Kicking a soccer ball in sand burns more calories than on other surfaces.
Medioimages/Photodisc/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Kicking a soccer ball around helps improve your coordination, and it's a useful way to get some exercise, too. You don't have to play soccer competitively to reap the benefits. which include improving endurance and getting your heart rate up. The fact that you're moving means that even casually kicking the soccer ball around increases the energy you expend, and you'll be burning calories while you're doing it.
You'll definitely burn calories while you kick a soccer ball, but the number you burn depends on a few factors, and can vary from person to person. Aspects such as how intensely you're working, your weight and level of fitness can all affect the number of calories burned from kicking a soccer ball.
On average, you'll about 7 calories a minute kicking a soccer ball. However, the more you weigh, the more calories you'll burn compared to a lighter person giving it the same effort. A 130-pound person burns about 5.9 calories per minute casually kicking a soccer ball around, compared to the 9.3 calories burned by a person weighing 155 pounds. A 190-pound person will burn around 11.5 calories per minute during casual play.
Get Into the Game
Taking it up a notch by kicking a soccer ball during a competitive game will burn more calories, but people of lighter weights will really see the extra calorie burn. According to ShapeFit.com, a person who weighs 130 pounds will burn almost 2 more calories a minute more by increasing the intensity. Yet the player's heavier counterparts still burn the same number of calories whether they're playing casually or more aggressively. Matt Siaperas, owner and personal trainer at Hardbodies Gym in Idaho, says that this is because heavier people have to expend more energy than lighter people in order to increase the amount of calories they burn. Even though they're increasing the intensity from casual kicking, if they're only putting the same effort into it as their lighter friends, the amount of calories burned won't go up until they take the intensity up even further.
Kick It Anywhere
A considerable benefit to burning calories by kicking a soccer ball is that you can do it just about anywhere. Kick the ball around in the back yard or take your soccer ball along to the park to kick around by yourself, with a friend or with the kids. You can even play at the beach. Beach soccer is a fairly new version of the classic game, having been played informally for years but finally organized officially in the 1990s, according to Tom Dunmore's 2011 book "Historical Dictionary of Soccer." The bonus is that you'll burn a few more calories running and kicking the soccer ball in the sand because it's more challenging to maintain your balance on the soft, uneven surface. Sam Murphy's 2003 book "Run for Life: The Real Woman's Guide to Running" says that the sand can increase your calorie burn by up to 26 percent, while also improving your balance and agility.