Health Matters | Get Into the Game! Benefits of Joining a Rec Lea

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Get Into the Game! Benefits of Joining a Rec League

Looking to meet some new people while indulging your competitive side? Rec leagues offer a great way to stay in shape and also play the game you love. Sports ranging from softball to water polo and everything in between are offered for adults at every level. Get together a group of friends or coworkers and join in on the fun!

Not sure how joining a rec league is good for you? Check out these 4 benefits of joining a rec league:

Sports are an outlet for stress
Engaging in friendly competition while playing a game is a good way to relieve stress. Sweat away the day’s stress by getting active and participating on a rec league team. Regular practice can develop muscles and strengthen bones while lowering the risk of heart disease. Even twenty minutes of physical activity can be beneficial in reducing tension and anxiety.

Gain a new skill
If you are looking to pick up a new hobby, rec leagues could be for you. Even if you are a novice at a sport, there are teams for players of every level. Joining a rec league sport helps you refine your new craft through practice and game participation. Rec Leagues also allow you to work with teammates while also developing skills such as hand eye coordination.

A provided social outlet
If you are looking to make new friends or spend time with old friends, try joining a rec league! Rec league sport teams allow team members to stay connected with one another while bonding over a shared interest in sports. Not only are you building relationships with teammates and coaches, but also meeting new people through the teams you challenge.

A fun way to exercise
Rec leagues offer a fun and encouraging atmosphere to get and stay active. Getting sufficient exercise can boost mood and also increase energy levels. Rec league sports offer a great way to fit exercise into your schedule. Even if it is just an hour a day, getting regular exercise is important to your health. Get in your recommended 2.5 hours a week while also having a good time playing with friends and team mates.

Wondering which sport to join or nervous about jumping in an established team? Check out these fitness facts and tips on popular rec league sports:

  • Basketball: Basketball improves the ability to move quickly in different directions. Health benefits of basketball include cardiovascular conditioning and improvement of the body’s speed and power. Since you have to anticipate what other players will do, or to block out any distractions while shooting basketball provides a challenge to keep players mentally sharp. What you’ll need to get started: high-top tennis shoes, athletic tape to prevent injuries, mouth guard.
  • Rugby: Rugby builds power, strength, stamina, and cardiovascular training. Rugby players learn to defend themselves against tackling and acquire better balance and speed with practice. Good mental focus and strength are not the only thing a game of rugby requires. Players have to work as a team and also carry their own weight to pull out a win on the field. What you’ll need to get started: Soft padded helmet to prevent head injury, athletic tennis shoes with good lateral support, and a mouth guard.
  • Volleyball: Volleyball develops skills like agility, hand-eye coordination, quick thinking and reflexes. Volleyball is also a good sport for aerobic conditioning. Mental focus to move, set, and spike the ball is required when playing on a team. Players should be able to work well with others on their teams. What you’ll need to get started: pads for knees and elbows, shoes with good lateral support.
  • Softball: Softball develops skills like hitting power, speed, and hand-eye coordination. Players need to have a strong mental focus and good coordination to interact with fast pitches and catches. Soft ball players develop muscle strength, core strength and flexibility as well as batting and running skills. What you’ll need to get started: Cleats, a glove, a helmet, and a bat.
  • Soccer: Soccer improves lower body strength and power, while also offering aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. Players develop foot-eye coordination, quick reflexes, and agility to move quickly in different directions. Soccer requires developing skill and ability to play a position on the field and a high demand for strong mental focus. What you’ll need to get started: Mouth guard, cleats, and shin guards.

Are you ready to sign up? Many rec leagues offer online signups; however, here are a few other places you can check out opportunists to join a rec league team:

  • Parks and recreation department: Check out the parks and recreation department in your area. They often have information on rec sports leagues and teams near you. Be sure to ask when and where signups are held.
  • Gyms and health clubs: Your local gym or health club may have information on rec league sports. Stop by and ask if they can recommend any organizations for you to get involved with. They also may even sponsor or facilitate their own leagues for you to look into.
  • Sporting goods stores: Many sporting stores make customized jerseys and uniforms for rec league players. Ask about local leagues and opportunities at a store near you.
  • Websites: To find a listing of rec league sports near you, try doing some online research. Include the desired sport and “rec leagues” in your search. There are also websites such as www.eteamz.com that allow you to search for a certain sport and also for teams near you.



