The Elms Blog
FIFA World Cup and the Health Benefits of Soccer
Recently, we celebrated FIFA World Cup Soccer at The Elms Retirement Residence. A great time was had by all.
Soccer, or football to the rest of the world, is the world’s most popular sport, bringing many nations together every four years to compete in the World Cup. While the athletes competing at this level are usually in their mid-twenties, soccer is a sport that’s widely enjoyed by people of all ages. In fact, recent evidence shows that it can be incredibly healthy for seniors for a variety of reasons.
You don’t need to be Lionel Messi to enjoy the health benefits from soccer!
Nearly any sport is good exercise when done properly and safely. Soccer mixes cardio exercise with a strong emphasis on leg strength, co-ordination and balance.
While league soccer can be a contact sport, requiring a degree of full body strength, it can also safely and simply be a no-contact sport as well. Its physical requirements can scare away some seniors, especially those who have never played or are out of shape. This is where the concept of scalability comes into play. It is important that soccer be modifiable in its physical requirements for it to be a good fit for most seniors.
Amateur soccer is often broken into leagues based on age and skill. This intrinsically creates a scaling system, based on difficulty, for anyone interested in the sport. For example, Over 50 or Over 60 leagues put you into a group of similarly aged individuals to play with. Depending on the size of the league, some associations will also break the leagues into groups based on skill, so you may see an Over 60 league and an Over 60 Elite league, welcoming higher skilled players.
There are also even walking soccer leagues, which slow the game down and focus more on skill and passing than outright fitness. This version of the game has grown in popularity with seniors, especially those who like the more forgiving pace and focus on fundamentals.
At The Elms, we focus on a simple, non-competitive version of the sport where the ball is passed around from a seated position. Its fun and easy and most participants have a great time socializing and moving about.
One of the biggest benefits of playing soccer for seniors is the social aspect. Soccer is one of the more social sports that seniors can take part in. It becomes a built-in social group that gives seniors a place to interact and make new friends.
On the mental-health front, soccer has been shown to be a great stress-combating activity. Other studies have found that team sports, like soccer, make their players less likely to experience anxiety or depression than players of individual-based sports.
It may improve a senior’s general psychological and social health, no matter their age or the other mental health issues they may be facing.
It’s still important that you check with your primary care physician before starting any new exercise or sport; but if you’re looking for a sport to try, soccer should be at or near the top of your list!
Just like you, your health is one of a kind. What works for one person may not for another, so the information in these articles should not take the place of an expert opinion.
We Support Healthy Lifestyles
Our campus is staffed with professionals ready to provide assistance so that all of our residents can achieve health and wellness to the best of their abilities.
A full calendar of activities, including daily group exercise, provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy physical, mental and social stimulus that leads to a positive and purposeful lifestyle.
If you are wondering if The Elms’ unique and beautiful campus may be the right choice for you or a loved one, please feel free to arrange a tour by calling (401) 596-4630 or by sending an email.
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