Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: The World’s Most Popular Sport is Also Good for Your Health

The World’s Most Popular Sport is Also Good for Your Health

Jr. Quality Coordinator

My love of soccer started in my hometown of Lima, Peru. From a young age, I spent hours playing and watching the game. Although I was passionate about all the tournaments and games, the most anticipated event was the one that came every four years: The World Cup.

Despite other sports being more popular in some areas of the globe (namely, the United States), the World Cup never ceases to bring the world together in a way that few other events successfully can. But there was something different about the cup this time around. This year's World Cup was widely referred to as the "social" cup. Twitter reported 300 million tweets throughout the duration of the 2014 games. They also routinely boasted those elaborate heat maps with tweets about each game, illustrating just how social the game of soccer--football or futbol, perhaps to you--has become both around the world and in America.

But at its core, soccer is more than an excuse to gather with your friends, drink beer, and scream at the television. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. All you really need is a ball, something to serve as a goal, and a few friends. It is also a great sport for kids, because it teaches teamwork and strategy and lets them get in some exercise at the same time. People of various ages and skill levels can participate in soccer. That's why roughly 4 percent of the world's population plays soccer

The University of Copenhagen in Denmark conducted a study about soccer. Their research showed that soccer provides all-round fitness and can be used as treatment for lifestyle-related diseases. But more than that, "soccer is a very popular team sport that contains positive motivational and social factors that may facilitate compliance and contribute to the maintenance of a physically active lifestyle. The studies presented have demonstrated that soccer training for two-three hours per week causes significant cardiovascular, metabolic, and musculoskeletal adaptations, independent on gender, age or lack of experience with soccer," said the study leader Peter Krustrup.

So now that the World Cup is over and we are once again learning about the health benefits of soccer, it is time for all of us--especially kids--to go out and play!

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