Sports And Fitness: The Benefits And Drawbacks Of The Internet

Looking into how the internet has benefitted sports and active hobbies. From keeping fit from home via YouTube and finding new sports! But is there a Downside? Keep reading to find out!

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe its 2019 already. 2018 went so quickly but I personally feel I achieved so much within the year, from trying new hobbies to making life long memories. I wanted to start off my first blog of 2019 with a positive message to hopefully motivate you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things this year.

The tweet above really moved me and reminded me that if you want something you go out and get it! Let’s make 2019 the year of self-love and forget about what other people might think. Live life for yourself and not others! With this in mind, I’m challenging everyone to try something they’ve always wanted to do but were too scared to do. Whether it be as adventurous as a skydive or as simple as joining a gym class.

My experience with SUP boarding

Photo of a woman paddle boarding (no attribution needed)

This year whilst on holiday I tried out SUP boarding for the first time. I’ve never been a natural in water, in fact I can hardly swim. So, leaving the safety of the beach on just a board was actually quite terrifying. In the beginning, I refused to even attempt to stand on the board as kneeling felt like the only safe option. However, I felt as though I was missing out and realised I was just going further out and the water was just getting deeper. After a lot of encouragement, I stood up on the board. The experience was completely different to kneeling and if I had not have challenged myself I wouldn’t have found a new hobby that I love. I would’ve also never found out about my love of SUP boarding without the internet.

How has the internet benefitted sports?

The internet has created a way to find out about new hobbies which you may have never found before. After my SUP boarding experience on holiday, I was desperate to find somewhere near home where I could do it regularly. Living in a city nowhere near a coast I thought this would be impossible. However, after a quick Google search, I found out that a local lake allows you to use it for SUP boarding and even rents out the equipment needed. Without Google, there is no way I would’ve known this. I had visited this lake regularly as a child and even recently for dog walks and had never heard of being able to use the lake for water sports.

Google allows businesses to promote activities they have available by using keywords and your location. In terms of sport, it allows people to find local clubs, training grounds, and new sports to try all within the local area. It’s a great way to find a sport that you’re interested in. Especially if like me, you don’t like traditional sports.

Keep fit from home!

Photo of a woman doing yoga (no attribution needed)

YouTube has become a platform which enables people to try out new ways to keep fit, often from the comfort of their homes. YouTube channels which focus on exercise and well-being mean people can keep fit from home. Whilst saving money which would be spent on costly gym memberships. Personally, I found this extremely useful during my time in school. I had no income and my parents wouldn’t pay for a gym membership. However, I had enough room in my bedroom to complete the exercises which required no equipment.

The videos can vary in length to suit a range of different people. There are also videos which are less than 10 minutes which may appeal to people with busy schedules. Whilst videos that are 30 minutes or longer may appease fitness fanatics. The variety in channels also means YouTube can appeal to more audience than a gym would. From Pilates and yoga to HIIT home workouts for free, why would you want to pay for a gym membership?

Is there a downside?

However, the internet could have a negative impact on sports. With the growth of YouTube content aimed towards children and teens, there could be a lack of interest in sports and hobbies in general. Having an online hobby does not automatically make it unimportant. But they can often involve less social interaction and general activity than traditional hobbies. Although, before the internet, there was gaming and television to distract from traditional hobbies. But sports is still a popular choice for most people!

My Opinion

In my opinion, I think the internet has created a way for people to find out about new sports and activities. The internet is often thought to decrease activity in children and teens. However, it often opens doors to find active hobbies other than football and swimming. Personally, I have found that the internet has actually inspired me to try new sports rather than sit inside all day. Although, I cannot speak for everyone and the internet may have impacted traditional active hobbies in a negative way.

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