A recent research experiment on inactive men with high blood pressure shows that just 3 months of soccer training twice a week causes significant drops in blood pressure, resting heart rate, and body fat percentage, and is more effective than the usual doctor’s advice on healthy eating and exercise.

Other parallel experiments on women and men further show that a regular soccer game has a much stronger impact on numerous cardiovascular risk factors such as maximum oxygen uptake, cardiac function, elasticity of the vascular system, blood pressure, cholesterol and fat mass. B. Strength training and just as much, if not more, than running.

Each of the experiments consisted of controlled randomized studies in which the soccer groups were compared to other exercise groups and inactive controls. The soccer experiments are part of a large-scale research project on soccer and health at the University of Copenhagen, four Danish university hospitals, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Schulthess Clinic in Zurich.

The project leader and associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, Peter Krustrup, summarized the results: “Our research shows that soccer is a versatile and intense form of exercise that has a positive effect on cardiovascular risk factors in a large group of untrained adult men and women and continues, “Based on the results, soccer can be recommended as part of the treatment of high blood pressure and as a broad-based prevention of cardiovascular disease.”

Small games, big wins

When untrained children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly play soccer, their heart rate stays high and they perform several intense actions such as sprints, turns, kicks, and tackles. “Our analysis also showed that the heart rate and activity profile are the same when playing small-sided games with only 4, 6, 8 or 14 people playing. In other words, it’s very easy to do a combination of cardio and Get weight training with soccer, “concludes Krustrup

Research partner Lars Juel Andersen of the Clinic for Sports Cardiology at Gentofte Hospital in Denmark believes the results are good news for millions of people worldwide suffering from high blood pressure: “It is well known that physical inactivity is a major risk factor in It What’s new is that a fun team sport like soccer is effective in treating high blood pressure. ”Additionally, Gentofte Hospital Associate Professor Peter Riis Hansen suggests that soccer could have other beneficial effects on the vascular system, namely a decrease in arterial stiffness, which has been linked to improved cardiovascular outcomes.

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Materials provided by University of Copenhagen. Note: The content can be edited by style and length.