Social Sports and their Contribution to Community Coherency
Most of us know that we get far less exercise than what doctors and fitness professionals recommend. Our busy work and school lives are mostly sedentary, and by the time we are free, most people would rather spend the time at home rather than walking on a treadmill at the local gym. Lack of exercise coupled with a diet high in sugars and saturated fats is one of the reasons that the adult obesity rate in Washington DC has risen to over 22 percent.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who own gym memberships never use them, mostly because of the fact that exercise in gyms is an isolated, individual activity. It’s all too easy to get discouraged when “competing” with super strong and fit people who are working out next to you.
Fortunately, recent years have seen impressive growth of social sports in the Washington DC area and around the country. Social sports are amateur sports leagues and groups that encourage people to come together to participate in a certain physical activity. From the instantaneous volleyball games at the community park that come together on a nightly basis, to the organized amateur basketball league at the community center, there is certainly a wide variety in the world of social sports.
In terms of health and wellness, social sports play an important role in helping people of all ages get the exercise they need. While jogging, walking on a treadmill, or other individual exercise routines are usually quickly abandoned due to lack of motivation, social sports are generally fun as it is a shared activity.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Government, almost 20 percent of all American adults participate in sports and exercise on an average day, and this number is rising year by year. Thus, social sports, whether they be pick-up basketball games with the neighbors or an organized badminton league, allow millions of people to get (and enjoy) the exercise that they would otherwise be missing.
Furthermore, social sports are an important and essential aspect of building strong and unified communities. Unlike professional or school sports leagues, social sports are more about camaraderie than competition. In most cases, people who participate in social sports with their local community are more interested in having fun and laughing with their friends than trying to beat their opponent.
Lastly, social sports have the unique ability to bring together people from a wide range of backgrounds. Sports are loved by people of all different races, genders, and economic backgrounds, and often the sports field is a place where we can overlook our differences and find common ground with our neighbors.
In the Washington DC area, ZogSports offers a wide range of intramural sports leagues from basketball to kickball and everything in between. Whether you are looking for a way to get your daily dose of exercise that you enjoy, or you want to try and a new sport and meet new people, social sports is a great way to stay fit and build community.