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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 16/08/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Were talking about a game that looks like rugby and goes by a name that the rest of the world uses for an entirely different sport.

Photo: Agencies

“So it’s called football but you don’t actually use your feet”

To most athletes outside of the good ole’ USA the concept of American football can seem bizarre or confusing at best. We’re talking about a game that looks like rugby and goes by a name that the rest of the world uses for an entirely different sport.

But its popularity is surprisingly vast around the globe and for many athletes football is the perfect all-body workout that helps increase flexibility heart rate and builds stamina. If you’re looking for a way to burn hundreds of calories an hour while enjoying all the benefits of an intense cardiovascular session this is one team sport that might surprise you with its countless health values.

But fitness was not something we particularly considered when playing it in our youth. Growing up in my neighbourhood every vacant street and field became a battleground to unleash our aggressions and partake in America’s favourite pastime. It was the sport of men and even though my friends and I barely had a whisker on our chins we gladly participated with mad fervour and excitement. Unfortunately the days of maniacally tackling each other to the ground are gone having been replaced with the safer alternative that is flag football made for adults.

The undeniable fact for all ageing athletes is that we simply can’t push our bodies the way we used to. We’re more frail and prone to injury something conventional football would undoubtedly exacerbate. With flag football (also known as touch football) body contact is at a minimum and you still get some great exercise while out on the field.

The rules to flag football are nearly identical to regular tackle football with each player wearing a belt of flags around his or her waist. Instead of bringing down the player holding the ball to bring an end to each play the defense simply has to rip the belt off. Each team will either run or pass the ball to score a touchdown and for the more outgoing in the group a victory dance or jig can be made in the end zone. It’s all part of that great American charm right

For anyone who has ever viewed the sport as overtly dangerous flag football provides all the fun without any of the risk. From muscle conditioning to increased energy American football is a great fast-paced way to embrace working out. If you and your friends have never really played the game yet it’s a perfect excuse to get out there and try something new. After all it’s as American as apple pie.

For details on the Emirates American Football League visit www.eafl.ae. For flag football leagues run by Duplays go to www.duplays.com


Khaleej Times

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