The Definition of Sport
There are many types of sports that people can participate in. Some of the most popular are soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, golf, rugby and Australian football (rugby league). All these sports come under the heading of contact sport, and all require the participant to be in good form both during and after the sport. Most sports have been known to involve contact, with kicking, punching, elbowing, wrestling and blocking being common activities during games. While all of these types of activities may take place at different levels of play, there is one thing they have in common – participants need to be in good health if they are to enjoy these games.
Being fit is an obvious prerequisite to enjoying most sports. The game of soccer, for example, involves sprinting, tackling and goal-taking. Being overweight or obese is not only a health risk but it also means that players are more prone to injuries and other strains. For this reason, many clubs and schools are encouraging more active lifestyles and fitness and have adopted a sports nutrition policy in line with this. This is excellent news for consumers as it means that there is a greater supply of quality products available to choose from, including the previously mentioned sports supplements.
The term sport encompasses any outdoor activity involving physical exertion. The consensus of opinion amongst experts seems to be that activity involving physical exertion has increased over the last decade, with a significant increase in participation by younger people. Sport activities such as rugby and baseball have enjoyed this rise in popularity, although the growth of field hockey and swimming has had a greater impact on the level of physical activity undertaken by adults.
Sports is clearly a far wider term than a single activity; it also includes any outdoor pastime that involves contact or physical exertion. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of games designed specifically for a certain sport or recreational pastime. The most popular of these would probably be the Ultimate Fighting Championships, or MMA competitions. Both of these sportful activities involve a high amount of physical activity, but MMA also incorporates rules which govern the use of protective equipment.
Adults regularly take part in these competitions, which date back to the early 1900s. However, they are not the sole preserve of adults. Children and young people now take part in such athletic activity as a means of entertainment, rather than just a means of getting fit. Such sportive activities include horse riding, paintball, ice hockey, gymnastics and many others. Parents increasingly encourage their children to take part in such sporting pastimes, often viewing them as a means of educating their children. Indeed, many families now have a separate sports room, with a variety of equipment designed for the active children.
This definition of sport has been constantly updated and adapted over the years to take into account the influence of new types of physical activities that have become popular over the past few decades. For instance, since the turn of the millennium, many sports which were traditionally thought of as being for men have become accessible to women. This includes such activities as track and field, kayaking, swimming and others. As well, many sports which were considered to be strictly for men such as weightlifting have become popular with women in recent years, including bicep curls, tummy toning exercises and similar forms of exercises. The definition of sport has never been more important than it is today, and this is especially true when it comes to defining physical fitness.