It’s never too late to start playing soccer and reap the health benefits, according to a new study.

Researchers from Denmark monitored a group of men between 63 and 75 years of age who took up soccer for the first time and looked at the effect playing soccer had on their bodies.

“The study revealed that inactive elderly men improved their maximum oxygen uptake by 15% and their performance during interval exercise by as much as 50% by playing football for 1 hour two times per week over 4 months. Moreover, muscle function was improved by 30% and bone mineralization in the femoral neck increased by 2%,” says lead researcher Professor Peter Krustrup.

“The remarkable improvements in aerobic fitness and muscle strength make it easier for the players to live an active life and overcome the physical challenges of everyday life such as climbing stairs, shopping, cycling and gardening,” says Krustrup.

There’s also good news for life long soccer players.

Previous studies by the Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health found that lifelong soccer players who still play the sport in their 70’s, “possess a postural balance and rapid muscle force that is comparable to that of 30-year-old untrained men”.

Looking for a champion soccer workout? Try The Lionel Messi Workout, to increase your soccer skills.