Figures provided by the Economic Development Board of South Australia suggest that the number of adults over the age of 65 will grow by 42% by 2030 and by 74% by 2050. Add to this the fact that South Australia was officially named Australia’s “fattest” state with 73.3% of adults overweight or obese. Combined, these statistics provide a worrying trend.

The good news is that training and keeping fit is not only very achievable but is positively encouraged by health professionals. How we choose to keep fit is entirely up to you. As we age, walks or bike rides provide suitable aerobic and conditioning exercise. The more adventurous may workout in the gym with weights and cardio machine. For those looking for something more team oriented, the latest keep fit activity for the older generation is walking football.

Why do we need to exercise as we get older?

As we age, it is important that we maintain a level of fitness through a workout programme or training regime. Not only is this essential for staying healthy but, it also helps to maintain a youthful body and mind.

If you allow the inevitable physical changes to go unchecked this will lead to serious health problems caused by being overweight or obese. Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that in 2017 63.4% of Australian adults are overweight or obese. There has been an 80% increase of obesity in the last 33 years.

Being overweight or obese means you are more likely to develop serious health issues like heart disease or stroke, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, diabetes or osteoarthritis.

Walking football for fitness

Walking football was introduced in England in about 2011 and is a slowed down version of the real game. This version of the sport is aimed at the older generation and encourages both male and female participants. Walking football is becoming increasingly popular in Australia and with it comes the health benefits.

Walking football allows older people to compete at a much slower pace and with a reduced risk of serious impact injuries, and on a smaller playing surface. Due to the low injury risk and increased health benefits like reduced body fat, improved blood pressure, improved resting heart rate and total cholesterol the sport enjoys growing popularity. You can track your own health improvements as you go along.

Precise numbers playing walking football in Australia are not known but, Over 50s Walking football leagues can be found from Melbourne to Victoria.

There is little doubt that training and exercising as you get older is important. Not only does it greatly reduce the risk from serious health problems but, it can also improve your physical and mental well-being.