Today, there are approximately 250 million footballers worldwide. You do not need to play football professionally in order to gain health benefits from the sport. Whether you are a seasoned player or just beginning, whether you play while competing with rival teams or just for amusement, the game boosts your fitness, accompanied by several other health benefits which are usually associated with aerobic activities and strengthening exercises.
Health benefits of playing football on a regular basis:
- Improves cardiovascular health – The combination of walking, jogging, running, sprinting and kicking for an average of 5-7 miles for each game shoots up the players’ heart rates resulting in extraordinary cardiovascular exercise. This culminates into strengthening the players’ hearts, preventing plaque build-up in the coronary arteries, reducing blood pressure and burning excess calories.
- Boosts aerobic capacity – Running for 90 minutes demands an elevated level of stamina. Playing football on a regular basis, therefore, tremendously improves your capacity to consume oxygen, being able to switch from walking to sprinting over and over. Your stamina will improve with each passing week as a result.
- Lowers body fat and improves muscle tone – Football helps build muscle mass and burns fat by
- Recruiting both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers.
- Enhances muscle strength – The upper body strength affects your ability to shield the ball, tackle and hold off opponents, wrestle opposition players off the ball, perform throw-ins and also contributes to your overall power, strength and energy. The lower body strength is required for kicking, jumping, tackling, shooting and turning, and also forms the foundation or explosive speed. Regular football playing builds muscle and overall strength by employing the whole body while in the game.
- Increases bone strength – Bone density is usually on the decline with the passage of time and age. The constant weight-bearing loads on the body during a football match are an effective way to boost the strength of your skeletal frame. A lifetime of football playing is an excellent way to keep your bones strong and healthy.
- Increases cognitive brain function: Since football is a fast-paced game that requires you to take quick decisions in the field, it significantly improves your skills in concentration, persistence and self-discipline. The more you play, the more coordinated you will become. Your thinking will develop faster and making better decisions, especially on the field, will seem much easier.
- Mental health benefits – Exercise not only benefits your physical heath but also has a major impact on your mental health. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which trigger a positive feeling. Playing in a team, having an agenda of where and when you need to play matches and doing something you actually enjoy, are all important factors that are beneficial to your mental health.