Improve Your Fitness, Health and Social Abilities with Soccer

You might not think too highly of it, but soccer is no joke. A national sport in many countries across the globe, this activity revolves around perseverance, resilience, planning and cooperation. An obvious benefit of taking up soccer would be to improve your fitness – you need to be in quite a mint shape to be able to run for 45 minutes straight, go for a 15-minute break and then endure 45 additional long minutes of running. However, soccer is also great for your health and even has social benefits that you might not expect.

What are the benefits to improve your fitness that you can expect from playing soccer?

1. Fitness

It is rather obvious that most sport activities come with physical benefits in terms of firm muscles, agility and strength. Soccer encompasses all three – it will keep you better-looking, but also leave you in top physical condition. The agility part is pretty obvious for anyone who has ever watched a soccer match – for 45 minutes straight, a soccer player’s body is in a perpetual state of recurring shock; just like during a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session.

The players run for the most of the match and rarely make short breaks. Movements in soccer increase aerobic capacity, build muscle strength and improve balance. Your body fat index will decrease and you muscle tone will improve, making you leaner, stronger and more agile! If you take up soccer, you can rest assured that the fitness aspect of your life will be more than satisfying by any standards.

2. Health

Fitness and health often overlap, but it is important that we separate the two here. Although increased bone strength means more resilience and even though lower body fat means better looks, these aren’t the only benefits of the two. Increased bone strength obviously means less chance of breaking and better support for your body, while lower body fat plays well with your blood sugar levels and your cardiovascular health.

An average soccer player runs 5 to 7 miles over the course of an entire game, with short breaks and sudden bursts of sprint. Because of this, your heart rate is kept up, thus speeding up your metabolism, which means a ton of health benefits – from a strong heart and reduced blood pressure, to resistance to plaque buildup in coronary arteries and thousands of burnt calories. Keep in mind, however, that without the standard equipment, you may end up seriously injured.

3. Social Benefits

Sure, going to the gym means socializing to a certain degree, but nothing compares to working with people towards victory between two full size football goals. The biggest social benefit here is the key element of cooperation, which strengthens the bond between the participants and, although there are many sports that entail teamwork, the stakes are somehow higher in soccer, which is largely owing to the fact that the total amount of goals per game averages between 0 and 5.

This takes careful tactical planning and getting to know the entirety of your team both in terms of their personality and based on their physical merits and deficiencies. Once you’ve gotten hooked on soccer, the benefits will quickly start to show. Finally, this sport teaches you a lot about commitment – no matter how skilled a player you are, there simply is no way that you’ll win a match on your own – it takes teamwork and cooperation, a metaphor that’s easily applicable to life in general.

If you are tired and fed up with doing jogging sessions or to the gym, assemble your local team. With some commitment and persistence, you’ll soon be improving the fitness, health, as well as the social aspect of your life. Make sure that you get your standard soccer equipment and be prepared for a steep learning curve – it will all start paying off in no-time!

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Author’s Bio

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a passionate traveler. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.


Comments

  1. Good Points, Jim!

    How old do you think kids should be when they start soccer?

    What do you think of Cricket? Cricket is much more popular at a sandlot sport here in the UAE.

    • James Kelly says:

      Thank you Elizabeth for those comments. I consider kids should start the soccer sport not before 7 as parents often seem to push them into sport far too early these days which can result in them being put off sport altogether if they are too pressurized at an early age. Over here in Australia there has always been a major interest in the sport which no longer is a male dominated one and there are many women’s teams participating these days.

      Jim

  2. Your website is pleasing to the eye. I really liked the page-wide pictures. The information is presented well and is quite informative. Your knowledge of soccer is presented in a readable format and presents a picture of a sport that is not as well known as, for instance, football. You did a good job!

    • James Kelly says:

      Thank you Pat and very pleased that you liked my website. This particular article was a guest post on a subject that greatly interested me.

      Jim

  3. I used to play soccer as a kid and yes, I remember having to run A LOT. I do kind of miss it and soccer sure is a lot more fun way to workout than going to an indoor gym. I may just have to look and see if they is an adult league in my area!

  4. James Kelly says:

    Thank you for those comments Katie. Soccer is no longer a male dominated arena and lots of women play the sport competitively these days.

    Jim

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