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As effective as tablets: women can lower their blood pressure with football
Around every third adult German suffers from high blood pressure. If hypertension is not treated, the risk of diseases such as stroke or heart attack increases. A study has now shown that women can lower their blood pressure by regular soccer training as well as with the help of medication.
One of the biggest health risks in the world
According to the German Hypertension League (DHL), around 20 to 30 million people in Germany suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension). Untreated hypertension is one of the greatest health risks in the western world. It is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and is therefore responsible for many deaths from heart attacks or strokes. Often, those affected are quickly advised to lower blood pressure, but in many cases hypertension can be treated without medication. Among other things, through regular football training, as Danish researchers now report.
Lower blood pressure through regular soccer training
It has been shown that the Danish concept "Football Fitness" works just as effectively as tablets for high blood pressure. In addition, this training provides more physical fitness for women, helps reduce weight and strengthens the bones.
Professor Peter Krustrup from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and his colleagues report this in a communication from the university.
The study, the results of which were published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, involved 31 untrained women (aged 35 to 50 years) from the Faroe Islands with high blood pressure, 19 of whom a year did soccer training for one hour two to three times a week.
It was shown that the blood pressure of soccer players decreased by nine millimeters of mercury (mmHg) within one year compared to a group of women without training. The body fat mass was reduced by an average of 3.1 kilograms. The bone mass increased by 70 grams and the fitness increased significantly.
Health and fun instead of competition
"Our results show that untrained women benefit from" Football Fitness "in many ways, in terms of blood pressure, body fat percentage, bone strength and physical fitness," said Professor Krustrup.
"This form of football can rightly be described as an effective broadband medicine for women with high blood pressure."
According to the expert, the results of the project show that football can be used both as an effective prevention and for the treatment of a number of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases or diabetes.
Years ago, Professor Krustrup developed the concept for "Football Fitness" in close collaboration with the Danish Football Association. The training is intended for everyone, regardless of age, gender, football experience or physical fitness.
It includes a thorough warm-up with strengthening, balance and ball exercises and subsequent games. The focus is on fun, community with others and health. There are no competition games. (ad)