New five-a-side league hopes to help middle-aged men get fit and avoid the risk of a heart attack

New league
New league

A new competition is urging middle-aged men to take up five-a-side football to help them get fit and avoid a heart attack.

The new ‘Fat to Fit’ league is launching at the Peter Paine Performance Centre on February 7 and will look to be held every Wednesday.

Organisers of the competition say it could help those who hung up their boots years ago with their weight problems.

Although the league is open to anyone over the age of 16,’s Sam Taylor, said that the firm is hoping to reach out to those who may have fallen away from football over the years.

“It is fair to say that the majority of the teams that play outdoor 6 a side on 3G pitches are under-30.

“There seems to be a perception that small sided football is, in this country, a young man’s game. This year we plan to change that.”

The organisers point to research – which was conducted over a six month period in 2012 with males who suffered hypertension, a key factor in heart attacks – which found that men who played football saw their blood pressure levels drop, were at 90 per cent of their heart’s maximum rate for longer and increased their resting heart rate, compared to those that indulged in more recognised pursuits.

The study was conducted in part by Exeter University.

It 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 lost four pounds of body fat on average, and helped with hypertension by reducing blood pressure, improving fitness and burning fat.

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