Walking football escalates in popularity as a safe form of exercise

Walking football has been steadily gaining popularity as a safe form of exercise for people of all walks of life. The ‘gentler’ version of football was originally developed specifically for older men.

However, the sport has struck a chord with both men and women and not just older footballers too! Ex-footballers, ex-athletes, people recovering from injuries, and those looking for an outlet for stress and depression, are also reaping the benefits of walking football.

During the last six years, walking football has undergone what has been described as a “meteoric rise” in popularity and prestige. In 2014, Barclay’s Bank ran its own Walking Football TV advertisement. A year later, walking football was introduced in the PA People’s Cup as part of the BBC’s ‘Get Inspired’ initiative. In 2017, the Football Association of Wales and UEFA including introduced a walking football competition in the celebration for the Champions League Final.

Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight

The Covid-19 pandemic has shone the light on different aspects of health and the importance of adapting a healthy lifestyle. One important way to protect and improve health is to maintain a healthy body weight.

Public Health England provides evidence-based insights on the relationships between excess weight and Covid-19. The report explores the links between weight status and Covid-19 outcomes and the effect obesity can have on respiratory function, metabolic dysfunction, the cardiovascular system, enhanced inflammatory response, and impaired response to infection.

Health Benefits of Walking Football

Regularly participating in walking football brings a number of health benefits to players. There is a growing body of demonstrable proof that this slower form of football can help build strength in bones, improve posture, increase core stability, improve balance and coordination, and decrease fat store by burning calories.

Other health benefits of the game include lowering blood sugars, normalising blood pressure, and strengthening the immune system.

Helping to Keep Older Men Younger than their Peers

Evidence shows that older men who have played football regularly throughout their lives have cells up to 11 years younger than their physically inactive peers. According to a study by a group of Danish researchers, men aged 64 to 80 who have played football regularly, have longer telomeres (an expression of the biological age of a cell) than their inactive counterparts.

Walking football, a significantly slower version of football, makes participation in the ‘beautiful game’ a viable option as players become older.

Increasing Popularity of Walking Football Highlights the Importance for Sports Clubs to have the Right Insurance in Place

With the escalating popularity of walking football and the resuming of the game as lockdown rules are eased and sports facilities open their doors to the public, it’s more important than ever that football clubs and leisure centres have the right insurance in place to protect everyone involved at the club.

If you need any information on Nelson Policies’ Sports, Social, Health and Leisure product, then get in touch with our Sports & Leisure insurance specialists

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