Research carried out by the Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health in Denmark shows that untrained elderly men get markedly fitter and healthier as a result of playing football (soccer). After only 4 months of twice-weekly 1-hour training sessions, the men achieved marked improvements in maximum oxygen uptake, muscle function and bone mineralization.
Later today, three scientific articles will be published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports describing the fitness and health effects of football training for 63‒75-year-old untrained men. The Copenhagen researchers, led by Professor Peter Krustrup of the Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health, University of Copenhagen, have a compelling case. Football is a fun, social and effective form of high-intensity interval training that is open to all.
Untrained elderly men can also play
"Our previous studies have shown that 70-year-old men with lifelong participation in football possess a postural balance and rapid muscle force that is comparable to that of 30-year-old untrained men," says Krustrup. "This time we have gone one step further by evaluating the intensity of football training as well as the health and fitness effects of football for untrained elderly men with little experience of football."
"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 football for 1 hour two times per week over 4 months. Moreover, muscle function was improved by 30% and bone mineralization in the femoral neck increased by 2%," says Krustrup.
"The results provide strong evidence that football is an intense, versatile and effective form of training, including for untrained elderly men. It is definitely never too late to start playing football. Football boosts physical capacity and heart health, and minimizes the risk of falls and fr
|Contact: Bo Kousgaard|
University of Copenhagen