Despite what you might think, golf is not just a workout for retired men, and it is by no means a gentle exercise. In reality, golf incorporates cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and even balance and coordination. It’s also a low-risk injury sport, which is probably why it’s safer for older players to take it up. Read on to find out why you should take up golf and why it should be your next fitness craze.
There is a lot of evidence that walking is good exercise, and golf involves a lot of walking. Most golf courses span across multiple acres of hilly terrain. With 18 holes, the average golf course is between 5 and 8 miles, so you are guaranteed a good workout if you keep a brisk pace between holes. Not to mention how many calories you’ll burn. With all the walking, carrying and swinging involved, golfers can burn up to 1000 calories in a single game.
Once you take up golfing, some side effects from the regular movement include an improved mood, a reduced risk of chronic disease, your legs will look fantastic, and your jeans might feel a little more loose. Remember, this only applies if you don’t take the cart.
Swings Build Strength
Even without weighted clubs, repeated swinging can build up arm strength. Your lower body gets strength training in the form of the aforementioned walking; trekking up those hills is sure to work the quadriceps and hamstrings. Additionally, carrying your own clubs counts as a weight bearing exercise and when used in conjunction with walking you will cause your heart to beat faster and increase calorie burn. If this sounds like to much strength training to take on at once, then just focus on the walking and your golf swing. However, you should also learn more about push carts before you buy one in the hopes of easing your strength training.
It may not be as obvious as a yoga workout, but golf does involve a great deal of balance. When you first learn how to play golf, your instructor will go over your stance so that you don’t fall over while you swing a club high above your head. Training to achieve the proper balance engages your core abdominal muscles, as well as the muscles of the lower back and even the buttocks. These muscles work together to help prevent back pain, falls and a number of other dangerous occurrences.
Improved Mental Health
Studies show that social interaction with others increases our self-esteem and happiness, and golf is one of the most social sports activities you can do. It can widen your social circle, lift depression, and improve your overall mental health.
The more physical activity you do, the easier you find it to sleep at night. Golf incorporates a lot of muscles, takes a lot of concentration, and the players absorb a lot of Vitamin D when they spend time outside. As a result, golfers are more able to sleep soundly without being interrupted by insomnia.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.