Sports: Why it is as Important as Academics

Human body is not designed to be idle and the more active life one leads, the more are the chances of the body cooperating with you as you age.

In fact, doctors warn that a seemingly harmless activity like being stationary in one place is extremely harmful to our health.

In many western countries, the practice of being seated while working is discouraged. Instead, employees stand on their feet as they work. They are also encouraged to take short and energetic walks around the office at regular intervals.

Most children today follow sedentary lifestyles. The reasons are many and range from lack of open spaces and playgrounds to an overemphasis on academics.

Consider the ill-effects of such a lifestyle:

      Lack of fresh air hinders our ability to think clearly.
      Deficiency of vitamin D (the Sun is a source) makes our bone brittle.
      Absence of physical activity weakens our lungs and makes us not only vulnerable to respiratory diseases, but also makes breathing at high altitudes a real chore.

But, the most worrying part is prevalence of obesity in children, which puts them at a great risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

The solution?

An active lifestyle, spending more time outdoors, and taking part in sports and physical activities.

Should Sports be given much more prominence in schools than is being done now, at least in our country?

Absolutely. Purpose of education is to prepare the children to face the real world.

Sports helps children to take on the challenges life has to offer confidently, by being:

      A great leveller: In sports, only your ability to perform counts. A student can find his/her calling in sports, even if they are not academically exceptional.
      A great unifier: Watch a cricket match, preferably between India and Pakistan, in a public place. All distinctions are erased, and all barriers are broken down.
      A great teacher: You discover the virtues of teamwork. It helps you discover the qualities you did not know you possessed. It brings out the best in you.
      A great philosopher: Sports teaches you to stay humble and rooted. It teaches you not to gloat over your own successes, and also not be bogged down by temporary setbacks.
      A great discipliner: Inculcating great discipline is essential to leading a successful life - both personal and professional. Sports teaches us to lead a disciplined life.

Sports also teaches us the value of effective communication, and selflessness.

Sports is a complete package of life lessons,  a great combination of the physical and cerebral. 

One sets out to strengthen the body through sports, and sports rewards you with a bonus in return - mental toughness, the best quality of all.