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The Various Health Benefits of Playing Football

by Asad Bondi
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Various Health Benefits of Playing Football

Everyone knows football players are strong and muscular. But what may surprise you is the numerous other health benefits associated with playing football. In fact, not only does it improve your strength and athleticism, it can also help relieve stress and lead to improved mental health! There are several ways that playing football can be good for your overall health, as well as your mental wellbeing. This article will discuss just some of the ways in which playing football can improve your physical and emotional health, so you have an idea of what to expect from your time on the field.

Improves Brain Function

A 2017 study from researchers at Indiana University found that high school football players performed better in cognitive tests after playing just one season. The same researchers determined last year that former football players had a higher rate of depression and impaired brain function than men who played other sports but not football. But more recent research suggests otherwise, as shown by a 2013 analysis from Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic researchers that looked at 46,729 retired NFL players between 2011 and 2012 (the athletes studied were given annual cognitive tests, but there was no control group). The results showed that for NFL retirees, overall cognitive ability does not appear to have been adversely affected by playing professional football .

Good for Bone Strength

The impact and stress that comes with playing football can make a player’s bones stronger. This may sound counter-intuitive, but according to research, young men who play football experience greater bone density than their peers who don’t play football. Women also experience strong bones from playing football as well. It helps that because they’re moving so much during games, they’re better at burning calories than their peers who are more sedentary while watching games. All told, football players become some of the strongest human beings around! Good for Cardiovascular Health: Running down a field and making tackles is bound to get your heart pumping in a healthy way. A 2011 study by Dr. Steven Blair at University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health found that people who played high school football had fewer risk factors for cardiovascular disease compared to non-football players. According to Dr. Blair, these findings held true even after accounting for variables like body mass index (BMI), race, blood pressure and cholesterol levels—all factors which could have skewed results towards non-footballers being less healthy overall.

Reduces Heart Disease Risk Factors

According to a study by researchers at young adults who exercise twice weekly have lower body fat percentages and smaller waist circumferences compared with non-exercisers. Additionally, those that played football had higher amounts of HDL cholesterol and lower triglyceride concentrations than their non-football playing peers. Greater levels of HDL (high density lipoprotein) are associated with decreased risk for heart disease while low HDL is associated with increased risks. Triglycerides are a type of fat in blood that can accumulate within arteries or increase an individual’s susceptibility for developing cardiovascular disease. Low levels indicate better health; however, elevated levels do not mean that it will lead to heart problems.

Reduces the Risk of Cancer

Football is one of those sports that has been linked to a lower risk for cancer. Studies show that men who play football regularly have a 30 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer than their non-football playing counterparts. There are also links to reduced rates of colon cancer in those who play football on a regular basis, and doctors believe that the increased heart health among football players is largely responsible for their lower rates. It should be noted, however, that there are no solid studies proving an absolute link between playing football and reducing your risk for these forms of cancer; these findings are correlative rather than causal in nature.

Helps Lower Blood Pressure

A lot of cardiovascular exercises can help lower blood pressure, but football is especially useful. People who are suffering from hypertension may want to consider adding football to their workout regimen. According to one study, hypertensive men who were instructed to play football two times a week showed slight but significant reductions in their blood pressure over time. It’s worth noting that other forms of exercise, like weightlifting and walking, also helped with lowering blood pressure. However, those methods did not prove as effective as playing football. Improves Cardiovascular Health: Heart disease remains one of America’s leading killers despite advances in medical technology. While there are many factors that contribute to heart disease—including diet, smoking and obesity—exercising regularly has been proven to reduce your risk significantly. One specific type of exercise called aerobic training helps improve cardiovascular health by increasing oxygen flow throughout your body while reducing stress on your heart muscle. Studies have shown that aerobic training can reduce your risk for heart attack or stroke by up to 25 percent.

Reduces Depression

According to a 2011 study, college football players in their fourth year were found to have fewer symptoms of depression than those who had not played sports at all. Furthermore, a player’s senior year was associated with even fewer symptoms. The study also showed that football players with better body composition (greater muscle mass) experienced less depressive symptoms than those with lower body composition. Results from other studies suggest that strength training may be just as good for fighting depression as aerobic exercise is

Easy on the joints

In addition to providing a great cardio workout zero digital group, football can help reduce your chances for suffering from joint issues later in life. According to research from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan, high school football players who took part in a one-year study saw an increase in bone mineral density and were much less likely to develop osteoarthritis as adults. The study also noted that men who’d played college football had lower levels of inflammation than their non-football playing peers. In other words, if you play some form of football while growing up—whether it be on the field or at home with your friends—you’re going to have healthier bones and joints when you get older. That can only mean one thing: less chronic pain!

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