Playing soccer is more than just kicking the ball past the goalkeeper, but about socializing, making new friends and keeping yourself in shape, too. Not many people know what this sport can do for your social status and mental and physical health – they find it dull and uninventive just because they don’t realize its potential. Here’s how soccer can improve your health and social abilities.
Soccer consists mostly of running and, although handling the ball is the most exciting part, you have to work quite hard if you want to reach and control it. That’s why the biggest portion of soccer is running up and down the field, which is great for your body. Some of the most important health benefits of soccer are:
- better cardiovascular health
- improved circulation
- lower body mass
- less body fat
- increased muscle mass
- increased bone strength
- increased lung capacity and
- better coordination.
If you play soccer twice a week for two hours, you’ll start seeing results after about two or three months. You’ll build stamina, be able to run longer, start losing weight and building muscle. Finally, you’ll improve your breathing and circulation since you’ll be constantly switching between sprinting, walking and running, thus making your body work harder and harder.
However, it’s not just all about your health – you have to take fitness into consideration as well. Once you start losing weight and getting leaner, you’ll notice that you’re able to run more, which will positively affect your desire to lose even more weight with soccer. Also, due to all the changes in pace, you’ll definitely become more responsive and adaptable to new situations, which will prove to be quite useful in other portions of your life as well.
Finally, soccer benefits your mental health as well. Being able to relax with your friends and spend a couple of hours a week in a stress-free and peaceful environment, especially after a long day, is much better than having a beer at a pub. Soccer can relax and recuperate you and help you keep your mind sharp. It will boost your concentration level, teach you discipline and perseverance and make you think in advance, which is good for your mental health and cognitive brain functions.
You can’t play soccer on your own and, in order to reach visible results, you need a team. This also means that you won’t be working just on your physical and mental health, but also on your social skills as well – being surrounded by a group of friends or a bunch of strangers will make you more sociable. Ultimately, all you need for a soccer game are three or four friends, reliable soccer equipment – a ball and a couple of goals will do – and some free space, and you’re good to go!
Being a part of a group means you’ll be sharing precious moments and memories, and working on your relationships. Even if a new person joins the group, it’s easier to accept them on a soccer field than in other situations – just pass them the ball and they’ll become your friend in no time. If you have a problem making new friends, find a group of your peers who are also soccer enthusiasts and join them.
In addition to these health, fitness and social benefits, soccer will also allow you to develop and express your creativity through the art of passing the ball – as well as help you grow as a person. It can either boost your self-esteem or make you question your skills, but putting things into perspective this way is always welcomed.