical activity is strong. People are meant to be active creatures and therefore it is no surprise that those who sit forty hours a week at a desk or choose to use all of their down time on their computer experience lower levels of energy. Low levels of energy tend to be cyclical; often those who have reported low levels of energy indulge their tiredness by sleeping too much, eating too much or deciding that it’s okay to skip out on exercise. As a result, sometimes the only way to gain more energy is to expend energy. When you are active, your brain learns that it needs to work harder in order to adapt. As your body adapts, your body becomes more in tune with what your needs are and one of those things is elevated energy. In essence, you can train your brain to be more alert because it knows now that it has to be.
Evidence also suggests that you will sleep better. For many people, sleep improves because the body needs the resting time to heal muscle tissue. If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, the answer may not be more sleep but more physical activity.
If you are curious about joining an intramural, now’s the time to try it. Make friends, get outdoors and get fit while having fun.