Exercise Goaaals: Working Up a Sweat for the World Cup

Soccer fan section
Playing soccer is one of the best forms of exercise. Watching soccer isn’t. But that’s because most people do it wrong.

Think you can just take a seat and drink? Not in D.C. United‘s fan sections, populated by the Screaming Eagles and La Barra Brava. The groups of devotees bang drums, wave flags and mock opposing team players with unwavering intensity. “There’s no sitting down. We enforce that rule,” promises Oscar Zambrana, founder of La Barra Brava.

The four-hour tailgates preceding the games probably negate most of the calorie burn, but it’s “absolutely a workout,” says Screaming Eagles founding president Matt Mathai. “At the end, you’re wiped out,” he adds.

If you’re catching World Cup games on TV, there’s no way to completely replicate the experience. “Although you could make a case that lifting bottles of beer is also good exercise,” Mathai jokes. But at home (or even in a bar) you can always get up and jump to capture that in-the-stands feel. Or copy Mathai and get on a treadmill during an exciting match-up. Half the game — and your workout — will be over in no time.

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