  • The Benefits of Free Play
    Sometimes taking a break from our schedules can be beneficial, especially for children. Most children need structure in their daily lives and parents try hard to provide stability. However, while many parents want to keep their children busy in after-school activities and organizations, letting your children have some free-play time may benefit their health and development. Check out these six benefits of letting your child free-play:

    1. Builds creativity- Keeping your child’s afternoon open means she will have to come up with an activity on her own. Free play encourages your child to get creative and maybe even invent her own game.
    2. Develops motor planning- Free play teaches your child how to create and carry out plans and ideas. Unstructured play may also teach him how to deal with cancelled or changed plans by showing that he doesn’t necessarily need scheduled playdates and activities.
    3. Helps teach decision making- Unstructured play allows your child to tune his decision making skills. Incorporating a small bit of independence in his daily schedule will help him learn to make choices on his own.
    4. Helps teach independence- Allowing free play time lets your child think independently. Unstructured play will give her a chance to learn how to entertain herself. Maybe that means heading down the street to a friend’s house when she has free play time rather than expecting you to tell her what to do next.
    5. Helps teach social and collaborative skills- Whether it’s skipping down the street to ring a friend’s doorbell or joining a game of kickball on the cul-de-sac, free play time allows your child to adapt to group situations and learn conflict resolution skills.
    6. Gives opportunity to develop interests and skills- If your child has every minute of his schedule planned out, he may not get to explore things he finds interesting. Free play allows him to maybe try out his skills on the tennis court rather than the soccer field!

    7. Next time you have an afternoon open, let your child determine what he or she wants to do. Encourage your kids to get active outside and enjoy the summer weather!

  • Health Benefits of Free Play for Kids
    Sometimes taking a break from our schedules can be beneficial, especially for children. Most children need structure in their daily lives and parents try hard to provide stability. While many parents want to keep their children busy in after-school activities and organizations, letting your child have some free-play time may also benefit their health and development. Check out these 6 benefits of letting your child free-play:

    1. Builds creativity- Keeping your child’s afternoon open means she will have to come up with an activity on her own. Free play encourages your child to get creative and maybe even invent her own game.
    2. Develops motor planning- Free-play time teaches your child how to create and carry out plans and ideas. Unstructured play may also teach him how to deal with cancelled or changed plans by showing him that he doesn’t necessarily need scheduled playdates and activities.
    3. Helps teach decision making- Unstructured play allows your child to tune his decision making skills. Offering a small bit of independence with his daily schedule will help him learn to make choices on his own.
    4. Helps teach independence- Allowing free play time lets your child think independently. Unstructured play will give her a chance to learn to entertain herself. Maybe that means heading down the street to a friend’s when she has free play time rather than expecting you to tell her what to do next.
    5. Helps teach social and collaborative skills- Whether it’s skipping down the street to ring a friend’s doorbell, or joining a game of kickball in the cul-de-sac, free play time allows your child to adapt to group situations and learn conflict resolution skills.
    6. Gives opportunity to develop interests and skills- If your child has every minute of his schedule planned out, he may not get to explore things he finds interesting. Free play allows him to maybe try out his skills on the tennis court rather than the soccer field!
    Next time you have an afternoon open, let your child determine what they want to do. Encourage them to get active and outside to enjoy the summer weather!
  • Patient First opens new center in Clinton, Maryland

    Our Clinton, Maryland center is now open and welcoming patients 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., every day! This opening marks the twelfth Patient First center in the Greater Washington D.C. area, with other centers open in Central Park, Manassas, Leesburg, Garrisonville, Sterling, Alexandria, Lake Ride and Chantilly, Virginia and Waldorf, Silver Spring, and Rockville, Maryland.

