The game of 5-a-side soccer is a pastime which sees thousands of people around the world indulge in at least once a week. Essentially, 5-a-side soccer is where ten players play on a small indoor or outdoor court, with slightly different rules to a proper game of soccer. Playing 5-a-side is not just about having fun, it is also about getting a great workout and being able to improve both mental and body health.
If you thought that soccer was just a game, then think again as their are numerous health benefits to this activity, let’s take a look.
High Blood Pressure
A study of 47 people with high blood pressure, by the research team at the University of Copenhagen, were asked to run or play 5-a-side soccer, for one hour, twice a week, for 3 months. At the end of the study, the researchers conceded that the blood pressure levels of those who ran, dropped only by half the amount compared with those who decided to play soccer. You may think that the frustrations of playing such a game could increase blood pressure levels but this could not be farther from the truth.
Weight loss is a given whether playing soccer or going out for a jog and whilst the weight loss figures were around the same between both the runners and the players, cholesterol reduction was a surprising result. It was found that those who played soccer for 3 months had significantly lowered their levels of cholesterol, where as those who ran had not lowered theirs at all.
If you are unaware of what flow is, it is the word that is used to refer to the optimal state of thinking which you need when you are fully immersed or focussed on a task. Strong levels of flow is highly positive in terms of mental health and mental capacity. A study of 6 groups of men and women found that their levels of flow after playing, were incredibly high. The strength of flow which one has has been directly linked to overall happiness and so this is an incredibly positive result.
Unlike with 11-a-side soccer, 5-a-side is of a much higher intensity and actually offers more health benefits because of this. The explosive nature of such a game is great or weight loss and it can help with dexterity, muscle fiber growth, and even help to improve mental awareness and alertness. If you have the choice between the two games, 5-a-side will offer you the most health benefits.
You play the game in such a small space that there will be regular one-on-one battles with other opponents. During these clashes, you will of course require some skill to evade challenges, but you will also need to show great strength against your opponent to guard the ball. These battles can greatly help you to improve your core muscles, as well your upper arms and shoulders.
Why not get out and play some 5-a-side today, there are many leagues to choose from and there is always a game happening somewhere.