Football and Its Health Benefits

Daily Mail Sports

Introduction to Blog

There was a time when football was not considered an Olympic sport. In fact, no official recognition was given to the sport until its inclusion as a demonstration sport at the 1900 Paris Olympics. It wasn't until 1904 that football became an official Olympic event. When the first modern-day international football competition was held in Scotland in 1872, it was actually played using round balls made out of leather. It wasn't until 1908 when the International Rugby Board (IRB) changed the rules to use a rubber ball. It wasn't until 1920 that soccer's governing body, FIFA, recognized football as a legitimate sport to play internationally. Since then, the popularity of this sport has increased dramatically over the past 100 years. One of the primary reasons for this rise in popularity is due to its physical nature. The game involves lots of running, jumping, tackling, blocking, and even hitting. The speed of the game is fast, and players have to be quick on their feet. The number of athletes who take part in this sport is increasing annually. According to the International Federation of Association Football, there were about 1.34 million registered members in 2006. By 2016, that figure had doubled to 2.71 million.

Football, known simply as football, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players each on a rectangular field (football pitch).  The object of the game is to score goals by kicking or carrying the ball over the opposing team's goal line while preventing the opponents from scoring goals. There are currently three recognized international rules: Rugby league, rugby union, and soccer; however, most nations have their own variations of these rules.

In the United States, college football is one of the nation's most popular sports, with nearly 200 million tickets sold annually. In addition to the popularity of professional football, college football has become the dominant rule. College football games are among the highest-rated television programs in the country.

Effects of Football

There are many positive effects of football on human health and fitness. Due to the high speeds at which the game is played, football players experience lower rates of heart disease than those who play other contact sports, such as baseball, basketball and hockey.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, football causes less head injuries than any other major sport, except boxing. As part of its research, the institute conducted a study showing that the incidence of concussions increased by 50% after the introduction of instant replay, despite the fact that helmets became mandatory following the 1970 season. The institute concluded that the increase was due to the speed of the game being faster, making players more likely to make hard hits causing concussions.

Benefits of Football

Although many athletes suffer minor muscle strains, sprains, fractures, torn ligaments, or even concussion, these injuries are rarely serious enough to require surgery. By contrast, some types of brain injury sustained in football result in permanent neurological damage that may lead to death.

For example, repeated blows to the head can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) - a neuro-degenerative disease characterized by progressive memory loss, personality changes, depression, dementia, and suicidal tendencies. CTE is caused by the accumulation of a protein called tau inside nerve cells of the brain. CTE was first identified in American college and pro football players in 1999, and since then researchers have documented similar findings in boxers, wrestlers, ice hockey players, and others engaged in repetitive head trauma. Researchers believe that CTE develops gradually over time, beginning with minor symptoms that eventually progress to severe impairments.

Because of the risk of developing CTE, doctors advise football players to limit their exposure to the sport. However, they suggest that this advice should not deter them from playing football because the benefits of the exercise outweigh the risks. The effects football may have on human health and fitness include improved oxygenation of the blood, increase of lung capacity, strengthening of bones and muscles, increase of endurance, increased circulation system, increase of heart rate, reduction of cholesterol levels, increase of body fat burning, and decrease of muscle mass.

Point to be Noted

The effects of football training on human health and fitness have been investigated for many years by scientists around the world. Athletes who participate in team sports require much greater amounts of oxygen than those who do not play competitive sports. A study published in 2005 showed that athletes had higher levels of HDL cholesterol, or good cholesterol, than non athletes. The researchers concluded that it was likely due to increased physical activity.

A 2008 study reported the results of testing players' blood samples after they played a game. Researchers found that the red blood cells were enlarged and packed with hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. These changes indicate that they received more blood flow to their muscles. Other studies show that playing football causes people to lose weight. In fact, researchers followed children over a period of 12 months. At the end of the study, the boys who played football lost 4 percent of their body fat while the girls did not change their body fat at all.

Another study tested the cardiovascular responses of American college students before, during, and after a season of football; they found that the average heart rate of football players rose to about 200 beats per minute. However, no significant differences occurred between these rates and those of the control group (people who did not play football). Most surprisingly, the study found that the participants recovered faster from exercise than expected.

