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4 Benefits of Soccer for Weight Loss

Soccer (football if you’re English or from anywhere but the US) is the world’s most popular sport. Millions of people love watching and playing football, I suppose because running around kicking a leather ball and occasionally an opponent (when the ref isn’t looking of course) can be such fun. Football, aside from being a fun game, actually has some great benefits for weight loss. You could say that some other sports also have great benefits for weight loss, which would be true, but relative to most other sports, football is easy to play even for beginners; all you need is a ball and some empty space. So if you’re looking to lose some weight, have fun and perhaps develop some fancy footwork, football is the game for you. Read on to discover more reasons why you should start playing football today.

Aerobic Workout



Aerobic (cardiovascular) workouts have immense benefits for health and weight loss. Generally, exercises that fall into this category will involve significant and sustained movements of major parts of the body particularly the limbs, with the key effect of raising your heart rate during exercise, improving your oxygen uptake, increasing your body’s metabolism and improving your stamina.

soccer provides an excellent aerobic workout and the best thing about it is that you don’t really get to notice all the work your body is doing because your mind is so focused on kicking the ball into the net.

High Intensity

High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training is an aerobic technique that has become increasingly popular with professional athletes and trainers. The idea is to do some physical activity at a very high level of intensity over a sustained period of time but with regular short breaks in between. This technique has proven to yield much more significant fitness gains than most other training techniques.

Soccer is more or less a high intensity interval sport. You must sprint to beat a man to the ball or to get the ball away from a defender from time to time, and do a lot of running around generally but with a lot of rest time in between. Basically football is a great high intensity workout and will be very effective for weight loss, particularly if you do it consistently.

Muscle Development 

Musle Development

Because football involves a lot of kicking, running, jumping, twisting and turning, so many muscles groups in your body will get used and developed. Primarily the muscles used in running such as the calves, thighs, quadriceps and hamstrings get exercised and will get stronger when you play football. Your core muscles (abdominal and lower back) also get developed through playing football. Stronger muscles are nice to have but more importantly, the more muscles you have, the faster your metabolism will be and the more weight you will lose. Stronger muscles will also mean that working out, whether you’re playing football or doing something else, will be much easier for you.

Burn Calories

how to burn calories

The combined effects of aerobics, high intensity interval training and muscle development that happen when you play soccer mean that your body will burn hundreds of calories in each 30 minute soccer workout. Given that the average recreational soccer game lasts for an hour or more, this means you could be burning thousands of calories if you play soccer just twice or thrice a week.


Research carried out by the University of Copenhagen, showed that playing soccer has a massively beneficial weight loss effect when compared to other typical weight loss exercises such as running. Aside from the weight loss benefits, playing soccer will help stimulate development in some areas of your brain and will generally leave you feeling happy or optimistic, courtesy of the endorphins which are released during exercise. You don’t have to be Crisitiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to experience these great benefits of playing soccer. All you need is a pair of soccer cleats, a group of friends, some empty space and of course a round leather ball.

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