How Winter Sports Can Help Boys with Depression
As winter sets in and the weather gets colder across most of the country, many of us find ourselves indoors more and more. Whether it’s an aversion to the weather or the inability to do outdoor activities you usually enjoy during the warmer months, winter tends to be a time where people stay closer to home. But while hunkering down for the winter can feel cozy, it can also have a downside. The winter months mean less sun, which can affect feelings of depression. Staying indoors for the majority of the time can also leave boys feeling lethargic and disconnected from the world around them. This is where winter sports can be beneficial. Colder weather doesn’t mean they have to be disengaged.
Physical Activity and Mental Health
Physical fitness plays a key part in the overall health of teen boys. Research has shown that healthy nutrition and regular exercise can have a positive impact on feelings on well-being, and brain functions such as attention, memory, focus, and concentration.
Symptoms of depression include fatigue, irritability, pessimism, loss of interest in things they once enjoyed, and difficulty concentrating. Young men who are experiencing depression symptoms often self-isolate and can lack self-care. When they are feeling stuck in these feelings of depression, it can be difficult to make their way back out. When teen boys have a reason to stay engaged, the symptoms of depression can be lessened.
The Benefits of Winter Sports
Participating in a winter sport league such as hockey or an indoor basketball league can give young men a reason to get out of the house and interact with peers. Instead of relying solely on social media or technology for connections, they will engage in real conversations and build real relationships. On the days when they’re not feeling motivated to leave their room, knowing that their team is waiting for them can help them make a healthier choice.
For boys who have not previously participated in winter sports, learning about a sport can feel intimidating. But encouraging them to get out of their comfort zone can help them to build new skills and self-confidence. They may feel wobbly on their first attempt to cross country ski, but the more they try, the more they will build their skills. There is a strong sense of accomplishment when they achieve their goals and that feeling of success makes them more likely to try new things in the future.
About Equinox RTC
At Equinox, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the boys and families we serve. We utilize the archetypal Hero’s Journey as a guide, and we help struggling or troubled teens Believe in themselves, begin their journey toward hope, and Become the Hero that they are destined to be.
When we feel good physically we feel better emotionally, and we think more clearly. Having recognized the importance of these findings, we have intentionally included numerous activities and interventions into Equinox programming that focus on the improvement of the physical health of the boys we serve. For more information please call (877) 279-8925.