Golf for Your Health
Although golf is not as physically demanding as many other popular sports, it can still be an excellent way to get some exercise and improve your health.
Golf can involve a great amount of one of the best cardiovascular activities you can do -- walking. While there are many people who prefer riding around in a cart, taking the time to walk the course instead is good for your health. A scientific study measured the distance walked on a 9-hole course as about 2.5 miles. If you ride in a cart and walk only when you must on the same course, you will only walk about .5 miles.
The study also showed a significant difference in the number of calories burned, with the walkers burning over 300 calories more than riders. Some people believe that the extra time between shots that walking gives you can also improve your game. You have more time to think about the upcoming shot and contemplate which club to use than you would if you were riding in a cart.
How you transport your clubs can also affect the number of calories you will burn. Carrying your clubs over your shoulder burns more calories than using a push cart or a caddie, but either of those options will still burn quite a few calories.
Walking has many additional health benefits aside from burning calories. It is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise because it involves less impact on your joints than running. Walking regularly can increase your metabolism, help you lose weight, and lower your cholesterol. Walking up and down hills, which are very common on golf courses, also exercises the muscles in your legs. If you also carry your clubs, you will be building those leg muscles even more. While carrying your clubs may result in a better workout, it may not be beneficial to your actual game. The added stress on your shoulders and overall physical exertion can negatively affect your golfing ability. You can still get a good workout by transporting your clubs in a push cart.
In addition to the health benefits of walking, swinging your clubs and putting repeatedly are also good forms of exercise. The repetitive swinging motion will help you tone the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back. It is important to stretch properly before you start your game to avoid injuries that can be caused by overexerting tight muscles. With the correct preparation, you should be able to increase your flexibility and range of motion.
Many fans of the sport also believe that golf is good for your mental health. If you play the game often, a couple times each week, you will be exercising regularly. This type of exercise regimen can relieve stress and allow you to sleep better at night. Playing a game with friends is a great way to relax and socialize, which also reduces stress levels.
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