A Misconception Removed

Although some research suggests that football may be harmful to a person's health, others argue that the effects are minimal. According to a review conducted in 2006, the long-term risks of playing football are unknown.

The study shows that football players have an increased risk of injury due to muscle strain which occurs during practice sessions. These injuries lead to prolonged rehabilitation. The research showed that football players were 1.8 times more likely to suffer from ligament or tendon tears than non-athletes. 

Footballers are often subjected to repetitive movements, particularly throwing and catching actions. These repetitive movements cause minor muscle strains which may lead to larger injuries.

Objective of Sports and Games

Athletes who participate in football run the risk of developing certain injuries. These problems may occur if they don't train properly and/or prepare themselves physically for the rigors of this sport. As far as these injuries go, some of them tend to affect the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, neck, spine, and back. There are many conditions that can cause athletes to sustain a variety of musculoskeletal injuries. Among them are:


This is an inflammation of the tendon caused by repetitive strain or trauma. Athletes who play contact sports are prone to this condition since it occurs commonly among athletes participating in those activities.


This refers to any injury that happens to a ligament. While playing football, athletes get injured due to different types of collisions and tackles. Because of this, several ligaments become strained or torn apart causing various degrees of pain.

Muscle strains

Football is a sport where you need to exert yourself in order to win. You need to fight off the opposing team and try to tackle them before they score points. If you fail to do so, you end up getting tackled instead. Many times, these tackles result in sprained muscles and pulled ligaments.


Because of the high speeds involved with this sport, athletes often end up suffering from ankle sprains. However, they can also suffer from knee sprain, hamstring tear, thumb fracture, calf muscle tears, and shin splints. It is important to note that while football is a great way to stay fit and healthy, you should never engage in this activity when you are sick. You could sustain serious injuries such as brain hemorrhage, fractures, ruptured blood vessels, heart attack, stroke, and others.

Prevention & Treatment

The best thing you can do to avoid injuries is to follow a routine training program.

Football players have higher levels of testosterone than non-footballers

Football is by far one of my favorite sports to watch. I love watching football because it’s fast paced, exciting, and full of adrenaline. When I was younger, I played football and loved how it gave me a competitive edge over my peers. As I got older, I stopped playing football but still kept close ties with the sport. While watching NFL games recently, I noticed something interesting about the NFL athletes. There were several players who looked extremely fit and toned. I wondered if those guys were professional body builders or what? Sure enough, they turned out to be football players.

Apparently, the game of football helps increase testosterone in men. One theory says that the repetitive movements of the sport triggers a release of testosterone in males. Another study even found that football is associated with increased bone density in both male and female players. A lot of research shows that testosterone increases muscle mass. Testosterone is often called “the hormone of sex” because it helps stimulate libido and sexual desire. Many studies have shown that testosterone levels drop in middle age and that low levels are linked to lower sperm count. High amounts of testosterone in men can help improve fertility by increasing testicular size and sperm production.

While the aforementioned studies show that football can benefit many aspects of our bodies, there are some risks involved. Studies have found that players may suffer from injuries such as ankle sprains, knee pain, hip strains, and shoulder dislocation. Injuries can happen due to improper technique and contact. Repeated hits to the head and repeated blows to the chest area can lead to concussions. However, a lot of these issues can be avoided if you take proper precautions. Make sure to warm up before practice and learn how to protect yourself while playing football.

Football players also have higher levels of vitamins

Vitamins play a major role in maintaining good health. Vitamin B is necessary for the body to make DNA. It also helps convert food into energy and aids in cellular reproduction. Vitamin D helps regulate our immune system and keeps bones strong. If you don't get enough vitamin D, you may develop rickets or osteomalacia (bone softening).

As we mentioned earlier, football players are at a higher risk for certain illnesses. Research has found that they have higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Other studies have found that football players have less body fat and greater resting metabolic rate than non-athletes. These findings help explain their athletic performance.

The best way to maintain good health while playing football is to eat well. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, and avoid smoking cigarettes. Also, try to stay away from alcohol. Being active isn't the only factor that determines whether you're going to live a long life. Nutrition is definitely a big factor. So if you want to keep your body healthy, eat right!

I hope you have enjoyed this article!!!


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