5 Surprising Benefits of Being a Sports Fan | Fitbie

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5 Surprising Benefits of Being a Sports Fan

Cheering on your favorite team this fall can help you burn extra calories, stay on top of your workout routine, boost your relationships, and keep your brain and body young

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5 Surprising Benefits of Being a Sports Fan // women cheering in a crowd © Corbis

Image: Corbis

It’s no wonder your friends aren’t available to hang out on Sundays in the fall and winter—according to a 2005 Gallup Poll, 64% of Americans claim to be professional football fans, and as of 2010, women make up 44% of the NFL fan base.

Being a sports fan doesn’t mean you’re expected to know all the players and stats of your hometown teams and destined for a beer gut—it’s about coming together in the name of good times as part of a community.

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“Bonding over sports—the highs and lows of the game—strengthens ties, helps us feel supported, and makes it easier for you to open up about personal things,” says Renee Clauselle, PsyD, who runs a private psychology practice in Long Island, NY.

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Rooting for the same team creates an immediate sense of family, says Daniel Wann, PhD, a Murray State University professor who has been studying the psychology of sports fans for over 20 years. “If you identify with a local team, you build an instant connection to others around you,” he says.

Beyond the bonding aspects, watching sports can motivate you to pump up your own workouts—and even burn a few extra calories when you jump, cheer, and clap during the highlights of the game. Find out more ways being a sports fan is a winning situation for your health.

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