As a full-contact sport, rugby is often in the headlines for the wrong reasons. There are, however, many health benefits from taking part in the game.
The medical profession has been quick to recognise this and its impact on public health.
In rugby, players face a number of physical challenges in a game involving a variety of demands on their bodies. These can include aerobic activities involving sprints and longer running stretches as well as anaerobic and strength exercise at mauls and set piece scrums.
Coaches and individuals can access rugby training drills at sites such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/rugby. Here is a look at just a few of the benefits.
As a team sport, rugby gives a sense of purpose and provides the benefits associated with teamwork and a feeling of belonging. Increased confidence and self-respect are also aspects of the character-building benefits of the sport. The physical activity also leads to a release of endorphins, adding to a sense of wellbeing and aiding sleep. Stress levels can be reduced as players learn from experiences during the game to take off-field to tackle any issues affecting them.
Playing rugby enhances the cardiovascular system by improving lung and heart delivery of oxygen to muscles in the body. Players are constantly on the move during a game, giving a balance of interval training and cardio workout.
Agility at the lineout or during the game are key elements for a player. Hand-eye co-ordination when passing, along with the ability to change direction at pace, mean that the body’s flexibility is constantly being tested and improved.
Tackling and passing, along with scrum and lineout work, improve upper body strength. Meanwhile, leg muscle groups get a workout because of the constant running and sprinting required in a game as well as the power lines executed during scrummaging. Because much of the training involves explosive power, rugby is a great way to develop lean muscle and lose fat from the body.
There is evidence that bone density increases with rugby training as it imposes stress on the bones, encouraging increased deposits of calcium. The benefits of this can be felt well after you stop playing and may help you avoid osteoporosis later in life.