Soccer May Ideal to Maintain Fitness

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, April 7 (UPI) — Soccer provides health and fitness benefits at least as pronounced as for running and in some cases better, researchers in Denmark said.

Study leader Peter Krustrup and Jens Bangsbo of the University of Copenhagen, conducted a three-year study involving men, women and children — ages 9-77 — divided into soccer, running and control groups.

“Soccer is a very popular team sport that contains positive motivational and social factors that may facilitate compliance and contribute to the maintenance of a physically active lifestyle,” Krustrup said in a statement.

“The studies presented have demonstrated that soccer training for two-three hours per week causes significant cardiovascular, metabolic and musculoskeletal adaptations, independent on gender, age or lack of experience with soccer.”

The researchers said the most important finding was that the soccer team built social connectedness, which may impact how long people stay involved in the activity.

The findings are published in a special edition of the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.

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