London: Suffering from high blood pressure? Playing football may be just as effective as tablets in lowering the condition, researchers say. Undergoing football fitness training may also help improve physical fitness, decrease body fat percentage and strengthen bones in women, said researchers from the University of Southern Denmark.
Football Fitness – a training concept developed by the Danish Football Association and Professor Peter Krustrup at the University of Southern Denmark – comprises high-pulse, stamina and strength training followed by games with the focus on fun, socialising and health.
The findings showed that the women engaged in this football training derived significant positive effects on blood pressure (9 mmHg), body fat mass (3.1 kg), triglyceride (0.3 mmol/l), bone mass (70 g) and interval fitness (120 per cent better).
“Our study shows that untrained women with high blood pressure benefit greatly from football in respect of blood pressure, body fat percentage, bone density and physical fitness. This form of football can rightly be described as effective and broad-spectrum medicine for women with high blood pressure,” Krustrup said.
In addition, football can also be used for effective prevention and treatment of a number of lifestyle diseases, including cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. For the study, the team involved 31 women aged 35-50 with mildly high blood pressure, one hour of football training two to three times a week over an year.
The trial proved to be an effective broad-spectrum medicine, with positive effects on blood pressure, body fat percentage, bone density and physical fitness. The results are detailed in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.