As a soccer fanatic, this last month was heaven for me. Soccer, or football as most of the world knows it, is the most popular sport in the world and fans like me were able to celebrate this wonderful sport for an entire month. If you missed the Men’s World Cup, please do yourself a solid and watch this montage. In my opinion, soccer is the best sport in the world because of the nonstop action, the passion of the fans, and the overall health benefits of playing the sport.
The action and passion of the fans are great reasons to become fans of the sport, but the health benefits should not be forgotten. Soccer/football is a multipurpose sport that combines endurance, strength and high-intensity interval training all at once and it’s a great way to trick yourself into running. I’m not a big fan of running anything longer than 200 meters at a time, so soccer/football is great because it makes me forget about the distances you can cover during a match.
Sports researcher Peter Krustrup, who has spent more than 15 years studying the health benefits of soccer, said that recreational-level play and soccer-related exercise drills can help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Soccer also can help shift body composition by decreasing fat and increasing lean muscle. And most of these benefits can take effect after just 12 to 16 weeks of training, he said.
Because soccer/football naturally mixes high-intensity sprints and movements with jogging and walking, it is a proven way to lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Comprehensive research shows that soccer may be healthier than traditional jogging and can play a key role in preventing obesity and other chronic illnesses. For more details, please visit here. It is no surprise that countries known as soccer powerhouses like France and Germany have some of the lowest obesity rates in the world.
So, if you’re looking to be active this summer and try something new, I encourage you to try playing some form of soccer this weekend. Even if you don’t have enough buddies for a traditional 11 v or an indoor 6 v 6 match, try soccer tennis! It’s one of my favorite ways to get the competitive juices flowing when you don’t have a lot of people or space to play. It’s good for your health and you can make some new friends in the process!