Physical Advantages of Soccer

by Stan Mack

The fast-paced challenges of soccer offer many proven health benefits. Soccer supports fitness by requiring players to run, kick, dodge, sprint and perform other body movements for long periods of time as you work hard with your teammates to get the ball to the goal. The physical advantages of soccer result in improved performance, physical conditioning and help prevent disease as well.

Prevention Points

Regular physical activity improves your health and reduces your chances of developing such serious health conditions as obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease. The vigorous activity that soccer requires is an effective way to reap those health benefits. Soccer players sprint and run often during a game, so playing soccer regularly provides adequate exercise and improves your well-being. The rigorous physical demands of the sport also increase bone mineral density, which may help ward off osteoporosis, says the New York Times.

Fitness Fine-Tuning

Soccer players undergo regular physical conditioning during practices and drills. Playing a game of soccer builds muscle strength, increases cardiovascular endurance, promotes dexterity and develops physical coordination in general. If you participate regularly, the cardiovascular qualities of playing soccer can boost fat burning to help you lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Simply Soccer

Some sports are relatively difficult to learn for adults new to sports. Soccer, on the other hand, is a simple sport that most adults of any age -- even seniors -- can quickly grasp and adapt to. Injury risk among adult soccer players is also relatively low, Peter Krustrup, University of Copenhagen associate professor of exercise physiology, told the New York Times. This is because adults are less likely to play in a manner that is competitive without being overly aggressive.

No Gym Required

Although playing with an organized team is likely the best way to develop soccer skills, reaping the physical advantages soccer provides only requires a ball and some friends. This makes it an effective form of exercise for those who don’t have access to expensive gym or sports equipment. Organize a neighborhood group of friends for pickup games or recruit interested office workers. Pool your funds to purchase goals and balls.

Photo Credits:

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.