Research Paper (Football’s Effects on Personal Health)

Rodney Whitehead Eng 102 Research Paper 12/10/08 Football A person’s health is one of the most important things to maintain throughout his/her life. Playing sports is a fun and effective way to stay healthy mentally as well as physically. Football is an extremely physical, mentally advanced sport and is an excellent example of this. Football is an effective way to improve the physical, mental and social aspects of a person’s health. Football dates as far back as ancient Greece. Greeks made these games, which compare to modern football, to simulate warfare and battle strategies.

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If you know how an ancient phalanx works, you can find similarities between it and how the offensive and defensive line interact. It’s mostly just a lot of pushing and shoving with intent to penetrate the line and break the phalanx using shields and spears in a tactical fashion to create an ideally impenetrable unit. The linebackers, and defensive backs would represent the secondary defenses. The offensive backs and receivers represented the higher ranks of warriors. It was a game they played to showcase their skills, and it was an alternative of staying in shape without spending hours in the gymnasium.

It also gave them more social interactions with people who had similar interests. The game of football has without a doubt become more advanced. It has become an multitude of associations and leagues each with their own individual rules and regulations. The game itself can be very confusing to understand from a foreign standpoint. However, the object of the game is simple. The team with the ball has to get it into the opposing teams endzone. Obviously it is more complicated than that but it’s the basic idea.

When weighing the pros and cons of impacts on health with playing football, there are some negative aspects that go along with it such as injuries, risks with playing in severely cold weather, and other minor problems players might have with chronic pain or irritations on the body which include joint damage, turf toe and athletes foot, etc. Injuries in professional football do happen often, but it’s a part of playing the game. I personally would have rather broken every limb on my body than not ever have played football.

According to Ernest Needham, injuries are abundant but not overwhelming considering the amount of people who play the sport. “We all know that accidents will happen in the best regulated of sports (even pedestrians are not free from them); but accidents of a serious or fatal nature are very rare considering the thousands who play, and it is questionable whether the percentage does not compare favorably with those of other pastimes (Unk 1-Par 7)”. All other health risks of football which are but minor compared to injuries should just be something athletes should go through to play such a fun and beneficial game.

In my eyes, football is one hundred percent beneficial. One of the best things about football is that there is a spot for and type of person. Basically big, strong men play on the line; small, fast men can usually play as cornerbacks and safeties; strong and fast men will usually play running back or linebacker; and the tall, fast guys who can catch make good receivers. One aspect of football that makes it good for human health and development is the extra conditioning that is required to stay in shape. Conditioning mainly is based around running. A good thing for football players to practice and develop often is sprinting.

Speed is the most important factor when playing football and it is extremely beneficial to one’s health to sprint on a regular basis. It allows the heart to adapt and operate at higher speeds without such a high exhaustion factor as would usually be the case for someone who doesn’t sprint regularly or at all for that matter. Football builds up strength and endurance in every part of your body. It increases your cardiovascular muscles and decreases your resting heart rate. You also become more balanced by learning different techniques and it develops the footwork of athletes to build speed and quickness. Unk 3 Par 2) Sprinting is most commonly practiced in what we call circuits or pyramids. A circuit is a multitude of different types of sprints performed in a row with little or no rest. For example, an athlete would start with seated arm sprints and when the whistle blows, he would get up and sprint to the forty yard cone at full speed. When he reaches the cone he would back pedal 20 yards, then do fifteen seconds of high knees. After this he would then sprint out the remaining forty yards. Circuits can be performed in any order with any combination of sprinting exercises.

Circuits promote endurance, acceleration, speed and exercise diversity which is an important part of adaptive health as well as a vital skill one needs to play football. Sprinting pyramids go along with the idea of starting out small and gradually increasing distance and intensity. Let’s say you’re on a standard track. From the starting line, the sprinter would sprint a short ten yards, touch the line and come back. This is followed by increments of ten usually. Once the pyramid reaches sixty yards out, the sprinter gradually goes back down in increments of ten to act as a cool-down.

Pyramids develop an athletes agility, endurance and also builds an athletes ability to sprint with stability and control. As a result, sprinting is extremely beneficial to an athletes health and well-being and this demonstrates how the sprinting aspect of football is a major part in the health of an individual. Most teams also coach their athletes to run long distances. Long distance running is an excellent way to boost a human’s cardiovascular stamina and increase the strength in an athletes fast-twitch muscle system in his/her legs.

The reason it is so effective in improving someone’s health is because it keeps the heart beating at a high rate for a long period of time. This sends oxygen quickly to all the body’s key receptors which is essential to maintain motor skills, and better a human’s growth and blood flow. It also enables the heart to adapt and strengthen to be able to handle such a strain for such a long period of time. This helps athletes keep energy during games and practice without getting as tired. Long distance running is usually done as a team or in smaller groups throughout the team.

For example, the backs receivers will run in one group and the lineman and linebackers will run in the other. The distance teams run always varies based on the coaches, how the practice has gone so far, and the weather, but usually when I say “a long distance run”, I mean at the very least one mile. Take me for example. I run one and a half miles every day before I strength train. I don’t consider that to be a long distance run at all. It’s more like a little warm up. On Fridays I run three miles which judging by how tired I am after, I consider to be long distance running.

