New teams sought for Grimsby league
A GRIMSBY five-a-side league is encouraging middle-aged men to get involved – and stay healthy.
Leisure Leagues chiefs, who operate a competition from the West Marsh Community Centre, believe playing the sport will help men keep fit and avoid health problems.
A recent study conducted by Exeter University suggests there are benefits of playing five-a-side football for middle-age men.
People who hung their boots up years ago are being urged to take up the sport again and join their local league, which is based at the Armstrong Street venue.
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The research – which was conducted over a six-month period in 2012 with males who suffered hypertension, a key-factor in heart attacks, found that men who played football saw their blood pressure levels drop.
They were also at 90 per cent of their heart's maximum rate for longer, and increased their resting heart rate compared to those who took part in other activities.
Professor Peter Krustrup, who led the study, found that men aged 33-54 who carried on with the game had better health results than those that just went to the gym.
In addition, it also found that middle-aged men playing football lose four pounds of body fat, on average.
Krustrup said: "Playing soccer scores a hat-trick for men with hypertension – it reduces blood pressure, improves fitness and burns fat."
Leisure Leagues, Europe's largest provider of small-sided football, has started a campaign to attract lapsed footballers back to the game.
Executive manager Chris Rowntree said: "At Leisure Leagues, we pride ourselves on running the best leagues in the UK.
"We are very proud that our leagues are open to everyone who is 16 or over, regardless of ability and gender.
"However, it is fair to say that the majority of our teams are under 30.
"There seems to be a perception that five-a-side football is, in this country, a young man's game. This year we plan to change that."
The league features qualified referees, a fully interactive website and quality equipment.
Anyone who wants to join the league – young or old – can enter via the website at www.leisureleagues.com