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Why Women’s Sports Can Save Society

Our society is experiencing an unprecedented obesity crisis. The CDC estimates that over 36 percent–more than one third–of American women and men are obese. But many schools still aren’t incorporating enough physical activity into students’ days. The result? Kids aren’t developing the tools for healthy living necessary to carry them into healthy adult lives. They haven’t been accustomed to getting at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, which makes forming these habits as adults that much more of a challenge.

There does seem to be an opportunity to change the way we as a society view physical activity, however, and it is via sports. This is an area where many kids (and their parents) are willing and able to put in extra time and effort, as opposed to, say, excelling in gym class or working out on their own time after school.

In particular, the rise in popularity and availability of women’s sports has given girls and young women a chance to develop their physical strengths and talents in a realm that has historically been off-limits to them. 

The Role of Sports in Societal Success

Lack of physical activity can wreak havoc on our bodies, but that’s not all. Research has shown that exercise is positively linked with academic performance. In one study, students were divided into two groups before taking an exam. One group of students walked for 20 minutes, and the other sat still for the 20 minutes before their test. Brain scans of those students who walked first showed a significant increase in brain activity compared to the inactive students (Active Living Research).

Even more promising, continued research found that regular exercise has a long-term effect on an individual’s brain activity and ability to learn. Think of the possibilities, then, if all children are given the opportunity to exercise during the school day? Both girls and boys would be given a mental and physical advantage, not to mention the fact that they would be establishing healthy exercise habits early in life.

Moreover, countless studies have concluded that being involved in sports has a positive impact on self-esteem, especially for girls (Psychology Today). Not only do sports promote team-building skills, but they also help girls form strong, healthy body images and lifestyle habits that they can carry with them into adulthood.

Your Mission: Get up, Get Active, and Inspire!

The takeaway point here is that no matter your age–whether you’re in your teens or 40s, 50s, 60s, and so on–you (and society) can benefit from making a choice to exercise. Embrace your athletic abilities. Join an amateur sports league, run a marathon, or enjoy the great outdoors and go for a daily walk. If you have kids, instill in them the importance of taking great care of their bodies, both inside and out. Inspire your girls to pursue their athletic and academic goals. 

Dr. Vonda Wright is a wonderful example of the power that instilling confidence from both academic and athletic success into young women and girls can have. Confidence can create positive impacts on not only individual lives but on society as well. As one of the few female orthopedic surgeons in the United States, Dr. Wright is an inspiration to girls and women all across the country. Her advice? Set ambitious goals and pursue them wholeheartedly. Dream big, work hard and enjoy the journey!