Posted on Feb 16, 2010, 6 a.m.
Regular soccer practice reduces blood pressure, resting pulse rate, and percentage body fat.
In that the sport of soccer (known as football outside the US) increases one’s pulse for a prolonged duration while exercising the legs and arms with intense actions such as sprints, turns, kicks, and tackles, the sport provides a combination of cardio and strength training. Peter Krustrup, from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and colleagues found that inactive men with high blood pressure who engage in three months of soccer practice twice-weekly reduced their blood pressure, resting pulse rate, and percentage body fat, to a greater beneficial effect than by modifying their diet and exercising alone. Further, the team found that both women and men achieve these beneficial changes by alterations in cardiovascular risk factors including maximal oxygen uptake, heart function, elasticity of the vascular system, and cholesterol profile, to an equal, if not greater, extent than running.
"Play yourself healthy," University of Copenhagen, February 2, 2010