8 Ways Sport and Health are Connected
Tony Horton has been a fitness mentor of mine since 2003, when I first started doing his Power 90 workout. He completely changed the way I approached fitness and sports. I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned from him—and from my own experiences in the last decade of Beachbody Coaching—about the connections between doing a sport and health.
At Tony’s Fitness Camp that we attended years ago, he shared his 11 Laws of Fitness. Law #6 is “Play”—he strongly encourages everyone to have a sport. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a hobby or you take it to a competitive level, just that you play a sport.
I do several sports. I’m a master of none of them and I’m totally good with that.
- I love cycling, but I’m not the strongest guy in the pack.
- I love to surf, but if the waves get huge, you won’t find me in the water.
- I love to play golf, but my 3.8 handicap is a thing of the distant past.
- I love triathlon, but I’m no Ironman.
- I love to ski, but you won’t find me flying off any ski jumps (or cliffs).
You don’t have to be a star to reap all the benefits that come from doing a sport. The pressure is off! It’s not how good you are that counts—what matters is that you’re doing a sport. Why? Because there are very strong positive connections between sport and health.
5 Positive Benefits of Doing a Sport
There is zero doubt that sport and health are connected in incredibly positive ways. Here are five key benefits of doing a sport that I have found to be true in my life and seen with my fellow coaches and active customers over the past decade:
1. Sports make exercise fun. Without a shred of doubt, this is the most important way sport and health are connected for me. Doing a sport makes exercise WAY more enjoyable for me than walking on a treadmill or climbing imaginary stairs. I don’t get to the end of a bike ride or surfing session and think, “Well, THAT was a good workout!”—I’m totally focused on the blast I just had. Doing something you enjoy while getting exercise makes it WAY more likely that you’ll stick with it.
2. Sports foster a sense of healthy competition. Friendly competition is GOOD. You’re much more likely to workout when you’re involved in a sport because you’re driven to beat your own records or those of your fellow sportmates.
3. Organized competitions are highly motivating. Whether it’s a game, race, exhibition or match, organized competition days are fantastic motivators to be more focused on your training and train harder and more frequently.
4. Sports include you in a positive community. You’ve probably heard it said before—your tribe creates your vibe. Not only does being around positive, healthy and motivated people rub off on you, but you now have a pool of workout partners and plenty of fodder for interesting sport-related conversations.
5. Sports help you understand nutrition better. Nutrition is KEY—and becomes even more important when you’re doing a sport. It can be quite different than regular nutrition, so it’ll force you to really dig in and understand how what you eat impacts your body.
6. Sports push you outside of your comfort zone. Life inside comfort zones is stagnant and repetitive. Rarely do you learn new things or improve yourself significantly there. Doing a sport pushes you to be better, both physically and mentally.
7. Sports often get you outside. Many sports get you outside giving you the added benefits that come from fresh air, sun, and nature.
8. Sports slow down the aging process. You don’t have to search far and wide for a fountain of youth—you have a bunch of them at your disposal in your own hometown. Running, tennis, cycling, spartan racing, triathlons, softball, golf, surfing and swimming are just a few. Check your local publications, Meetup.com, your friends, church or local sports shops for ideas and active groups.
Cycling As a Hobby
Cycling is my favorite endurance sport. These days, I mostly do peloton, but I still get out and do some road and mountain biking on occasion.
So why do I take on cycling as a sport when I have the complete library of Beachbody workouts at home to keep me fit?
First, it is really fun. I got into riding the velodrome through a friend of mine. I’m super fortunate that there’s a track about 10 minutes from my house. The energy of this sport is absolutely electric—it’s something that cannot be replicated.
Second, competing against myself and striving for similar results as the “big boys” is a huge motivator on those days when I might not feel like training as hard as I should.
Third, it gets me outside. I’m fortunate to live in San Diego where the sun is almost always shining and weather constraints are rarely an issue. Getting outside makes my body and spirit feel good. (Surfing in the ocean is a actually a bona fide spiritual experience for me.)
Fourth, I’m kind of addicted to it. Since becoming a Beachbody Coach, I’ve become a bit of an exercise junkie. There was a time in my life when working out was something I dreaded—a combination of Beachbody workouts and doing a sport make exercise the highlight of my day.
How Beachbody Workouts Help With Sports
Why do I still need my Beachbody workouts if I’m doing a sport? Several reasons:
- To be athletically well rounded
- For strength training
- To get grounded (yoga is great for this)
- For variety (the Beachbody on Demand membership is the antidote for boredom)
Joel Freeman’s LIIFT4 program is the PERFECT complement for a sport. By only having you work out four days a week (for 30 minutes), you’re left with plenty of time and opportunity to do your sport.
Do You Have a Sport?
Do you have a sport? Do you go outside and play? If so, leave a comment below let me know what your sport is and what it does for you.
If you can’t answer “Yes,” is one of the reasons that you don’t think you have enough time? This post will be really helpful if you feel short on this commodity—9 Tips for Making Time to Exercise. Do yourself a HUGE favor—follow Tony and I’s advice so you can reap the benefits of all the positive connections between sport and health. I’m happy to brainstorm some ideas with you—just message me by clicking here: