The UK is a sporting nation and football is one of its favourite pastimes. From the Premier League all the way down to grassroots football, there is a way to enjoy this sport for all ages and abilities. 5-a-side has proven to be a popular offshoot of football across the world, with casual games organised between friends and leagues arranged in local communities.
5-a-side has many benefits, from improving aspects of your physical health, boosting your mental health and helping you to get out there and socialise.
By running around playing 5-a-side you will be doing your body and fitness wonders. Your cardiovascular endurance will improve as all the running around keeps your heart rate elevated. This, in turn, strengthens your heart muscle and boosts your lung capacity which helps to pump vital oxygen around your entire body.
Having a healthy heart means you are less likely to suffer from a cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular diseases can affect anyone, regardless of gender so participating in physical activities is a great way to keep yourself in good shape.
Due to frequent changes in direction, 5-a-side is great for improving your agility and balance. This helps to keep your joints and muscles nimble and moving.
Opportunity to socialise
With modern life kept at a busy pace, it can be easy to cancel plans or struggle to find a time that works for your friend group. By joining an established 5-a-side league you will have a set meeting place and time which you can factor into your schedule.
Putting yourself out there and joining a new group can be scary, but these are situations that can produce lifelong friendships. You will already have a love of football in common, so that is something you can initially bond over.
Playing regularly with the same group of people can often lead to offshoot activities, such as dinner or drinks after a practice, or a trip to see a professional game played by your favourite team.
Mental health improvement
Physical exercise has a direct link to your mental health. Working out or playing 5-a-side releases hormones such as serotonin and endorphins which help to lift your mood and keep your brain flooded with positivity-inducing hormones.
By focusing on a game of football you are able to shut out the rest of your normal life. Giving your brain a break from everyday stresses and the workday can help your subconscious flex its problem-solving skills and help you approach any issues with a clear head later on.
Being part of a team can give you a new part of your identity. As people get older they can often feel as though they do not know who they are outside of their job role or family responsibilities. Being part of a team can help to discover a new side to yourself. Wearing the same football kit as your teammates creates unity and strengthens the bond you already have from playing and practicing together.