Playing Indoor Sports: How It Helps Make You Healthier
One of the greatest things about sport is that it offers the chance to get sunshine on your skin, breathe some fresh air, and spend time around nature! When you need a bit of a break from the office, the screen, or the house, there’s no better way to get some activity in than playing an outdoor sport.
But sometimes it’s just not possible to get outdoors and move your body. Maybe you live somewhere where the climate is a little unpredictable. Perhaps you’re sensitive to pollution or breathing in cold air. There are many reasons that outdoor sports might not be quite right for you.
In most cases, though, playing indoor sports can give you the same rush of adrenaline as any outdoor sport can! You may not get the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, but if those things are uncomfortable, worrying, or stressful for you, then playing indoor sports is the way to go.
Here’s how it helps make you healthier, happier, and keeps you active.
Climate Doesn’t Affect Your Activity
Just because you live in an area that’s excessively cold or snowy, it doesn’t mean you have to limit your sporting activity to being out on the slopes! Playing indoor sports is the perfect way to do something that doesn’t involve the snow and icy winds, work up a sweat, train for your sport, and burn some calories.
Playing indoor sports means you can practice no matter what the weather and matches are very rarely canceled. If you happen to visit another country or region with a bit of a different climate, no matter! Playing inside a sporting arena is pretty much the same from one to another.
Aside from the cold, if you happen to live in an excessively warm area, you also don’t need to worry about the potentially dangerous effects of the heat. This is because most indoor sporting facilities are…
This is a big thumbs-up for people who are sensitive to temperature. Sometimes it’s not just about not wanting to get snow on you—for some, being out in the cold or heat can actually be life-threatening.
Indoor sporting facilities open up a safer world of sports for those who may be extremely temperature-sensitive. Sporting enthusiasts who may previously have been unable to enjoy taking part in sports due to temperature sensitivity can enjoy the sport to their heart’s content thanks to the temperature-controlled nature of indoor sports!
Forget Outdoor Pests
One of the disadvantages of playing outdoor sports is that you’re inevitably going to come across outdoor pests. Bugs, gnats, flies, bees, wasps, beetles… Whatever you can think of.
Not only is it difficult and annoying trying to play a great game while being bothered by critters, but it can also become a problem for your health.
Bug bites can easily become infected. There’s also a chance of suffering an allergic reaction, especially if you’ve never been bitten by a particular pest before.
But mosquitoes and gnats aren’t the only potential nibblers you could come across. There’s always a chance of a venomous spider or snake popping on the golf course, tennis court, or sports field, especially if you live in a rural or country area.
And the risks are just as real if you layer yourself in bug repellent—if not worse! Inhaling bug spray can pose great risks to the lungs, and insect-repellent lotions can also cause allergic reactions. Roll-ons contain chemicals that can be absorbed into your skin, causing damage to much more than just the outside.
Sound scary or creepy? Playing indoor sports solves the problem! Although there’s always still a chance of some creepy crawlies finding their way inside, you won’t have to fight your way through hordes of buzzing bugs or risk being stung by something nasty.
Reduces Environmental Allergies
Biting and stinging critters aren’t the only potential health risks when playing sports outdoors! Grass, pollen, flowers, dust, and air pollution are all close by when you’re outdoors… Which could be risky for those who happen to suffer from environmental allergies.
For some, it could result in a mild sniffle. However mild, though, sniffing your way through a game reduces your joy of playing your sport. Nothing ruins a great play like sneezing or needing to stop every few minutes to blow your nose!
Aside from mild sniffs, environmental allergies can manifest in much more serious ways… Including full-blown, life-threatening allergy attacks and a possibility of anaphylactic shock.
If you do suffer from severe allergies, it’s highly likely that you already carry antihistamines with you. But they take time to kick in… Unless you want to pop one every time you practice or play a match. But that seems a bit excessive!
Indoor sports can make a huge difference here. The lack of plants, flowers, wind, and dusty air makes it a far safer environment for allergy-prone sports lovers!
Keep in mind that there’s always still a chance of an allergy developing, so don’t neglect to bring your antihistamines along. But the chances are much less, allowing you to enjoy your sport without constant sniffs, sneezes, or itchy hives.
Keeps You Safe From The Sun
We all know that getting a good dose of vitamin D is important for good health! Spending time every day outdoors in natural light is how we get that vitamin D, but spending hours on end under the hot sun just can have disastrous effects.
Even wearing a hat, moisture-wicking apparel, and layering on sunscreen isn’t the best option to protect you from dangerous effects. Too much sun, hat or not, can lead to severe burns, extreme dehydration, and sometimes-fatal heatstroke.
You might not even notice it when you’re young and active! But exposure to the sun can also accelerate aging, leading to skin diseases, early-stage wrinkles, and that leathery look you see on seasoned sports people and outdoorsmen!
