People often ask the question ‘how old is too old for football?’. Let’s face it, the sport isn’t without its risks and, at the very highest level, it’s most certainly a young person’s game. However, if you feel as though time’s catching up with you and you’re worried that you’ll have to hang up your boots soon, you might be reassured by comments made recently by FA chairman Greg Dyke.
Anyone can get Involved
Commenting on his love of the beautiful game, the executive said that despite his advancing years, he still finds the time to play football. He also urged other people to do the same.
He added: “The FA faces big challenges to keep people playing, and we are stepping up our work on the facilities and coaching side – but let’s not forget the most important thing is to get a ball, find some mates and just have a go.”
Greg went on to state: “Fans who have forgotten that thrill of scoring a goal or making a tackle… could get so much out of taking part. Football brings people together, encourages healthy living and is, above all, fun. Everyone should join in with the nation’s favourite game.”
Of course, playing football is associated with certain injury risks, but it’s important to remember the health benefits associated with staying active too. For example, keeping fit can reduce your risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancer and it can help to boost your mood and give you more self-confidence.
Protecting Your Body
The important thing to remember is that as you get older, you need to take more care when you step onto the pitch. Football can take its toll on the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, joints and cartilage, and the risks increase with age.
This means it’s crucial that you protect your body from damage. For example, you should make sure you always warm up thoroughly before you play a game. Doing some extra stretches prior to getting involved in the action can speed up your recovery time afterwards. You should take care to stretch after games too.
Also, don’t be tempted to push yourself beyond your limits. If your body is telling you it’s tired or you start to feel pain, stop exercising. You should also try to stick to games that you feel comfortable taking part in. If you find yourself in the heat of the action among a lot of younger players, you might feel under pressure to overdo it.
As you get older, it’s more important than ever to use the right protective equipment too. For example, you should make sure you have good quality boots and shin pads. Your body won’t thank you if you take too many knocks. Luckily, it’s now simple to get hold of all the gear and clothing you need. You can order the products online from firms such as LeSports.
Reacting to Injuries
You should also be prepared to respond effectively if you do suffer an injury on the pitch. As soon as you notice discomfort, stop exercising. If you carry on, you risk causing further damage. Most minor injuries can be treated at home, but if think your case is more serious, seek medical advice.
It may take you a while to recover from the damage caused, and don’t try to rush this process as you could make the situation worse.
Listen to Your Body
There’s no specific age limit when it comes to playing football. The important thing is to listen to your body. Most likely, there’ll come a time when you don’t feel up to putting on your boots and going for a kick around. If this happens, you can always turn to less physically demanding activities like golf.