As well as being lots of fun, playing soccer can provide a plethora of great health benefits. Here are five of them:
- Increases Aerobic Capacity:Running at any intensity for up to 90 minutes at a time requires a high level of stamina. Therefore, soccer players often have a tremendous amount of aerobic capacity, being able to go from walking to sprinting and have a fast recovery to do it again and again for the duration of the game.
- Improves Cardiovascular Health:The average player runs 5 to 7 miles in a full game. The constant walking, jogging and running helps keep the players’ heart rate up, providing excellent cardiovascular exercise. This constant movement helps players strengthen their hearts, resist plaque build-up in the coronary arteries, reduce their blood pressure and burn excess calories.
- Lowers Body Fat and Improves Muscle Tone:Soccer is a great sport for burning fat because it works the muscles and your heart in different ways. Soccer builds more muscle mass and burns more fat by recruiting both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers. As a general workout, soccer playing burns more calories than typical workouts because players are forced to switch between using the aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways.
- Builds Muscle Strength: Lower body strength is required for kicking, jumping, tackling and twisting and turning. It also forms the foundation for explosive speed. Upper body strength is required for shielding the ball, holding off opponents, throw-ins and also contributes to overall power and explosiveness. Regular soccer playing builds strength by using the whole body.
- Increases Bone Strength: In general, bone density decreases as people get older. The intensity and repeated weight-bearing loads on the body during a soccer match are an excellent way to increase the strength of our skeletal frame. Maintaining fitness through soccer throughout a lifetime is a great way to keep bones strong.