Untrained elderly men get markedly fitter and healthier as a result of playing soccer. After only four months of twice-weekly one-hour training sessions, the men achieved marked improvements in maximum oxygen uptake, muscle function and bone mineralization. The study revealed that inactive elderly men improved their maximum oxygen uptake by 15% and their performance during interval exercise by as much as 50% by playing soccer for 1 hour two times per week over 4 months.
“The results provide strong evidence that soccer is an intense, versatile and effective form of training, including for untrained elderly men. It is definitely never too late to start playing soccer. Soccer boosts physical capacity and heart health, and minimizes the risk of falls and fractures in elderly, men who have never played soccer before or have not played for decades,” says Professor Peter Krustrup.
“The remarkable improvements in aerobic fitness and muscle strength make it easier for the players to live an active life and overcome the physical challenges of everyday life such as climbing stairs, shopping, cycling and gardening. This benefits not only the players themselves, but also their families and friends,” says Krustrup.
Source: University of Copenhagen. “Soccer for untrained 70-year-old men yields amazing results.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2014.
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