Here at 24/7 Healthcare, our Downtown team wishes Team #28 a warm welcome as we look forward to cheering on our new neighbors in 2022!
Having grown up in England, I have been advised that I should take this opportunity to talk about football in St. Louis. That’s right, football (That’s ”soccer” for you lot. Insert London accent here), also known as “the beautiful game”.
Personally, not only do I not miss that other football team that we magically rid ourselves of, I’m excited for our community and its ever-increasing football/soccer fan base. Good news like this deserves congratulations and celebration — Well done! We already have the best baseball and ice hockey teams, so I have every faith that we will soon have one of the best football/soccer teams in the world.
Not only is the sport exciting, football/soccer has a lot of health benefits too. Whether you’re a fan of the game already or not, you may want to consider getting out to play in one of our various intramural leagues here in The Lou, or just getting the neighborhood together for a pickup game.
Football requires very little equipment, and I can easily see more people playing games in our local parks now, or just about any open stretch of green in the entire Midwest. When I was at high school, we just used two articles of clothing for goal posts, using just one goal, and we’d divide up into two teams with a neutral goalie. Just like that, we’d have a game going! I have to say, and I do believe I speak on behalf of most Brits, that whenever I see a beautiful open flat field of lush cut green grass, I am stunned as to how there’s nobody around playing a perfectly good game of football on it.
But back to the health benefits. Along with increasing one’s aerobic capacity, football can also condition your general cardiovascular health. It lowers body fat, improves muscle tone, and builds strength, flexibility and endurance. Because of the shifting between walking, running and sprinting, it’s a natural form of HIIT (High Impact Interval Training), which is arguably the best cardio solution ever, if you ask me.
If you’re not looking to go pro and are worried about sustaining injuries, you should know that unlike boxing, hockey and American football, football football is typically a non-contact sport. I mean, of course there will be barges and body-checks, but with far less frequency than other contact sports.
Football also teaches coordination and improved balance, and it promotes teamwork and helps increase concentration and persistence. Plus, whether you’re playing or spectating, is also a great way to meet people and exercise with friends. It creates an outlet to reduce both anxiety and depression, and it enhances confidence and self-esteem. So yeah, it’s basically the greatest game ever.
With how easy it is to learn and play, it’s no wonder it’s the number one sport internationally. Why not try it out? I hope you will and that you get to experience the fun of forging new friendships with people from all over the world (while getting a damn good workout too). Like music and mathematics, football/soccer is practically a universal language, well, global anyway!
Football, or soccer (OK, there I said it) is a great sport for maintaining health, fitness, strength and endurance. I for one am thrilled that it’s "coming home" to St. Louis, making it even more my chosen home.
Sonny Saggar, MD