SPORTS AND EXERCISE
Sports are organized athletic activities played individually or in teams. Most sports can be played by men and women and boys and girls. Many people participate in sports as amateurs for enjoyment, the love of competition, or as a healthful form of exercise.
Sports give people a lot of benefits. Physically fit people are healthier than those who are unfit. They have greater resistance to disease and recover faster if they become ill. Physically fit people may be happier and more alert and relaxed. They also may be able to resist the effects of aging better than those who are physically unfit. Physically fit people perform their usual tasks easily without tiring and still have energy for other interests.
Sports also provide entertainment for people throughout the world. Large crowds attend sporting events in person. Millions of sports fans also follow their favorite teams and athletes by listening to play-by-play accounts of games on radio or watching competition on television.
School programs help children to develop good physical fitness habits. They offer regular health examinations, courses in health care, and performance tests to measure students' progress in physical fitness. They also provide instruction in running, throwing, and other skills. Children are taught simple exercises in the lower grades and more complicated ones as they mature. Older pupils can participate in such activities as gymnastics, swimming, and team sports. Many schools become recreation and fitness centers during evenings and weekends when the regular classes are not held. Schools can offer sports equipment and such facilities as gyms, playing fields, running tracks, and sometimes swimming pools.
A person's physical fitness is determined by age, heredity, and behavior. Although people cannot control their age or heredity, their behavior can help them to become physically fit and stay that way. Most health experts agree that people should exercise at least three times a week to maintain desirable fitness. Most people are physically unfit simply because they do not get enough exercise. Physical fitness is a personal responsibility.
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