Fun & Fitness For Active Women

To lose weight and get in better physical shape, most women choose a cardiovascular activity like running. But researchers from the University of Copenhagen suggest a different approach for achieving both goals: Organized recreational sports.

Over the course of 2 years, scientists analyzed the fitness of 100 untrained women. Some participated in soccer clubs while others ran. Both trained for an hour per session twice weekly. Examined after 4 and 16 week study periods, the soccer players exhibited more impressive improvements in maximal oxygen uptake, muscle mass and physical performance.

The Bigger Picture: Despite the ability to run as a form of exercise pretty much whenever you want, it's harder to stick with over the long term. An organized sport like soccer is actually easier to manage because of the prescribed time of day for each practice and contest. Soccer also offers a social component that solo running doesn't. Best of all, the cutting, intermittent sprinting and tackling provide a valuable balance of strength and endurance conditioning.
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