Soccer Is Good For You

October 23, 2007 · 8 comments

I didn’t need to read this study to know that soccer is a better workout than jogging.  I played soccer for about a dozen years growing up and it always kept me in good shape.  Last night, to celebrate the end of my son’s 5th & 6th grade fall soccer season, we had a parent/kid game. 

“Even though the football (soccer) players were untrained, there were periods in the game that were so intense that their cardiovascular was maximally taxed, just like professional football (soccer) players,” said Dr. Peter Krustrup, head of Copenhagen University’s department of exercise and sport sciences, who led the study.

Krustrup and his colleagues found there were periods during soccer matches when the players’ hearts were pumping at 90 percent their full capacity. But the joggers’ hearts were never pushed as hard.

I played halfback for the full hour.  I wore my heart rate monitor so I could see where I stood and let’s just say I got a good cardio workout in, I stayed between 135 and 165 the entire time, usually around 140-145.

Unlike the soccer players, the joggers consistently thought their runs were exhausting.

“The soccer players were having more fun, so they were more focused on scoring goals and helping the team, rather than the feeling of strain and muscle pain,” Krustrup said.

I kept my heart rate up for 20 minutes longer than I normally do, yet I did not sweat nearly as much and other than being winded I felt no pain.  Except for today that is, wow am I sore!

My son is playing winter soccer and I volunteered to be head coach.  I’ll find out this week if I am needed.  Another good excuse to get up and move around!

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workoutmommy October 23, 2007 at 12:45 pm

I agree, soccer is an excellent workout! I played on an indoor team and few years ago and was always surprised at how sore I was the next day.

It’s also a fun way to workout with your kids. Keep it up! I hope you get the head coaching position!

Sarah October 23, 2007 at 2:08 pm

I think that’s a really good point. You don’t notice the pain and agony of working out so much when you’re doing something you love and enjoy. I really feel strongly about finding an exercise that you love because you’ll be more likely so succeed at it and stick with it. Great post and fingers crossed for being a coach!

GeorgieGirl October 24, 2007 at 12:34 am

It sounds like you had fun! My family plays ultimate frisbee. It is somewhat like soccer, but with a frisbee. Maybe I should get out and play ultimate with the boys a little more often.

BTW, thanks for the heads up on 43things. What an easy way to keep track of my goals!

JoLynn Braley October 24, 2007 at 2:59 pm

That’s great that you have a workout that you enjoy, you’ll stick with it because it’s fun. I’ve never played soccer but I can see why the British footballers have such strong thigh muscles!

Israel November 6, 2007 at 12:38 am

when i play a sport nowadays, my butt cheeks and other parts of my legs are sore a day later. its like weird spots get sore, its both cool and painful.

Susan January 28, 2008 at 1:18 am

I play soccer and have been playing for 3 years this year will be my fourth year. I am a female 45 years old and yes it is a good workout, much better than going to the Gym. Towards the end of the season the soreness goes. I enjoy playing the evening games better when it is freezing as it makes you run fast to warm up. I have a low heart rate and soccer helps my heart rate get up to normal. My whole family plays so when we walk the dogs we take the soccer ball and we all kick it around beats watching like most mums.

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