Many of us know we must exercise to remain healthy, but we find our gym visits and being stuck indoors on an endlessly looping treadmill painfully boring.
But now Danish research, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, has revealed how one fun, time-tested sport delivers greater health benefits than all the time you can spend in the gym.
Lowering blood pressure, shedding pounds, dropping cholesterol and increasing bone intensity and just a few of many health benefits this sport holds.
And the best part is, anyone can do it, no matter age or shape.
European researchers have now discovered that football/soccer, an enjoyable team sport, has massive health benefits and, because it is a fun social activity as well as an exercise type, people tend to adhere to the prescribed schedules.
They measured participant’s blood pressure, body composition, circulating fat and cholesterol, bone mineral density, and fitness levels at the beginning and the end of the year.
They found that soccer players had these proven benefits over non-playing cohorts:
1. A decrease in blood pressure of between five and seven mmHg, versus no change for the non-players.
2. Soccer players dropped 2.5 kilograms of body fat, while the inactive participants gained weight.
3. Fatty deposits and cholesterol dropped, versus the inactive group, who suffered an increase of both.
4. Soccer player’s bone density increased compared to their inactive peers who suffered losses.
5. Sprint performance and endurance increased in the soccer group, but not in the inactive group.
This led the researchers to conclude playing recreational soccer could prevent heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and numerous other common diseases.