Soccer, or football as it is known pretty much everywhere except in the United States, is not the most physically demanding sport, but it has it’s requirements, and it is far from a stroll in the park. Because of this, its players tend to have more muscular strength and less trouble with body weight. But recent studies have found out that soccer can also help people with hypertension to stabilize their pressure, thus reducing the risk of a stroke. Recent studies have even prompted doctors to suggest soccer to their patients as a way to fight hypertension. Read up more about the studies and their findings.
How the studies are conveyed
One of the recent studies on this topic was carried out in UK and Denmark. The researchers from Exeter and Copenhagen included 33 participants, all of whom had mild or moderate hypertension. 22 participants have randomly been placed into two groups that played football twice a week for the next 6 months. The other 11 were told to follow standardized doctor’s orders. These included diet changes and some other physical activities. The effects of their programs have been monitored after 3 months and once again when the research has been completed. All of the participants who played soccer actually ended up having a greater reduction in average mean blood pressure than the other group. They also had better maximal oxygen uptake and less body fat. Many similar studies have also been conveyed, most of which had given the similar results. For example, one of them showed that it is a great way to improve fitness and cardiovascular health of homeless men.
How soccer actually affects your cardiovascular health
Studies like this have shown that soccer has a positive effect on each aspect of cardiovascular fitness. It increases the efficiency of your heart, lungs and vascular system, as it supplies your muscles with oxygen. When you play soccer you use large muscle groups, most obviously your legs, thus increasing your heart beat and respiration rate. A its player covers around 10km during a regular game in a mixture of jogging and sprinting. Even though running improves your cardiovascular health it is not only this part that is effective when it comes to soccer. Drills and exercises that make up soccer practice also have a very significant effect on cardiovascular health.
Researchers, thrilled with the results of their study, advise people with hypertension to play soccer every other day. They recommend two hour long training sessions where the first hour is dedicated to warm ups and the second hour to actually playing soccer. This has been the routine of all the participants in the study mentioned above and it has been notably effective. Still, if you choose soccer as the way you maintain proper cardiovascular health, you mustn’t neglect other elements of your health. Injuries are in fact very common with soccer players, but they can for the most part be avoided by simply training in full soccer gear. Bruises, pulls and sprains are quite common, and they can take you out of the game for a long time. Stretching properly before every game, wearing proper gear, and preparing your weakest joints, with, for example athletic tape, will minimize the chances of an injury.
The studies have shown that soccer is one of the best natural ways to control your blood pressure. Combining the prescription of your doctor and regular soccer training sessions will result in much better cardiovascular as well as overall health. Get your gear ready and start training as soon as you can.