Don’t forget that many sun protection products include chemicals that can be absorbed through your skin and wreak havoc on your systems. There’s nothing wrong with using sunscreen every now and then, but if you’re wearing it often for practice or matches outdoors, you’re just adding more and more dangerous chemicals to your own body.
Playing indoor sports, on the other hand, takes away the need for sunscreen completely. Whether you’re sensitive to the heat or just want to be more sun-conscious, opting for an indoor sport can make a significant difference to your health in this regard!
Allows You To Practice Safely
Want to get in a few extra hours of practice after your teammates have gone home? Generally, hanging around alone inside an indoor sporting center is far safer for you than being the only one on an out-of-the-way sporting field somewhere.
Indoor facilities are usually monitored by janitors or guards. Some of them will have cameras for extra security. Practicing by yourself on an outdoor sports field can make you a sitting duck for would-be criminals, but you’ll be far safer inside a locked, controlled sporting facility.
There’s no need to go into detail about how this can keep you healthier!
Yes—we consider motivation to be essential to your health! Mental health is just as important as physical health, and if you’re the type of person who can’t focus on the game when you’re slapping away mosquitoes, can’t get away from the scent of sunscreen, or worrying about when your allergies are going to kick in… It takes some of the fun out of the game.
Playing indoors, though, removes all of those worries and allows you to play freely, without your attention being divided. When you’re free to focus entirely on your game rather than the external distractions, there’s none of that irritation or despondence that could come with playing outdoors.
Increased motivation for your sport leads to more fun, which in turn, improves mental health. Which, in turn, boosts overall health!
Keeps You Social
There’s not much difference between indoor and outdoor sports in this sense. Both offer the opportunity to make like-minded friends that you see on a regular basis. And socialization is an important element of good mental health.
Not just seeing people grinning, waving, and moving on, though. The indoor sports arena puts you in touch with potential new friends with whom you have common interests, can have conversations, and engage in active teamwork… And let’s be honest, bonds that are built on the sports field/court are some of the strongest around!
Boosts Brain Power
Even if you’re playing the indoor version of an outdoor sport you love, there are always some differences between the two. No matter how well-versed you may be in whatever your sport is, switching to the indoor version will be a fun and interesting learning curve.
While this may be annoying for some, if you do it right, you can give yourself a brainpower boost at the same time! Learning new things, even if you have some basis in them, builds new neural pathways, changing the way you think and effectively giving you a tiny intelligence boost!
And that’s not to mention that many indoor sports are played on slightly smaller courts than their outdoor counterparts. That means you’ll need to sharpen up your skills and your reaction times if you want to be competitive!
How Can You Play Indoor Sport?
The good news is that there are multiple ways to take part in indoor sports. We highly recommend getting out of the house to play at an indoor sporting arena, but whatever suits you is better than nothing!
Most cities have at least a few indoor sporting arenas that offer a variety of sports. Most are versatile enough to adapt the same courts for multiple different sports! If you have one particular sport you love, check to see if there’s an indoor facility nearby that offers it.
It’s as easy as going in and signing up for your chosen sport! If you’re unsure of how things work, head in and watch a few practice sessions or a match or two before deciding.
There are a bunch of sports that can easily be played in the comfort of your own home! While this may reduce the social aspect a little, unless you invite friends over to play, it’s just as healthy and fun as playing indoor sports at a facility.
Consider table tennis, a putting green, an indoor basketball hoop, archery (the safe kind), darts, dancing, or even indoor cricket.
Golf simulators are the most common type of simulator, so if you’re a golfing fan then this is definitely worth looking into! But they’re not the only kind of sports simulators you can get.
Football simulators—soccer and American style—are becoming more popular. But if playing sport in the comfort of your own home sounds like fun and golf isn’t specifically your sport, consider a multisport simulator.
They’re pricey, but once it’s installed you’ll have the pleasure of playing a variety of sports including lacrosse, hockey, football, baseball, shooting, and even dodgeball.
Simulators are a fantastic idea if you can afford one. They do require a bit of space, but you get all the benefits of indoor sport, including being able to play alone (if you’re having a bout of insomnia) or with friends for some competition!
Playing indoor sports is an excellent option for almost everyone! Whether you’re sensitive to the heat or cold, suffer from environmental allergies, don’t like bugs, or just want to try something new and different, it’s well worth trying. Indoor sport is all-inclusive. Nobody is left out, whether you play outdoor sports or not!
So whether you want to add indoor sports to your off-season, try something new, or finally find a sport you love if you can’t deal with the outdoors, give it a try. The beauty is that almost any sport has an indoor version, even if it’s technically an outdoor sport.
About the Author
Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not working on his game or coaching young golfers, he’s researching and writing value-packed articles for his website, Golf Influence.