Football Australia Walk2Perform+
Football is associated with positive health benefits and using football is a method in keeping people of all ages active. Football can be very effective in reducing illness and disease during life (1). Walking Football is a modified version of football, designed to keep people of all ages, active and involved in football longer. Participants are restricted to only walking during the match, with teams of 5 or 6 players on a smaller field, reducing the intensity of the match. Importantly, Walking Football has been associated with potential health benefits, including lowering body fat, body fat % and increased time to exhaustion (2). Walking Football has also been shown to be intense enough to achieve positive physical outcomes for people over the age of 50 years, when performed 2x/week (3), in addition to having positive mental health benefits (4).
Football Australia has designed a Walking Football specific program to assist players to participate safely, whilst also aiming to improve everyday function for the older person. The Walk2Perform+ program is a 3-component program consisting of a Warm Up and Cool Down, to be done at the session with the Move+Perform section, to be completed at home. The 3 to 5 minute Warm Up is designed to prepare the player for Walking Football and is similar to the Football Australia Perform+. It includes simple and controlled movements that will be performed in a Walking Football match whilst increasing muscle temperature enough to reduce injury risk. The Move+Perform is designed to be performed at home 2-3x/week and includes strengthening, balance and mobility exercises that have been shown to reduce falls risk and assist in improving general function for everyday activity (5). All exercises should only be performed without pain, built up slowly and with support as needed. The exercises in the Move+Perform section are designed to be done away from the field and highlights that being involved football can be a vehicle to promote health and well-being to increase the performance of everyday tasks. As always, if in doubt, check with your health professional prior to beginning any new exercise task.
- Krustrup P. Football is medicine: it is time for patients to play! Br J Sports Med 2018;52:1414-1414.
- Arnold JT, Bruce-Low S, Sammut L. The impact of 12 weeks walking football on health and fitness in males over 50 years of age. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med 2015;1:e000048.doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2015-000048.
- Harper LD, Field A, Corr LD, Naughton RJ. The Physiological, Physical, and Biomechanical Demands of Walking Football: Implications for Exercise Prescription and Future Research in Older Adults. J Aging Phys Act. 2019 Dec 10:1-11. doi: 10.1123/japa.2019-0330. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31825890.
- Dominic Taylor & Andy Pringle (2021) Investigating the effect of walking football on the mental and social wellbeing of men, Soccer & Society, DOI: 10.1080/14660970.2021.1967933
- Sherrington C, Fairhall N, Wallbank G, et al. Exercise for preventing falls in older people living in the community: an abridged Cochrane systematic review. Br J Sports Med 2020;54:885-891.
|Walking Football Perform+ (Full Program)||Full Walk2Perform+ program including Warm Up, Cool Down, and at-home conditioning|
|Walking Football Perform+ Two In One Program Document (Warm Up/Cool Down and Separate Move+ Perform session guide)||Session 1 guide (page 1 - warm up and cool down) + session 2 guide (page 2 move+ peform)|
|Laws of the Game||Rules and laws of the game. Learn how the game is played|
Below you'll find video guides on specific Walk2Perform+ sessions which includes:
- Warm Up
- Cool Down
*All sessions have been designed so that they can be performed in the comfort of your own home or backyard