Research Shows Benefits of Playing Soccer

July 17, 2013 | Author: | Posted in sports

According to Science Daily, a study conducted among 7 countries and over the span of three years, showed many benefits to playing soccer. Soccer was found to improve the level of health, fitness, and social opportunities for those who participated in the study. The study compared running to soccer in order to evaluate which activity had more overall benefits. The results showed that soccer provides as many benefits as running, and in certain cases, significantly more.

In regards to health, soccer can help to create a physically active lifestyle. Soccer training for at least two to three hours a week, can positively affect the cardiovascular, metabolic and musculoskeletal systems of the body. It has been shown that people of all ages, both genders, and with very little experience still reaped the benefits of this exciting sport. In other words, one doesn’t have to make hundreds of official soccer goals to see changes in their body, health and level of fitness.

This same study also showed evidence that those who played soccer, stuck with it longer than their running counterparts. The reason for this is that soccer is just plain fun! The runners in the study tended to be more focused on themselves and their health, where as those who played soccer were able to develop a sense of teamwork and community while finding true enjoyment in the activity. This sense of community served as inspiration for the soccer players to stick with it more than those who ran for the sole purpose of exercise. Another study showed that male soccer players, compared to male runners, worried significantly less.

So what can you take away from this research? First of all, if you want to stick with your fitness routine, you have to find something that you enjoy! Killing yourself at the gym for vanity’s sake is not usually enough to keep you motivated. On the other hand, finding an activity that you love and that also positively impacts your social life, is a true recipe for better health and longevity.

Soccer can work to improve your cardio and aerobic capacity and level of endurance. There’s a reason soccer pros like Mia Hamm and David Beckham have those amazing muscular bodies. Soccer helps to increase the strength of your bones while simultaneously increasing muscle tone. One of the reasons for this is that soccer keeps you constantly moving on the field. Soccer is also great for improving coordination.

Teamwork in the game between the forward and the goalkeeper, the fullbacks and the midfielders, serve as a metaphor and practice for real life situations. With the help of a proper coach and goalkeeper in their goalkeeping gear, any player can improve their game and life from participating in this sport.
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