Soccer (also called football, especially in other countries) is the most popular sport in the world and is played in most countries. It is a team sport, involving 11 players on each side who use their legs, head and torso to pass a ball and score goals. The nature of the game means that players may be sprinting, running fast or slow, and sometimes may be standing around.
As play during soccer is continuous, soccer is great for fitness and cardiovascular health. People of various ages and skill levels can participate in soccer, with those of various sizes being able to do equally well.
Soccer can also be a great sport for kids who may not have high levels of athletic ability, but who would like to participate in team sports. Soccer is ideal for boys, girls, men and women, who play the same game under the same rules and where physically appropriate may play alongside each other.
Health benefits of playing soccer
Soccer can be a great workout and lots of fun. The health benefits include that it:
- increases aerobic capacity and cardiovascular health
- lowers body fat and improves muscle tone
- builds strength, flexibility and endurance
- increases muscle and bone strength
- improves health due to shifts between walking, running and sprinting.
Other benefits of playing soccer
There are many other benefits of playing a team sport like soccer. For example it:
- is generally a non-contact sport
- teaches coordination
- promotes teamwork and sharing
- teaches you to ‘think on the run’
- helps to increase skills in concentration, persistence and self-discipline
- is a great way to meet people and exercise with friends
- can provide an opportunity to increase your confidence and self-esteem, and help to reduce anxiety
- requires very little equipment so it can be played in the backyard or park
- is relatively easy to learn, so beginners can easily join in the fun and play basic soccer for recreation
- is an international sport.