Sure, you can now find NFL picks on any betting websites, you may even recognise team’s names around the globe or some of the NFL’s biggest superstars. But how does the sport compare to others in terms of keeping fit? Is it something you should look at getting involved in to increase your own fitness levels?
Well, let’s take a look at just how good the sport is for maintaining and improving your fitness levels, and where it falls.
Training Like An NFL Star
As with any sport, player’s train outside of playing games. They’ll have set routines during the season, and will continue to train themselves and work on key areas in the off-season. And training like an NFL superstar could well be good for your fitness.
They work on a wide range of areas such as cardio, which helps to improve your heart rate and breathing rate. They work on strength and conditioning to build muscle so they can make tackles, but not like real men who play rugby because they all wear padding. But you can still take a hell of a whack when someone is running at you and you try to make yourself a brick wall in their path to the touchdown zone.
Many of these exercises will involve basics such as running, lifting weights amongst other activities too. Something that all athletes tend to do no matter what sport they play. Sure, some players will focus on some areas more than others due to their role or position in the team, but they all tend to be the same in every sport.
So following the training regimes of those who play in the NFL professionally will likely help you improve and maintain your fitness levels.
Playing The Game
Moving on to the game itself though, how well can this work for you in terms of improving your fitness? Well, it’s a tough one to answer. There are many out there who will say it isn’t as productive for you, and won’t work as many muscle groups as other sports. For example, all sports have stoppages, whether it be for half time in the football, or maybe a stoppage for an injury. But no sport stops and starts more than American Football.
With stopping and starting all the time, you’re not always going to be keeping your heart rate up and making your body work. It’s not like running for a few miles as they may do in training, or working out your muscles lifting weights. You could be playing for a 30 second play, then be taken off for 5 minutes, put back on again for 2 minutes, of which half of it no one is doing anything before being taken off again. It can truly be infuriating.
Because there are also two sides, a defensive team and offensive team, you will only usually play half the game anyway if you get all the minutes you would play in your position. Unlike other sports where players often come together to support teammates and assist in defending, or getting forward to help your team score a goal or get a point in whatever it is you're playing.
However, there are many out there who believe interval training is good. But this is slightly different. This is where you would, for example, walk, run and jog a certain distance, mixing up the method you are travelling on your journey. You may walk 5 minutes, sprint for 2 minutes, then jog for 5 again and then sprint some more, before slowing down to a brisk walk. This has proven to have positive effects on improving your heart rate as you put it through its paces.
But in American Football, there is a lot more standing around, and not so much of the different interval levels that you would get as suggested above. Sure, some players will cover a lot more distance, running to catch the ball before going to score a touchdown, they may run 90 yards to do so. But it is nothing compared to other sports.
What Sports Are Better?
Actual football (soccer) is much better for you. You’re constantly moving around, running up and down the pitch. This gets your heart rate going and will help you burn off more calories than you would walking around the field where you stop and start constantly.
Basketball is also another great sport. It’s excellent for a cardio workout, because again you’re constantly up and down the court. It can also help with your strength as well, especially playing on the streets, because the game is more physical so you have to stand strong so you don’t get knocked about, which will also help with your balance.
Heck, even tennis and swimming are better, because at least you move and work your muscle groups. Whereas many people playing American Football, may not even move. They may just block someone right away and that’s it, that is all they do for the entire game. Only walking on and off the pitch to switch between defense and offense or when players are swapped out due to under-performing.
So if anyone asks you if American Football is good for keeping fit. Remember, if you train like the athletes do then yes. But if you’re playing the game itself, definitely not. There are much better sports to both watch and play out there, that will bring you more enjoyment and be more beneficial to you if you want to stay fit or even improve your fitness levels.