Walking football is a sport that has become a huge hit amongst older fans and former players unable to run as they did in years past. According to the BBC, the game has saved lives and continues to do so each year. So, with the version of football only a few years old, what exactly is walking football?
Slowing down the game
Walking football consists of 11 players per team that must walk (oftentimes speed walk) to get to the ball, attack, and defend. The game is just as it is described by the name. Player do not run and are penalised if they do during a match.
The version of football was designed to give older and unfit individuals the chance to play and have an active lifestyle. Walking football is perfect for individuals regardless of their age and fitness levels.
It isn’t just physical health reasons as to why individuals play the game. It improves mental health and allows individuals unable to play the game at full-speed to take part. In addition, older men and women can participate and build social connections.
Harder than you think
Walking football may sound like a walk in the park, but it is quite challenging. Not only do you have to display the same football skills you would in a normal speed match, but you have to do it while walking. It is far harder than you think as muscle memory makes you want to run to the ball rather than walk.
The game actually improves your anticipation and agility as you must move to the ball quickly to intercept a pass or block a shot.
There are over an estimated 40,000 people in the United Kingdom alone playing the game each week. The number is staggering due to the game only reaching the public’s eye in the last few years.
What areas do walking football help improve?
- Mental health
- Creating social networks
- Increases social interactions
- Improves depression through friendship, and
- Provides weekly exercise regimes for regular players