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Group Exercise: Burn Calories Playing Flag Football

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Flag football is a group sport that engages your entire body. This high impact sport provides you with an intense cardiovascular workout. While out on the field, you will be running, sprinting and jogging and that is all in just one play. This fast-paced game requires constant high intensity actions that has you burning hundreds of calories per hour.

Consider Your Fitness Level

If you are out of shape or have never played football before, you may want to do a little preseason training. If you are not sure where exactly to begin, you can always consult your physician. By building your fitness pace, you can increase your fitness levels and help avoid potential injuries. A good option is to start a run/walk fitness plan where you slowly increase the amount of time you spend jogging followed by a brief walking interval. Aim to complete at least 30 minutes of a run/walk routine prior to your first flag football game.

When starting out, start playing two halves. Each half is 10 to 15 minutes in length. Build up to playing a full one-hour flag football game with four quarters that are 15 minutes each. A great place to practice your flag football skills before joining a local league is in the backyard or at a local park. You are able to observe the flow of the game in a non-threatening environment while still reaping all the caloric benefits.

What Is Your Goal?

When you are out there playing a flag football game, you are burning calories. Estimates show that a 145-pound person burns approximately 525 calories an hour out there on the field. To lose weight, you must create an environment where you consume fewer calories than you burn, or a caloric deficit. By combining flag football along with regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan, you can achieve and maintain your healthy weight.

For those flag football players who are interested in adding this group fitness activity but want to maintain their weight, the same principles apply. You must eat approximately the same number of calories per day as the number you burn.

The best way to reach either one of these weight goals is to keep a food diary. By tracking the foods you are consuming and their calorie content, you can quickly see if you need to be eating more or less depending on your goal.

Playing the Game

The rules to flag football are nearly identical to regular tackle football, except that each play wears a belt of flags around his or her waist. A player from the defensive team must pull off the flags from the offensive player with the ball to stop the play.

If you play 30 one-hour long flag football games a year, then a 145-pound person will burn 15,750 calories. This is equivalent to 4½ pounds.

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