Football is arguably the biggest sport in the world with millions of fans all over the world. In America, we call this sport Soccer which has two teams trying to score a ‘goal’ into their respective goal posts on either end of the field. As with any sport, there a lot of health benefits that come with playing soccer. Here are the top health benefits of soccer for men.
- Increases Aerobic Capacity: A typical soccer game last for 90 minutes and a player is expected to keep running over the entire game. This requires high levels of stamina and this means that players usually have tremendous aerobic capacities. They will be able to go from walking to sprinting and recover quickly multiple times.
- Improving Cardiovascular Health: A typical player runs for 5-7 miles in a typical game. This constant movement makes sure they are keeping their heart rate up and provides great cardiovascular exercise. This strengthens their hearts, helps resist plaque build-up, reduce blood pressure and burns excess calories.
- Lowers Body Fat and Improves Muscle Tone: We’ve established that soccer is great for your heart but it is also great for reducing body fat and building muscle mass giving players a more toned look. Soccer as a general exercise succeeds in burning more calories than a traditional exercise. This is due to the fact that players are required to switch between aerobic and anaerobic pathways.
- Increases Coordination: The game constantly forces a player to pay attention and shift between different speeds of movement of tasks like dribbling, turning and passing. Body coordination can be greatly improved using these complex movements. Even hand-eye-coordination is improved as the player needs to both control the ball and look for openings in the opponent’s defence. The better the coordination, the better the advantage is in a game.
- Promotes Teamwork and Sharing: If you have ever tried to soccer without relying on your teammates, you will quickly come to the crippling conclusion of defeat. Soccer needs cooperation and learning to share the ball to reach the final destination-the goal post. The lessons that players learn during the matches are lessons that they will take with them all their lives. The camaraderie teammates develop is unmatched.
- Increases Cognitive Brain Function: Soccer is a very quick-paced game and players are expected to make difficult decisions in a split-second. If they made the right decision, they would be rewarded and if they chose wrong, it could mean losing the game. This build’s a player’s concentration, persistence and self-discipline.
- Helps Build Confidence and Self-Esteem; Reduces Anxiety: Apart from the physical benefits, soccer can also help build player’s confidence both on and off the field. This can have visible effects on a player’s performance in a match. Also, physical exertion releases feel-good hormones which can reduce stress and anxiety. There are also many studies that find that soccer is an effective treatment for depression and anxiety.