It is a well-known fact that physical activity is essential to long-lasting and robust health. It is also critical for vitality as you age. This point cannot be emphasized enough, as vitality makes living more enjoyable. Your level of energy is often directly related to your level of happiness.
As the understanding of aging and fitness grows, so do the recommendations for seniors (both men and women) to continue to live their best lives well into their golden years. When it comes to fitness, this is especially true. What may come as a surprise is that soccer has recently been added to the list of activities that seniors could and should participate in.
“Soccer?!?! That can’t be right!” Oh yes, it can and is. Soccer has many immediate and long-term benefits that seniors can enjoy while exercising safely.
What are some of the benefits?
7 Ways Soccer Benefits Seniors
1. Soccer Boosts Heart Health
The best way to keep your heart healthy well into your senior years is to get it working! By increasing your heart rate when playing soccer, you are creating the best possible conditions to not only maintain your heart health but to improve it as well.
2. Bone Strengthening Due to Soccer
Studies from Denmark have found that elderly men with poor bone health could increase their bone density through playing soccer. The men who regularly played soccer improved many markers relating to their overall bone health.
3. Mental Alertness and Response Time is Increased with Soccer
It can take as little as 12 weeks to increase your alertness and response time playing soccer. This was discovered in a study performed in 2018 along with many other physical benefits, including an overall positive change in the composition of participants physique.
4. Playing Soccer Helps Maintain Proper Balance
Jogging while kicking a ball is not only great for your mental and physical health, it is great for helping maintain your balance. By playing soccer, you test and work with your balance, helping you maintain proper balance as you age.
5. Oxygen Absorption is Increased While Playing Soccer
Increased cardiovascular activity leads to higher oxygen absorption levels, which is always beneficial. A study in 2014 followed elderly men, who hadn’t been trained in soccer, and found that their oxygen intake increased by 15%. This was after playing for only 2 hours a week for four months!
6. Soccer vs. Pre-Diabetes
Soccer is by no means a miracle cure for any disease but it is a great preventative and a remarkably effective way to keep the negative effects of pre-diabetes away. As previously mentioned, bone density can become an issue with pre-diabetes, among other negative health effects. The same studies that showed benefits from soccer for bone density also showed other health benefits for those suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetes.
7. Social Bonds Built and Strengthened with Soccer
An essential part of growing older and remaining fulfilled is strengthening your body as well as your social bonds. Soccer is a sport that must be played in a group which allows seniors to continually grow and develop their social network. Before and after the match can be just as beneficial for their mental and social health as the exercise is for their physical health.
Soccer benefits everyone, regardless of their age!
Upright City is dedicated to developing and growing soccer one City at a time. Whether it is a group of children or their grandparents playing the game, we want to see everyone benefit from the game we love so much.
Reach out to Upright City today to see how we can partner with you to build, nurture and expand the soccer community through innovative and effective partnerships.