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Soccer, or football as it is known outside the USA, is the most popular sport in the world and played in most countries. This team sport, with 11 players on each side, use legs, head and torso to pass a ball and score goals. The nature of the game means players may be sprinting, running fast or slow, and even standing around at times


Playing soccer is continuous and is great for fitness and cardiovascular health. People from kids to adults and all skill levels can participate in soccer. Soccer is ideal for boys, girls, men and women. Regardless of age, everyone plays the same game under the same rules and, where physically appropriate, may play alongside each other.


Health Benefits of Playing Soccer

Soccer can be a great workout and lots of fun. Health benefits include:


  • Increases aerobic capacity and cardiovascular health.
  • Lowers body fat and improves muscle tone.
  • Builds strength, flexibility and endurance.
  • Increases muscle and bone strength
  • Improves health due to shifts between walking, running and sprinting.


Other Benefits of Playing Soccer

The benefits don’t stop with the physical, there are many other benefits from playing a team sport like soccer. For example it:


  • Teaches coordination
  • Promotes teamwork and sharing
  • Teaches to ‘think on the run’
  • Helps to increase skills in concentration, persistence and self-discipline
  • A great way to meet people and exercise with friends
  • Provides an opportunity to increase confidence and self-esteem and helps to reduce anxiety
  • Requires very little equipment so it can be played in the backyard or park.
  • Relatively easy to learn, so beginners can quickly join in the fun and play soccer for recreation.


Planning to Play Soccer

Playing a recreational game of soccer doesn’t require a large number of people or a field. It can be as simple as having a kick with friends. Playing soccer just for fun can be done in backyards, streets or on beaches. All you need is a ball. You can also play soccer competitively by joining a local club, organized competitions and junior clinics. Some indoor sports centers offer indoor soccer competitions with reduced team sizes.


Avoiding Soccer Injuries

To protect yourself from injury and prepare your body to play soccer, make sure you:


  • Warm up your muscles and joints before starting.
  • Maintain your fitness to play well and avoid injury or fatigue.
  • Make sure you have plenty of fluids on hand and rehydrate regularly.
  • Don’t overdo it – depending on your age and physical condition.
  • Wear the correct protective equipment.


Things to remember


  • Soccer is a good sport for maintaining health, fitness, strength and endurance.
  • You can play with a club, learn through a junior clinic or have a kick with friends.
  • Make sure you have plenty of fluids on hand and rehydrate regularly.
  • Don’t overdo it. Mix up your physical activity with other low-impact sports.


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