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Soccer May Improve Health Profiles of Mature Men

A recent study suggests that participating in long-term recreational soccer training may result in in a better health profile for men between the ages of 63 and 75.

Participants in the study included 25 men in their late sixties who either took part in 52 weeks of soccer training, resistance training or did not do any training at all. The researchers assessed muscle function and body composition before and after 16 and 52 weeks.

At the 16-week mark, the soccer training group had a 15% improvement in cardiovascular fitness scores, a 43% improvement in interval work capacity, and a 30% improvement in functional capacity. The researchers also noted a 1.5% reduction in BMI at the 16-week mark and 3.0% reduction at the 52-week mark. The resistance training group had no change in BMI, while the control group had a 2% increase.

They also noted an increased ability to handle harmful oxygen radicals and control blood sugar in the soccer group. Similar changes were not seen in the other two groups. Finally, both the soccer and the resistance training groups had improvements in muscle mass, with no similar improvements noted in the control group.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen conducted the study. It was published on February 17, 2016, in PLOS One.

Regular exercise such as soccer training or resistance training is important for maintaining good health as you age. Previous clinical studies suggest that even moderate exercise can reduce your risk of dying prematurely, help with blood sugar control, reduce body weight, improve heart health and improve respiratory health.

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