Every 4 Years the world sees many footballing nations battle it out for the FIFA World Cup. These matches consist of exciting play backed by the blaring of the Vuvuzela's and an almost party-like atmosphere in the stadium. The scene is quite similar back home too, except for the Vuvuzela's and the 90,000 strong cheering crowd, but that does not deter anyone from playing football, does it?
While it is amazing that people back home too, have started playing football, the sad truth here is that once the excitement of the FIFA World Cup dies down, so will the football matches that were being played by the locals.
But is Football a sport meant only for entertainment? We dont think so, in fact playing football provides us with numerous health benefits that many of us are unaware about. Following is a list of health benefits that one can derive from playing Football,
Health Benefits of Playing Football:
Ever seen professional football players dribble and dodge, well it sure looks fancy to the eye, but did you know that it helps improve the player’s agility and co-ordination! Similarly did you know that football players approximately run 5-7 miles on an average during a single match! Not just that but running on a surface covered by grass puts less pressure on our joints.
But is Football all about improving our co-ordination and reducing weight? We don’t think so, in fact Football offers much more than that! To prove our point, here is a list of major benefits that one can derive from playing Football:
- Football, it’s good for your Heart!
Football is a great sport to play, for it helps in improving your cardiovascular health and stamina. We all know that football is not a stationery sport like Chess and involves a whole lot of running, jogging, walking and sprinting, which helps in exercising the heart. In fact a study conducted at the Copenhagen University in Denmark found that men between the ages of 20-43 had improved blood pressure levels, when they played football for one hour, three times in a week!
- Kick that Weight away with Football
Playing Football regularly helps in losing and maintaining weight. Football, if seen from an exercise point of view, is actually a high intensity interval workout. Football helps to exercise our body as it consists of long periods jogging while passing the ball around, along with the short but intense bursts of sprinting or jumping which are required either for defending or scoring a goal. Alll this results in the burning of calories and thereby weight loss.
An hour of football, played just for leisure will help you burn up to 480 calories, while also increasing your metabolism i.e. you keep on burning calories long after you have stopped playing. Hence, if football is played regularly, it will definitely help one to shed a few pounds!
- Football for Strong Bones!
Football involves a lot of jumping and running along with jogging and as all of these are weight bearing forms of exercises, they greatly benefit in the strengthening of the players bones. Studies have revealed that playing high impact sports such as Football, which put pressure on one’s bones helps to strengthen and maintain healthy bones, which have a lesser risk of developing osteoporosis as one ages.
- Want strong legs? Play Football
Ever noticed Football players, most of them seem to be blessed with muscular and strong bodies! But the truth is that all of them have to thank Football for their spectacularly fit bodies. Football as we all know is a game that insists on constant physical movement be it sprinting, walking, jogging or jumping in to head the ball, our muscles are subjected to constant movement. This constant movement helps in exercising and toning the muscles which leads to stronger muscles, especially in the legs.
Ever seen a professional player dodge three defenders to score a goal or the goalie perform an acrobatic jump in the air to save a goal? That’s because football which needs you to exercise control over the ball while running, helps to develop your agility, co-ordination and balance.
- Playing Football helps in socializing!
Football is a team sport that needs you to co-ordinate with the other players of your team. And if you are amongst those who play it for recreational purposes, it is a great way to socialize too! Being a team sport, football helps you to bond well with your team mates and make new acquaintances. In short it is undoubtedly a very healthy way of socializing.
- Football – 1 , Stress – 0
Football with its stress on physical activity triggers the release of Endorphins within the body. Endorphins which are known as the body’s feel-good hormones help in reducing stress and making our moods more stable. Moreover since football is a team sport, it teaches the individual to think about the team and not himself, giving stress a back seat in lieu of bigger things such as a win against the opposition!
But Can I play Football?
Fortunately, Football is a game that requires nothing but a ball and some good sneakers that will provide your feet with support. Since it requires so few equipments, it can be played anywhere and by anyone! However people with hypertension, ailments of the heart and joint problems should consult their doctors before playing football.
So, now that you know of all the many health benefits that Football offers, we are sure that you’ll be playing it four times a week, rather than once in 4 years!