Football or Soccer, a game played by two teams of eleven players each using a ball of specific weight and measurement, has become one of the most followed sport in the world. It is estimated that more than half of the world’s population consider themselves to be football fans. The sport enjoys an estimated 4 billion person following. The Chinese, Japanese, Romans and the Greeks are thought to be the first players of the sport.
Contemporary football began in England in 1863, where it garnered significant interest and spread to other parts of the world. The sport is most popular in Europe as compared to the other continents. It is the sport that is played worldwide, whether as a career, hobby or a fitness regime. In today’s time, where the stress levels of individuals have been noticed to be at the peak, it makes it very crucial for everyone to indulge in sports. Playing a sport is extremely beneficial since it builds healthy bones and muscles, increases fitness, lowers the risk of obesity, improves sleep, and instils discipline and confidence. It also reduces stress and enhances mood.
Football, in particular offers innumerable benefits. It is a team sport which involves the players to use their legs, head and torso to pass the ball and score goals. The nature of the game is such that the players are required to sprint, run fast and slow, and also at times to jog around. The match is split in two halves of 45 minutes each post which extra time is sometimes given by the referee owing to injury. With such intense time limits, players are grilled on their fitness and cardiovascular health.
Health benefits of playing Football:
The various health benefits of playing football are listed below:
- Increases aerobic capacity:
Running intensely for 90 minutes requires a high level of stamina. Therefore, soccer players often have a tremendous amount of aerobic capacity ranging from walking to sprinting with a fast recovery process.
- Improves Cardiovascular health:
On an average a player runs 6-8 miles during the whole game which includes walking, jogging and running. This results in high heart rate of the players leading to a great cardiovascular exercise. The enormous amounts of movements helps the players to strengthen their hearts, reduce blood pressure and burn excess calories.
- Cross-training activity:
Football acts as great cross-training activity where several skills are developed by sports persons such as hand-eye co-ordination, agility, vision and strength.
- Increases muscle strength:
Football decreases the body fat and helps tone the muscles. The game requires players to develop upper body strength for shielding the ball, tackling the opponents and to overall power and explosiveness. The lower body strength is required for kicking, jumping, twisting and turning along with explosive speed. Hence, it results in overall muscle strengthening.
- Physical & Mental toughness:
The enormous amount of body work required in this game helps the players get physically tougher. The injuries also teach them to be physically and mentally tough, which completely evolves a person.
Some other benefits of playing football are:
- Team game:
Football is a complete team game where every player of each team tries to score against their opponents through co-ordination amongst the team members. Each team has a set plan how to work towards the common goal. The lessons learnt on the field translate to the rest of their lives and the camaraderie they share is unparalleled.
Discipline and fundamentals are the key to play football. Understanding the task assigned to every player is of utmost importance. The techniques must be learnt carefully and with absolute attention that helps the players to become disciplined in life. This aspect makes the difference between winning and losing the game.
- Increases confidence:
The physical and mental strength imparted through this game helps the players in building confidence both on and off the field. It helps the players in many aspects of their lives. Internal strength is a blessing bestowed by football.
- Reduces stress
Football also contributes to reduce stress and enhance the mood much like any other sport. Studies show that playing any sport of your choice helps in stress management.
- Psychological and social benefits
Abiding by the rules of the game teaches discipline and emotional temperance. Football teaches the players to deal with disappointment, develop resilience and practice good sportsmanship. The fast-paced nature of the game teaches the players to harness concentration, adaptability and quick thinking.
With such abundant benefits, it is highly recommended for any individual to indulge in the world’s most followed sport, football. If fitness is your goal, then the best advice you can get is to play any sport you like and gradually move onto the sport that challenges and inspires you. Remember, the biggest mistake you can make in life is not caring about your body.
So what are you waiting for? Go join the nearest local club and embark on your journey of fitness today. Why? Because you deserve to be the best version of yourself. Period!