Five-a-side soccer: the best ally against stress!
Stress and depression are according to many the real evils of our time, those from which few escape. Yet they are not only fought with drug therapies or psychoanalysis, limiting their effects is not impossible: an important ally, because incredibly effective, is the sports and in particular the five-a-side soccer!
“Several studies have documented how exercise can overlap with drugs in reducing irritability, anxiety and depression that are often associated with chronic stress,” points out Gianfranco Beltrami, cardiologist and sports physician at the University of Parma. To achieve good results, therefore, it is enough to decide to get off the couch and devote at least two and a half hours a week – spread over at least three days – to the physical activity you love most.. The reason lies in the fact that physical activity produces serotonin, which is the feel-good hormone.
In fact, movement acts on many fronts: “It helps reduce muscle tension and promotes night rest; improves oxygenation to brain cells; determines the release of endorphins, hormonal substances that promote calm and psycho-physical well-being; and makes the body use hormones – such as cortisol – that have accumulated as a result of stress,” reinforces Beltrami. “When you then begin to see the first results it increases satisfaction and self-esteem and improves the way you perceive yourself – resumes the psychologist -. If then the physical activity is carried out together with other people, it is enriched with additional values, facilitating relationships.
Some sports, however, quell the effects of stress and depression for other reasons as well, such as five-a-side soccer and running.
Let’s find out together what these sports are.
- Five-a-side soccer.
A good game of five-a-side soccer or soccer, after the office among friends is the best way to effectively combat fatigue and work stress.
The reason? When practiced at non-high intensities-so we tend to exclude competitive soccer from the discussion-it serves the same functions as running. Added to these are the benefits of the fact that it is first and foremost a team game to be practiced in the company of others, and thus entertains.
Swimming represents a healthy activity because it stimulates all muscles. However, the benefits also relate to the feeling of muscle relaxation, which often turns into mental relaxation. Swimming is like getting a massage.
Not to mention then the fact that, being immersed in water, unconsciously one feels the sensation of being back in the womb, and this produces the immediate release of stress.
It is the “amateur” sport par excellence. No physical training, no need to have accrued skills or who knows what. All it takes… Running. The only concern is clothing, especially footwear.
Running is an excellent remedy against stress and depression because – especially running – is a low-intensity activity, moreover constant. Walking produces the same effects, to which is added a general feeling of relaxation if quiet, green paths are chosen. It is no coincidence that for the past few years simple walking has been included in therapy for the treatment of depression.
Demonstrating the link between cycling, even amateur cycling, and stress relief was the British Heart Foundation. People who pedal are more relaxed. First, because, in general, bicycle tours are excursions into nature, and a peaceful landscape helps to relax mind and body. Next, it is a matter of challenge.
Especially uphill, cycling means challenging fatigue and yourself, in a kind of positive test. If you overcome it, your mood benefits.
Strengthening the link between dancing and stress relief is the special blend of physical activity and music listening activity. If you dance while listening to music you like, it sets up a vicious cycle of production of serotonin, the hormone deputed to lower stress and depression, and which is responsible for the feeling of good mood.
These are the 5 sports that fight stress and depression, so what are you waiting for? Choose one!