Got World Cup Fever? Go Play!

SoccerballIf you’re like me, you’ve been glued to the television on many occasions over the last couple of weeks since the start of the quadrennial World Cup competition, soccer’s ultimate championship. And not just when the U.S. is playing. Who knew we’d be watching Italy, Croatia, Mexico, Uruguay…?!

It’s our once-every-four-years obsession. But it can be much more!

Soccer players are some of the the fittest athletes on the planet. The sport requires an amazing combination of strength and endurance. Soccer players are muscular (why else would Uruguayan superstar Luis Suarez be so hungry?!) and fit. They run for 90-plus minutes in the Brazilian heat with  only a rare substitution.

So while you’re inspired, go out and try kicking around a soccer ball. By yourself. With a friend. Or, at best, with a group of friends, try your soccer skills for a couple of days each week as a complement to your regular workout regimen.

It’s a great cardio workout, and it challenges your legs and bone strength. Moreover, according to a recent study published in Science Daily, playing soccer can lower blood pressure of women in their 30s and beyond. Even more so than other sports. “The soccer training produced an impressive reduction in blood pressure that was more than twice as big as with swimming performed over the same period as the soccer,” said project leader Magni Moore.

If you’ve never played soccer, or not played it in awhile, put in a week of training.  The editors of offer four specific gym moves that will prepare your body for soccer: squats, sprints, uphill runs and power jumps.

Add those to your regular workout regimen and whether or not you ever try a header, you’ll be in better shape than you are today!



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