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Playing flag football or tag football is an excellent way to exercise and stay in shape. While playing these alternatives to tackle football, you are constantly running, sprinting, tumbling and tossing the ball -- all in just one play. No matter at what level you play flag or tag football, you are bound to get a workout.
Playing flag or tag football is a way to prevent weight gain, muscle atrophy and medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. If you haven't played flag or tag football before, know the rules before playing. You'll need two teams of an equal number of players, typically five to eight. To gain control of the ball in flag football, you must remove the player's flags who is in control of the ball on the opposing team. In contrast, while playing tag football, you gain control of the ball by touching the player with the ball with both hands. A new play starts once a team scores a touchdown.
Getting a Workout
While playing flag or tag football, you alternate between various motions, from dodging players coming at you to being able to suddenly stop running and change your direction to avoid losing a flag or being tagged. Different player roles exercise different muscle groups. For example, when working defense versus offense, you will use different muscle groups for different techniques to help your team score. Offensive players can expect to exercise their calves, quad muscles and hamstrings as they run with the ball, while defensive players can expect to exercise their shoulders, biceps and triceps as they block and grab flags from opposite team players, as well as exercising various leg muscles.
When playing for fun, you have control over the intensity and rules of your game. Game play variations for flag and tag football can include altering rules for different age groups, such as requiring that each player touches the ball before a single player can handle the ball again, or that no individual player can score twice in a row. You can also request that there be a rule for time of ball possession, where a single player can only hold and run with the ball for a maximum before she must pass it off to another player.
Other Health Benefits
Not only will you build muscle mass while doing this fun form of exercise, you will become more agile, balanced and overall healthier in general. As you build muscle mass, you will better protect yourself from injuries as your bones and tendons will be more padded by your muscles. Combine this workout with a nutritional diet to feel and look better.
Before playing, complete a short warm-up by jogging and stretching your muscles to get your heart rate up to promote blood and oxygen circulation.
Do not play the game aggressively if you are not used to intense exercising or if you have medical conditions. You may cause injury, such as muscle strains, if you push your body too hard.
Stay hydrated before, during and after your game.