Feb. 22, 1950, was the first observance of National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day. It was started by NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to recreational interests like wellness and fitness programs, intramural sports, and training.
“On this day, we remember the vision set in motion by Dr. William Wasson and his esteemed colleagues at the first NIRSA Conference: to celebrate health, activity, competition, and inclusivity,” NIRSA stated on its website.
Maintaining a regular workout regimen is necessary for managing and improving our overall health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the average adult needs anywhere from 30–60 minutes of physical activity daily, five times a week.
The benefits include improving our brains and learning ability, strengthening our bodies, and reducing our risks of numerous diseases.
Not only does fitness improve us physically, but the mental benefits are just as extensive. It boosts our mood, reduces depression and anxiety, and improves our ability to make sound judgments and learn more quickly.
Recreational sports add another dimension of wellness by providing community. A team setting helps you meet new people, bond and form new connections, and motivate and keep you accountable for your goals. Being a part of a team provides us with something we all need: a sense of belonging and camaraderie.
If you’re someone new to fitness, or if you don’t have experience with recreational sports but would like to try them out for yourself, here are some tips on how to get started:
- Figure out what you want to gain from this experience; set a goal.
- Check out local teams and lessons in your area that offer beginner classes for your experience level.
- Find a fitness buddy. If you don’t want to join a team, having at least one workout friend will help you stay motivated and accountable.
- It’s okay if you don’t like something that you try. Finding the right sport or exercise regimen could take a couple of experiences. Not enjoying a new activity does not mean that you have failed.
- Remember that this is an experience where you get to meet new people.
- To get stronger, we have to be comfortable in the uncomfortable.
- Sports and fitness are meant to be fun and rewarding, not a form of punishment or something you feel forced to do.
- Be patient with yourself. Remember that everyone starts somewhere.