It’s hardly a secret that getting involved in any kind of physical activity is far better for your health than sitting on your rear-end and doing nothing at all. At the same time, it’s also pretty common knowledge that football in all its forms is a genuinely brilliant activity for staying in shape. The fact that it’s so enjoyable is of course quite the bonus, but when it comes to five-a-side football, evidence suggests it may in fact be even more beneficial than the regular-sized game.
It’s natural to assume that a smaller pitch and shorter game times would naturally mean a less physically exertive and demanding game. According to the experts at www.5-aside.org however, it’s actually quite to the contrary as when participated in on a regular occasion, five-a-side has the potential to be uniquely beneficial to body and mind alike.
Soccer as a Form of Exercise
In terms of the benefits of football in general, a wide variety of studies have shown that regular participation in soccer is in fact better for the body from head to toe than going out running on a regular basis. While all forms of exercise are good for keeping the body in shape, reducing excess weight, increasing stamina and so on, research has shown that football seems to be a much better form of exercise for avoiding high blood pressure, keeping cholesterol levels in check and increasing bone density to much heathier levels.
All from kicking a ball around a field? It sounds too good to be true, but facts are facts!
Football’s Benefits to Wellbeing
As for the way getting involved in soccer can benefit the mind, it’s all to do with the way in which some activities require more focus than others. For example, if we’re to take the example of running again, then the only real focus you have when running is that of keeping to a certain speed and not falling over. In fact, there’s so little to do in a mental capacity that about 99.9% of runners take music with them to keep them occupied.
By contrast, when you take a game like football what you’re looking at is an activity where you need to invest 100% of your concentration and focus into every single second of the game while at the same time loving every minute of it. What’s more, you’re fighting for victory and doing your best to ward off the attacks of an opposing team. As such, you’re effectively challenging your brain with a wide variety of puzzles and stimulating a thousand and one emotions all at the same time. Unsurprisingly therefore, research has also shown that when football is used as a form of exercise on a regular basis, if can benefit mental wellbeing far above most other types or physical exertion.
Five-a-Side’s Unique Benefits
So that’s football in general taken care of, but what about that initial point of five-a-side apparently being even better than the regular game? Well, in this instance it all comes down to the way in which the actual physical and mental involvement of a game of five-a-side is very different from that of a regular game of football, so it’s only natural that the effects it would have on the person taking part would be different.
For example, while it’s normal and necessary for players in standard football games to spend at least some time during the game standing around and moving very little, five-a-sideplayers are inherently required to keep moving at all times…quite literally. The kinds of movements made by five-a-side are more intense, studies have shown that the average heart rates of five-a-side players are higher than those of standard soccer players and when it comes to concentration and focus…forget about it!
In a regular football game, the opposing team can be in possession of the ball for minutes on end with little to nothing happening in your own area of the field. By contrast, with five-a-side it’s a case of one or two passes being followed by attempts on goal and possession switching every few seconds. As such, you need to be incredibly sharp to know not only what’s happening at the time, but also what’s coming next and what to do the second the ball heads your way. So in mental stimulation stakes, five-a-side is again in a league of its own.
And there you have it – next time anyone tries to tell you that five-a-side is an easier version of the ‘real’ thing, you can drop a little science on them and tell them just how wrong they are!