Soccer (also known as football in some countries) sure is one of the most popular sports of today. According to FIFA, more than 3.2 billion people tuned in to watch 2014 FIFA World Cup on their television. Still, soccer is not only something interesting and fun but healthy as well. Studies have shown that soccer helps you improve your health, fitness, and social ability. And here it is how.
Soccer for Health
Many studies have been conveyed recently and all of them showed that soccer is one of the best sports you should opt for if you want to improve your health. First of all, soccer can greatly improve your cardiovascular health. During a soccer match, an average player runs between 5 and 7 miles in 90 minutes. During those 90 minutes, the player walks, jogs and runs and that way it keeps your heart rate up which is a great cardiovascular exercise. Such constant movement helps him to strengthen his heart, repel plaque build-up in the coronary arteries and reduce his blood pressure. Besides all of this, soccer is a great way to increase bone strength as well. As we get older our bone density decreases. Weight-bearing loads on the body a soccer player has during a match is a great way to strengthen the skeletal frame.
Soccer for Fitness
Obviously, soccer is one of the best ways to increase your fitness. Running for 90 minutes surely requires high stamina which means that a soccer player must have a tremendous amount of aerobic capacity. Not to mention that a player has to go from walking to sprinting and recover fast many times during a match. Therefore, soccer practices involve many exercises which are designed especially to increase players’ stamina. Even just attending soccer practices without being involved in any games can drastically improve your fitness. Another way soccer helps you improve your fitness is lowering body fat. It is a perfect sport for burning calories because it gets your heart and your muscles work in different ways. It includes working of both yours slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers and that way helps you build more mass and burn fat. Because of the use of both aerobic and anaerobic energy, soccer will actually help you burn more calories than a typical workout session.
Soccer for Coordination and Brain Function
Coordination is a key for soccer since this sport includes so many switching between walking, jogging and running. Not to mention that actions like dribbling, passing and turning need much coordination you can gradually improve through training. All of these actions are performed at different rates of speed and direction. They also require quite strong foot-eye coordination that gets significantly improved when you play games. A lot of training exercises are designed in such a way that they can help you improve your coordination and reflexes. There are drills that involve jumping over cones and moving between them that can help you boost your coordination. Exercises that involve shooting at pop up soccer goals once you hear a whistle are great for improving your reflexes. Soccer can also help you increase your skill in concentration and self-discipline since the game is quite high paced and it involves a lot of fast decision making.
Soccer for Social Ability
Besides having positive effects on your body, soccer can also improve your social ability. Soccer is a great sport for kids who want to participate in team sports. Some basic moves are easy to learn and everyone gets to participate. This helps kids build confidence and self-esteem. Being a member of a team does not only have an effect on sports performance but on kids’ school and family life. It also has a positive impact on their development and later aids in career and family life. Of course, soccer does not only help kids improve their social ability. There are some benefits for adults as well. Being involved in a soccer league can help you take your mind off work and some everyday problems you might face. It boosts your morale and increases your self-esteem. This happens because the feel-good endorphins are released into the body when you play soccer. These are a major stress and anxiety reducers.
Soccer is a great sport for anyone who want to improve his lifestyle. It can be played anywhere and anytime. All you need is a ball and two goals. It is relatively a simple sport to catch onto and it is a hobby that will not cost you too much. There are many local teams you can join, but practicing alone in your backyard can sometimes be enough. Make sure you start slowly and then add some more complex drills and exercises to your training routine. Soon you will see how your health, fitness, coordination, brain function and social ability have greatly improved.