    Located at 9000 Woodyard Road the new facility will serve residents of Clinton, Camp Springs, Friendly, Rosaryville, Forestville, Coral Hills, Walker Mill, Fort Washington, and surrounding neighborhoods.

    “The goal of Patient First is to provide convenient, cost-effective medical care on a walk-in basis,” says R.P. Sowers, M.D., founder and CEO of Patient First. “At the same time, our physicians and staff always work closely and collaboratively with the area’s existing medical community to provide care.”

    Open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 365 days a year, Patient First physicians and their support staff are available for urgent care; work, school, camp, sports and travel physicals; occupational health; flu shots and primary care for patients who do not have a primary care physician.

    For continuity of care, Patient First routinely transmits a copy of the visit record to the patient’s primary care physician according to the patient’s wishes.

    The new Patient First centers will offer medical care including:

    Urgent Care
    Patient First provides treatment for routine injuries and illnesses – offering a convenient, lower-cost alternative to visiting a hospital emergency department. Services offered include care for colds, flu, allergic reactions, ear and sinus infections, pneumonia, minor burns, skin rashes, sprains, minor fractures, lacerations and sports injuries.

    Digital X-Ray Services
    Like all Patient First centers, the new Patient First – Sicklerville and Hamilton locations will be equipped with on-site digital x-ray equipment for routine x-rays.

    Lab Work
    The new Patient First facilities’ CLIA-approved laboratories will provide on-site services for routine office labs and send-out service for more complex tests.

    Prescriptions
    As a convenience, Patient First dispenses routine prescription drugs on-site.

    Occupational Health
    Since 1981, Patient First has provided Occupational Health services for employees and employers. These services include treatment for workplace injuries covered by Workers' Compensation, as well as DOT physicals, drug screenings and work-site flu shots.

    Patient First accepts most major insurance plans including Aetna, Cigna, Coventry, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and Tricare. A complete listing of participating insurers can be found on our website.

  • Health Benefits of Probiotics
    Not all bacteria are created equal! While many of us associate “anti-bacterial” as the healthy option, some bacteria – called probiotics - are actually very beneficial to our health. As the benefits of probiotics become more common knowledge, an increasing number of people are using probiotics to treat or improve illnesses or to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    What are probiotics?
    Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that help your digestive system. These bacteria line the inside of your stomach and intestines and help your body absorb nutrients. These nutrient absorbing bacteria are used to support your immune system. This is why if you are taking an antibiotic, your doctor may likely recommend introducing or increasing your probiotic intake to help your body regain the “healthy” bacteria it needs.

    How do bacteria effect my gut health?
    A lack of probiotics in the system may lead to negative side effects, including:
    • Digestive disorders, which may cause bloating
    • Skin issues
    • Frequent Candida (yeast) infections
    • Autoimmune disease
    • Frequent colds and flus

    In contrast, a person that eats a diet high in probiotics may experience:
  • A healthier immune system
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased energy due to an increased production of vitamin B12
  • Weight loss or a decrease in bloating

  • How can I get the benefits of probiotics?
    Probiotics are found in non-pasteurized or fortified cultured dairy products and other fermented foods such as miso or kimchi. If you are unsure if you are getting enough probiotics in your diet, supplements are also available. When choosing a supplement, pay close attention to the number of live organisms per dose and whether the manufacturer takes steps to ensure the probiotics survive the packaging and delivery.

    Looking for ways to incorporate cultured and fermented foods in your diet? Check out these nine foods that are full of probiotics:
    • Sauerkraut
    • Kefir
    • Kimchi
    • Yogurt
    • Tempeh
    • Kombucha
    • Miso
    • Pickles
    • Natto

    Canned fermented vegetables may not contain live probiotic bacteria, but are still nutritionally valuable. Freshly fermented foods, on the other hand, contain many beneficial microbiota. When selecting a freshly fermented food, those produced locally by a reputable producer are probably the best to purchase. It is important to be aware that improperly home or small batch-canned food contains a small risk for botulism. To learn more about preventing this rare illness, please visit the CDC’s website.


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