Walking Football – a winning sport for over 50s
05 July 2016
With well over 400 Walking Football teams currently playing nationwide this new sport, designed to get over 50’s out of their comfy armchairs and back into exercise, is proving to be a real winner. I have witnessed this in my Yate practice where several patients have started playing in and around the Yate/Chipping Sodbury area. Many of these players had thought that their playing days were over and had ‘hung up their boots’. Now, the mental and physical rejuvenation of playing the beautiful game again is all too easy to see.
Walking Football crazy
The game really took off a couple of years ago when it featured in a Barclays advert. The benefits are almost too many to list but obviously include having fun and a laugh. An increased release of happy hormones such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine has been shown to have so many positive health benefits. A quick squirt of adrenaline released by the body during a competitive game can also create some positive stress within the body too (more of that in a separate blog). And let’s not forget the significant benefits of exercising the heart and lungs (cardiovascular), and improvement to balance, co-ordination, bone strength, muscle tone.
Team work is good for you
Many men who have previously felt isolated have been drawn to join a team and a have regular kick around. All too often activities such as tea dances and sit down exercise classes are dominated by women and shunned by men. There’s plenty of opportunity for some friendly, sporting banter too. With the European Cup well under way there’s bound to be another growth spurt for the sport.
Spread the word
Some of my patients were mindful to run the idea past me soon after starting playing, just to check they were safe to do so. I was delighted to be able to really encourage them and am also delighted to be able to spread the word to other patients too. Here are links to some useful websites where you can find out more.