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Playing football can lower BP in women

Instead of just thumping your desks or pumping your fists even as you watch a World Cup football match on television, you should also get into some real action if reducing blood pressure is one of your concerns.

Playing football could help lower blood pressure in women aged 35-50, a study shows.

Women within this age group with high blood pressure achieved a significant reduction in blood pressure and body fat percentage through playing recreational football for 15 weeks.

"After 15 weeks of participation in recreational football, systolic and diastolic blood pressure had fallen by 12 and 6 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and the women had lost 2.3 kg of fat on average," said Magni Mohr from University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

"The football training produced an impressive reduction in blood pressure that was more than twice as big as with swimming performed over the same period as with football," Mohr said.

The study involved 41 untrained women aged 35-50 years of age with high blood pressure of around 140/90 mmHg.

"As well as the impressive effects on blood pressure and body composition, we also saw a drop in cholesterol and a big improvement in physical fitness as a result of the 15 weeks of football training," said Peter Krustrup, professor at University of Exeter in Britain.

The study appeared in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.

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