Each year we get blessed with a new sporting event with 2010 being no different, if you haven't worked out, the Soccer/Football World Cup has hit South Africa.
Soccer (Sorry but i was raised calling it soccer) has always copped a bad rap when i was growing up i.e. called divers, soft "so-& so's" etc. I played when i was growing up and just took it back up and i can tell you the physical demands of this sport are much higher than most realise.
It is played for 90mins, broken up by 2 x 45min halves. Now i don't like to generalise too much but basically Soccer is 90mins of short sprinting, agility running and jumping. The demand it has on the lowerbody and cardiovascular system is intense, just look at Harry Kewell, he is lean (low body fat percentage) and has a decent amount of lean muscle mass.
Where am i going with this exactly, well as you may have heard, read, seen, experienced whatever, aerobic (steady state) cardio has limited uses and most of these are for aerobically dominant sports/athletes. In saying that most coaches of these sports/athletes are now adopting interval style training to reduce training volume for more training efficiency and preserving their athletes bodies over time.
So for those who want or need to incorporate cardiovascular training into their weekly lives, than logically interval training is the go. Why? Basically high intensity (interval) cardio burns energy after exercise whilst aerobic only really uses energy during exercise. So basically you can be sitting reading a book after a sprint session and still be burning calories. But for the Regular Joe's and Jane's trying to lose weight, get lean, tone, get more definition or whatever you want to call it, asking them to go to the local oval and do sprints is a big ask. The solution...
Social Sport aka "Pick Up" Games...
Now this concept isn't new and it's been promoted by coaches and trainers for years. Social or Pick Up is competitive sport played in a social setting i.e. backyard cricket or a game of soccer at a park. The beauty of Social Sport/Pick Up Games:
- It can be played with family/friends/acquaintances;
- It's fun;
- As long as you have some equipment it can be played just about anywhere; and
- It's a great workout as it's a less intense version of the real thing.
So you get all the benefits that the pros do just not as easily or as frequently. Therefore, whatever is interesting you at the moment - grab/buy some equipment, invite some friends, get out to the oval/court and play a game for 20-30mins. You'll get fresh air, sun, a good sweat and ENJOY THE BENEFITS.