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Football for fitness

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When you mention sport, what captivates your mind is physical fitness and endurance; but that’s not all, sports have helped individuals to battle the psychological aspects like anxiety and depression as well and helping people do better at their routine daily aspects

Research by British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) has found that graduates who participated in sports at university earn on average 18% more than their non-sporting counterparts.

What happens to you when you play the world’s most popular game, football? Football is a high intense physical contact sport that requires stamina, maneuvering and stronger body. When you play the sport, your body will release a chemical called endorphins. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, better stress management, boosting self-esteem. Simply a better you.

Put Your Best ‘Foot’ Forward When It Comes To Football!

It’s not just Christiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi who has brought this sport in vogue but the thrill and adrenaline rush that you get during the game is what makes it the most loved sport amongst people across the globe. Despite being a dynamic game, not many of us pay attention to the amazing health benefits it offers.

Firstly, football demands precision. The sport is physically demanding whether it’s stamina, agility, speed or coordination in body parts; a footballer must have an excellent form to achieve success. Hence, those who are looking for an interesting way to start their fitness journey while having fun, they can opt for football.

· Improved Cardiovascular Health: A typical game of football is a perfect combo of running, kicking, walking, jumping, sprinting and much more! While you do so to score that goal, you are actually moving towards achieving the peak of your cardiovascular health. Those who got engaged in the sport from early childhood are likely to develop good stamina which will boost their cardiovascular health. After all, a 90 minute workout with 8-11 kilometers of run offers an amazing cardiovascular exercise to your body that reduces your cholesterol and blood pressure. Thus, minimizing the chances of heart diseases.

· Increased Bone Strength: The statistics reveal that the bone health of an average Indian person is declining with age. Hence, opting football is an amazing way to achieve bone strength. Since, the game involves repeated weight bearing that strengthens the skeletal frame; it is an amazing way to take care of your bones while enjoying the sport. If kids are involved in the game from the right age, they are likely to achieve good bone strength in the alter years of their lives.

· Improved Coordination: Football is associated with concentration and persistence which is an important part of mental & physical health. With every second, the player has to focus on the ball and think of the next move while implementing the same. The game lets you think, organize, plan and react within seconds. In today’s world of fierce competition, it is crucial to stay on top of the game; these qualities will take you a long way. Another reason to choose football!

· Great Muscle Strength: Since, football involves whole body right from arms, legs to shoulders and feet, it helps strengthen the muscles of the body. For instance, a strong

upper body helps you shield the ball; hold the opponent and lower body strength lets you pass the ball to score that goal while maintaining the stamina to run after your opponent during those 90-minutes. Those who want to strengthen their muscles without sweating it out in the gym can definitely go for football where you can reach your fitness goal while enjoying a dynamic sport.

· Develop Life Skills: While there’s more emphasis on physical fitness, mental fitness cannot be neglected. Football boosts both mental and physical health of a person by inculcating qualities like empathy, teamwork, leadership and work ethics. The sport makes a person disciplined and teaches one to work in coordination with others to achieve a common goal. It reduces anxiety and increases self-esteem. These are some important virtues that take a person a long way.

WHAT EXPERTS SAY

Football is a universal sport that is played in more than 200 countries. According to a research, there was a cumulative evidence of football as an effective means of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation strategy for a lot of patients. Krustrup and Krustrup, 2018 came up with a holistic ‘Football is medicine’ model which exhibited all the health benefits of Football in a very impressive manner. It mentioned that football has massive global implications as it is cheap, distributed across the world and is relatively fun, social and apt for people of all age groups and social backgrounds.

Time and again many researches have delved deep into the pros and cons of playing football for improving health and fitness. Most theories, however, agreed to the positive implications of the sports on the health of a person. Another research at University of Cophenhagen mentioned that soccer, a pleasurable team sport offers an all-round fitness and can be used as a treatment for lifestyle-related diseases. Here are some of the highlights of the research-

· As compared to running, soccer makes women active and developed ‘We’ stories rather than focusing on ‘Me’. i.e. women began to see themselves as a ‘team’.

· Men exhibited less signs of worry as compared to running while training.

ENGAGING YOUTH IN FOOTBALL

With the advent of technology, everything is easily accessible. The first category that fall prey to all the negative effects of the issues of global world is youth. Depression, anxiety, social distancing, psychological problems are some of the common issues that youngsters face today. In this scenario, it becomes important to engage the youngster in some activity to channelize their talent and creativity in the right direction and what could be more appealing and effective than football! It builds self-esteem, bring out their confidence and will teach them sportsmanship and team ethics. They will understand the importance of rules and communication.

Despite being one of the most popular sports in the world, Football is not given much importance in India. However, over the year, the scenario is rapidly changing, thanks to the invasion of corporate and conglomerates, Football is now catching up as the most loved sport.

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