What defines the term “long distance running” is the physical abilities of the athlete and how much they are willing to sacrifice to be a healthy person and an excellent football player. Running in football is a great building block to a healthy lifestyle. Usually people who run and do other exercises regularly will generally have more energy throughout the day than non-athletes. People who have not experienced this first-hand may think otherwise. They might think that if someone exercises everyday, it would drain them and make them tired all the time. That is definitely not the case.

Exercise lowers your heart rate in times of inactivity allowing the body to operate using less energy than someone who’s heart rate may be higher during times of inactivity. For example an idle body which has a heart rate of 70 regularly will use more energy than an athlete with an idle heart rate of 52. Therefore an athlete will generally have more energy when not exercising. Overall, running is an important part of football and an excellent way to stay in shape. In the sport of football, it is essential to compete with one another to be the strongest and the fastest.

This being said, strength training is extremely important and is also highly beneficial to the sport. Their are many lifts that are specific to football, but weight lifting in general is a remarkably healthy life practice. First of all, it takes a lot of calories to build and maintain muscle, therefore just weightlifting alone could be a great way to get rid of fat. Basically, if someone lift weights to lose fat, he/she will be losing fat and replacing it with muscle making him/her leaner, lighter and stronger. Lifting weights is also a healthy way to socialize.

When an athlete lifts weights, he/she usually uses a spotter and if they both are in the same strength range they will usually do all their lifts together and create a friendly relationship with one another. Team chemistry is also something that is taught and practiced in all leagues. The coaches usually try to ensure the cooperation and friendship of all their teammates. This builds builds the bonds that keep a team strong and the benefit an athletes mental and social health. An person’s mental health is probably more important that his/her physical health.

Football is an excellent way to develop mental strong mental health. In most cases, players need to remember all the different plays and formation in a playbook to run a solid offense. That should be easy for most people with half a brain but they also have to know how to make quick reads and shifts in blocking to make plays work based on how the defense is aligned. This is a very complex skill that only comes with experience in the game. This trait illustrates a strong mentality which is extremely healthy to develop especially in early years.

According to Abby Lerner’s quote from Sian Beilock, associate professor in psychology at the University of Chicago, playing football plays a big role in developing essential language skills students need to understand complex situations. “Experience playing and watching sports has enduring effects on language understanding by changing the neural networks that support comprehension to incorporate areas active in performing sports skills,” Beilock said. (Lerner Par 4) He also said that the findings may soon be applied to education.

For example, the best way to teach kids about momentum and physics may not be assigning lengthy reading assignments, but getting them up from their desks and moving. “The experience of acting something out may help them understand the concept much better (Lerner Par 5)”. Football also promotes a healthier diet. The coaches stress that their players eat healthy and many of them put their athletes on a strict eating plan. Athletes in professional football and high high division college football are usually given a meal plan to improve their health and well-being.

A good meal plan would consist of foods high in protein and carbohydrates in the morning, foods high in carbohydrates at noon, and high protein and vitamins in the evening such as boiled chicken and green vegetables. Such practices, along with exercising, weightlifting and stretching, can actually reduce the risk of injury. A balanced diet can also help keep the digestive system regulated. Eating the right foods at the right times is an important part of staying healthy so it is no wonder that the health driven sport of football practices sticking to a healthy diet.

Football is an extremely disciplined and physical sport, but it is probably the most fun a person can have if he/she is trying to stay healthy. Through the coaching of strength, conditioning, dieting and enhanced brain activity, football is a great way to improve the physical and mental health of individuals of all ages. Works Cited Author Unknown1. “Health Risks of Playing Football”. Publisher Unknown www. spartacus. schoolnet. co. uk/Fhealth. htm This articles focuses on the downside to football. It illustrates certain health risks and diseases that may be caused by playing football, both long term and short term.

It tends to use a lot of statistics and credited facts throughout the article. In fact, the bulk of the article is composed of these statistics and facts. Little is shown of the writer’s own input of the subject. Author Unknown2. “Football improves health of the community”. Publisher Unknown http://www. dh. gov. uk/en/News/DH_4111986 This article illustrates the positive physical effects of football. It points out that the sport promotes a healthier diet, teaches drug and alcohol awareness and promotes good sexual health as well as social inclusion. Author Unknown3.

What are the benefits of football”. Wiki-Answers. http://wiki. answers. com/Q/ This is sort of a Q and A format article. It asks the question; What are the health and physical benefits of playing football? It is followed by multiple answers from anonymous contributors. Some answers are straight and to the point and some go in depth with exciting facts in vivid detail. Lerner, Abby. “The Best Reason to Watch More Football”. Men’s Health. http://www. menshealth. com/cda/article Watching football is had been a proven way of increasing brain activity and comprehension efficiency.

This article developes reasons of how and why it does and it explains them in depth. Moor, Craeg(? ). “Improve mental health through playing football”. © 2008 Adfero Ltd. craegmoor. co. uk/news/industry/18518880/ The mental health benefits of playing football are beyond significant. Football is a great way to socialize and develop relationships with other players in an informal, fun way which has effects on a person’s emotions, relationships, identity and self-esteem. This article develops these benefits in a very compact article in which I will probably have to use sentence numbers.