Being More Aware of Our Health When Playing Soccer

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

The excitement of the 2014 FIFA World Cup was felt all over the world, and as one of our favorite pastimes, us Latinos celebrated the world cup with friends and families. Soccer is not only entertaining for all age groups, but it also offers health benefits to those who play it. According to the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), practicing the sport helps to improve the health of both young players and old, preventing diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.

Keeping a healthy nutrition
There is nothing more fun than getting together with friends to watch our favorite sports. However, during these gatherings the level of physical inactivity is at its minimum and we are more focused on sitting down and eating snacks. “It is important to offer healthy food choices during these get-togethers that complement a healthy diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts,” said Russ Bennett, vice-president of Latino Health Solutions from UnitedHealthcare. “A great alternative is to switch a creamy spinach dip for a light seven layer dip, which recipe you can obtain from your smartphone by visiting There you can choose from over a hundred delicious and healthy recipes that you can enjoy during the World Cup matches.”

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Remember to hydrate
When we play soccer, or any other sport, it is important to keep hydrated due to the amount of water loss that our body experiences through sweating. According to FIFA, keeping yourself hydrated during a soccer match helps prolong the individual’s resistance and, for this reason, it is important to establish water breaks during practices and offer water to players during warm-up and half time.

Don’t overdo it
Even though playing soccer can be fun, it is important to be aware of how much physical activity your body can take. These levels vary according to the individual, which is why each person should know their resistance. Exaggerating in the amount of exercise that we do can result in lesions that may keep us from practicing the sport in the future.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Protect yourself from the sun
If your team decides to play outdoors, remember to use sunblock to prevent skin cancer. “Many Hispanics work many hours under the sun,” said Raul Berrios, president of the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA). “That’s why they believe they are not at risk. The truth is that it is important for them to use sunblock every day to protect themselves, especially if they spend additional time practicing an outdoor sport.”

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