The VOICE of Health

Watching the Final Four is healthy?

From Florida Hospital Apopka

If you’re a basketball fan, you know what keeps you coming back for more. As it turns out, the anticipation of the next big game, the joy you feel after a big win, and the community of fellow Magic fans connect you to a greater purpose — and even better health.

Here are three ways that dedication to your hometown Orlando Magic is good for your health — in body, mind, and spirit.

Being a basketball fan boosts your interpersonal relationships.

Your relationships with people, including fellow basketball enthusiasts, support a full life. Fostering your bonds and connections with others is well documented for its health benefits, physiologically, emotionally, and spiritually.

As a basketball fan, you are instantly connected to a community of fellow fanatics that share a common interest, goal, and passion for a team, like the Magic. Just wearing a t-shirt that represents your favorite team can spark conversations and high-fives from mere strangers. And from live games to groups of friends in your living room, there’s excitement and hope that you collectively share for celebrating the next triumph.

It’s this social connectedness that creates positive experiences in our lives with purpose and meaning. In turn, our bodies benefit from bursts of “happy” hormones called endorphins, a positive outlook, and reduced emotional stress. That’s why Interpersonal Relationships is an important pillar of the Florida Hospital CREATION Health model.

Engaging with a basketball team supports a positive outlook.

Time and time again, basketball fans are given powerful examples of the human spirit’s strength with the message that anything is possible. From the team that beats the odds to win the final championship with a last-minute shot from center court to the inspiring story behind your favorite basketball star, the theme of rising above challenges to succeed is part of every fan’s reel. While hope surrounds sports, it also fill’s every fan’s life.

No basketball fan goes into a game pessimistic about its outcome. There’s always optimism for victory. There’s always a lesson to be learned. And there’s always the commitment to your hometown team, no matter what.

And it’s this hope that improves your outlook on life in general.

Having a positive outlook in general shapes how we approach the world and our lives. Our outlook affects how we perceive the world, our own self-esteem, and then extends to affect those around us. So, having hope and being positive promotes a healthy mindset and behaviors that support improved wholeness in body, mind, and spirit. In fact, Outlook is another Florida Hospital CREATION Health principle. So, go ahead and feel good about those next tickets you have to cheer on your favorite basketball team.

Being a committed basketball fan builds coping skills.

An unexpected game loss. A career-ending injury. A devastating trade. A disagreement with an opposing fan. It just comes along with sports. But rising above these challenges is part of brushing off your shoulders and getting back in the game, even as a fan.

To do this, however, you have to learn to healthfully manage stress and cope with conflict and disappointment. And this is easier said than done.

Every basketball fan has felt the solemn energy in an arena after a big loss. Or a disagreement with a referee on that foul that cost the game. But you’ll also see pats on the back, voices offering empathy and optimism to fellow fans and a community that rallies for a better outcome next time. These activities improve emotional strength and fortitude to overcome obstacles in other areas of life too.

So, if you’re a basketball fan, rooting for your favorite team is cheering on your own health as well. Coping skills, combined with supportive interpersonal relationships and a positive outlook, can turn defeat into victory, for basketball teams and every fan’s complete well-being.

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