Rugby for Wellness: Science-Backed Health Benefits
The quadrennial Rugby World Cup is happening now in France, from September 8 until October 28, 2023. It is no wonder that Rugby enthusiasts worldwide are currently brimming with excitement and anticipation. France has been in the final three times before, the last time being in 2011. But they lost a close game to New Zealand in Auckland back then.
In the past, teams from the southern hemisphere, like New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, have been good at winning the Rugby World Cup. Except for England’s win in 2003, these three countries are the only ones who have ever won the big trophy called the Webb Ellis trophy. So, they have been the best teams for a long time.
However, there’s more than just a Rugby World Cup betting guide to read. Do you know that rugby can also bring health benefits?
Playing rugby can make players move a lot, which is good for their body and mind. The World Health Organization and research conducted by the British Journal of Sports Medicine say sports are essential for staying healthy.
Adults are recommended to be active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, and kids should be active for at least 60 minutes daily. It’s not just about running; it’s also about doing activities that strengthen bones and muscles and help stay flexible. All of these benefits can be found in rugby.
Rugby, in particular, offers numerous health benefits. Activities like running, tackling opponents, pushing, and kicking the ball contribute to better heart and lung health, increased strength in both the upper and lower body, improved agility and speed, and enhanced ball-handling and kicking skills.
According to research from the University of Edinburgh, playing rugby union can make people healthier and happier, even though the game has some risks. Some good things from playing rugby include a lower chance of getting type-2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, stroke, heart problems, and depression.
The research also says that playing rugby can improve your heart, lungs, and metabolism, which improves overall health. It can also make your muscles, bones, and balance better.
Another study from the University of Houston found that people with spinal cord injuries who play wheelchair rugby a lot feel less sad and stressed. People who played the sport at least twice a week felt the least sad compared to those who played less often.
A Game for Everyone
Despite the common misconception that it is only intended for those with a strong build, rugby is that it’s a game for everyone. Rugby is a sport played by many people in many countries, with different versions. Some have more players on each team, like 15 or 7, and there are different levels of contact, from full-on tackling to versions where you touch or tag the opponent. They even have adapted versions for people with disabilities, like wheelchair rugby.
For rugby athletes, taking care of the body through physical activity and a balanced diet is crucial for maintaining strength and a robust immune system. It supports good performance in rugby, provides energy for daily life, and enhances focus. This healthy way of living also includes drinking enough water, especially during matches and training, to stay hydrated, which is even more critical than fueling muscles.
Moreover, maintaining cleanliness and looking after personal items is essential when being part of a team. It’s not just about personal hygiene but also about creating a safe and healthy environment for everyone.
Simple rules like washing hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs, keeping sports gear and water bottles clean to avoid infections, and adequately tending to cuts or wounds to prevent complications are crucial for a healthy and active lifestyle, particularly in a close-knit team environment.