How to Get Fit Playing Football


Football is a team sport played between two teams of 11 or more players. The goal is to advance the ball down the field by running or throwing it to a receiver, until the opposing team’s players knock you down or take the ball away from you (which earns you six points) or until you run the ball into their end zone or over their line (which earns you three points).

At the beginning of each play, teams line up on opposite ends of a 100-yard playing field. An imaginary line called the line of scrimmage separates the offense from the defense. The offense’s center snaps the ball to the quarterback, who then can hand off or throw the ball to one of his teammates to gain yards. The wide receiver, for example, catches passes from the quarterback and also can take handoffs for rushing plays. The fullback is a lead blocker who also can run for yards and make catch plays.

The offensive line consists of left and right tackles, left and right guards, and center. These players protect the quarterback from defenders and also block defensive backs from the quarterback’s rushing teammates. During pass plays, the offensive line also tries to find open wide receivers who can receive the ball.

After a play, the team that has possession of the ball decides whether to try for an extra point by kicking the ball between the upright posts. If they kick it through the goal posts, they earn one point. Otherwise, they have to attempt another scoring play. The attacking team may also score a safety if they manage to tackle an opposing player with the ball while it’s in their own end zone.

A typical football game lasts about four quarters. Each quarter is separated by a 10-minute intermission. During the first half, teams change ends of the field at the end of each quarter. During the second half, they resume play from the spot on the field where they finished the previous quarter.

The repeated accelerations, sprinting and jogging involved in football help to build endurance, increase muscle strength, improve balance and coordination, burn calories and boost cardiovascular health. The game’s dynamic nature – it’s often stop-start and involves multiple changes in pace – also mimics interval training, which helps to increase oxygen intake, burn more fat and build long-term fitness. The game’s social aspect can also benefit a player’s mental health, by providing them with an opportunity to interact with other people and get some fresh air. This, in turn, can reduce stress and depression levels, as well as prevent aggressive behavior outside of the football pitch. For all these reasons, a number of studies show that football is a good option for overall exercise. It’s especially useful for those who are sedentary and looking to start exercising regularly. However, it’s important to remember that this type of activity should be complemented with a balanced diet and other exercises, such as weight training, yoga and pilates.