5 Useful Health Advantages of Playing Soccer

Soccer is not only a sport that offers fast-paced excitement to participate in and watch, but also a variety of health advantages. It is a great activity to learn teamwork and benefit players physically and mentally. Here are a few health advantages of playing soccer:

Cardio

Soccer is appreciated for its ability to provide a complete cardio workout. An outfield player has the potential to cover nearly 12 kilometers during the 90 minutes of game time. This aerobic type of fitness is great at improving the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body, while also clearing the arteries from the build-up of plaque. Regular aerobic fitness has many different long-term health benefits such as a healthier working heart, a decrease in systolic blood pressure, and a slower resting heart rate.

Muscle tone

Soccer is a type of sport that involves constant movement which leads to increased bone strength and muscle tone. With the muscles engaged for the entire duration of a game, it is possible to achieve the pretty sculpted body. Also, this is a weight-bearing activity that puts a sufficient load on the body to help strengthen the skeletal frame.

Endurance

The increased cardio activity can help to improve the endurance levels. A great benefit of improving endurance is the ability to run father and continue to play an active part of the game until the last-minute. Playing soccer involves many different motions, which is a lot more effective than visiting a gym and using a cross-trainer or similar machine. Soccer involves jumping, sprinting, walking and running. To play a full 90 minutes, a player needs to build up a lot of endurance to continue to perform at an effective pace.

Coordination

Soccer is highly effective at improving all-round coordination. Whether it is kicking or receiving the ball, a player is certain to improve their hand-eye coordination. Plus, the actions of passing, turning and dribbling are useful types of complex movements that improve body coordination. The ability to continue to move in different directions and at varying rates of speed is also useful.

Mental alertness

A great remedy for anxiety and depression is to get involved with team sports or other forms of aerobic exercise. Sport is appreciated for its ability to help boost self-image and improve self-esteem. A further benefit is the ability to increase concentration and think quicker to react to the fast changing situations that are taking place on the pitch.

Talisman Hazard, Back Where He Belongs

For Eden Hazard, the first season at Chelsea was supposed to be difficult, given the Premier League’s immense physical demands and his modest stature at 5’8″. Hazard though announced himself in a respectable way with 13 goals in the season. The next season got him 17 goals plus the PFA Young Player of the Year award. The season after, he scored another 19 and won the PFA player of the Year award. Both seasons he was unanimously voted Chelsea’s Player of the Year.

Three seasons with the West London outfit, and Hazard was a superstar. His dribbling skills were mesmerizing, his ability to outfox defenders with ease was a treat to watch. He could score at will, his pace was amazing and his set-pieces were brilliant.

Indeed, terminologies like ‘the next Messi’ and ‘a future Ballon d’or’ were heard when referring to Hazard. And while Hazard did find himself crashing on the football turf often, courtesy of some aggressive defending, his form took an abruptly similar turn before long.

Playing the 2015-16 season for the defending champions of the Premier League, Hazard lost possession often, and it looked like his heart was not in the game. He tried switching it up but nothing came of it. His tally of just six goals bore a symbiotic relationship to Chelsea’s own decline over the season as they endured a lowly 10th-place finish. Unfortunately for the Belgian, he bore the brunt of the criticism from the media, former players and pundits.

They said he was a ‘flash in the pan’, ‘weakling’ and ‘overrated’. PSG and Real Madrid generously offered to give him an out. West London was not a happy place.

All that was about to change.

The new season brought in a new manager from Italy Antonio Conte and a new formation that did wonders for Chelsea, and indeed, Hazard.

As part of the tip of the unusual 3-4-3, Hazard found all the boost he needed. With his hunger back, he tore apart opposition defenders, looking stronger and sharper. He was free-scoring once more and his passes and first touches were precise and incisive.

Fuelled by his 14 goals so far presently the West Londoners sit pretty atop the league table with a bit of daylight between them and their nearest opponents. He has definitely shut all the doubters and stormed his way back into elite status. Those Messi comparisons and Ballon d’or statements are back in circulation.

6 Nutrition Rules for Soccer Players

A well planning healthy eating plan is needed to support the lean, energetic and fit soccer player. Basic nutrition for the active person should include carbohydrates to give the body fuel and lean proteins to help promote speedy muscle recovery and repair. Also, a balanced diet needs whole grains, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables to provide useful vitamins and minerals, while oily fish, olive oil, and avocado can give a useful intake of healthy fats.

The training load and match days are certain to have an influence on the food and fluid intake. For instance, a player involved in a long training session can benefit from a diet rich in carbohydrates to not only provide the required fuel, but also to help promote recovery, sustain performance, and reduce fatigue. But, on the rest days with lower energy demands, a diet that contains a lot less carbohydrates is more appropriate.

Here are six useful nutrition rules:

Cut back on processed foods

It is beneficial to restrict the intake of processed foods and instead eat a well-balanced and healthy diet that consists of high fiber carbohydrates, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Eat the rainbow

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables at mealtime to increase the ability to introduce more vitamins and minerals to the diet. The widest range of colors is a best option. Plus, this is a great way to show young soccer players that eating healthy can be fun and colorful.

Healthy fats

The right kinds of fat can be heart-healthy. Any healthy diet can benefit from a varied range of healthy fats, such as flaxseed oil, fish, avocado, seeds, natural nut butters and olive oil. About 20 to 35% of your calorie intake should come from healthy fats.

Breakfast every day

A great way to jump-start the metabolism for the day is by eating a healthy breakfast. A couple of the great breakfast options to fuel the body include muesli which is packed with fruits and whole grain to provide slow-burning energy, while oatmeal is a further option that is rich in carbohydrates.

Stay hydrated

Stay hydrated to keep your body running smoothly. Any signs of dehydration can have a significant impact on your ability to maintain your performance while playing. Ideally, you should drink about 3 liters of water, green tea or other non-caloric beverages every day.