Scoring big — the power of social connection in sports

May 17, 2023

It’s widely understood that being social is good for us.

“Humans are wired to connect with others – connecting is a basic requirement for survival,” says Jodie Voth, Manager of Manitoba Blue Cross’s Employee Assistance Program. “Social connections are an important source of self-esteem, comfort and pleasure, and time spent with others helps to regulate mood, including reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.”

In addition to supporting a healthy immune system, socializing also helps us recover from illness, improves our sleep and helps us live longer. When we combine human connection with regular exercise, we have the recipe for an active, fulfilling life.

That’s the power of sport – it enables us to build relationships, while also getting us moving.

“Sports are a great way to meet and connect with people who share common interests in a fun and informal setting,” Voth says. “For those of us who prefer to connect through shared activities and common goals, sports can be a more enjoyable way to spend time with others than more formal or sit-down settings.”’

And the benefits aren’t limited to team sports. While golf can be enjoyed alone, hitting the greens with a friend (or several!) is a summer staple for thousands of Manitobans.  

Because they’re often scheduled in advance, sports are a great way to keep social connection on your calendar, despite a busy schedule. A regular tee time can help you stay in touch, even when life gets hectic.

And you don’t need to be skilled to enjoy a sport, either. Recreational teams accommodate players of all skill levels, and pick-up games with friends or co-workers can be a fun and casual way to spend an evening.

This summer, incorporate sports into your social calendar – the benefits are worth it!

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