Seniors Find Ways To Stay Active With Walking Football

Soccer without running? Why this is actually a great idea.

As we get older, the hustle and bustle of life can become overwhelming. Even the most simple of life’s pleasures, like having an engaging conversation with a friend or taking a long peaceful stroll outside, begin to become rarities. And as we get into our elder years, the bustling and noisy outside world can make our lives feel disjointed and isolated. In an effort to improve the quality of life for our seniors, a new form of soccer has emerged. It’s called "walking football."

This new form of soccer was designed for seniors, to help them become active by getting them out of their homes and involved in a fun and sometimes competitive activity. The most important rule of the game is that there is no running allowed, thus the game's name. This rule exists to reduce the risk of injury while still increasing physical activity for the participants. In order to keep track of this critical rule, each player must have one foot touching the ground at all times to prove that he or she is walking and not running.

The absence of running does not prevent these soccer-loving seniors from getting the critical physical activity that they need. A study done on walking football found that participants lost weight, lowered their blood pressure, improved mobility as well as other health benefits from their increased activity. Not to mention, the game is extremely enjoyable and provides the benefits of social activity and having a lot of fun.

Walking football has rapidly expanded across Europe and has recently started to develop in Canada. There are currently more than 800 teams in the UK alone. Even some retired professional players such as Harry Kane, Geoff Hurst, Alan Shearer and Fabrice Muamba have given walking football their blessings.

A member of the Chesterfield Senior Spirites, one of the largest clubs in the UK, explained the reasoning behind the creation of the game as only a Brit could explain: "Soccer is in our blood, and we can still do it, sort of." Hopefully walking football continues to spread into the U.S. soon so our seniors can benefit too.

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