If you think of golf as a leisurely stroll around a course for a few hours, then you may well be under a misapprehension. Any form of exercise that increases blood flow and raises heartbeat has a positive effect on the body.
For most people that aren’t “in the know”, they just assume that golf is not the type of activity that can get you in shape. Many stereotypes of the game consist of older, wealthy folks dressed in knickers and other various types of golf apparel.
While there is some fun to be had with those stereotypes, it simply is not the truth of the matter. We will dive into the topic below and find out more about whether or not golf can really help you get in shape.
Playing 18-Holes Is Physically Challenging, but Can Golf Get You Ripped?
The typical round of golf usually consists of walking between 3 and 6 miles, longer for those who spend much of their day in the rough looking for lost balls! A certain level of fitness and stamina is required to manage these kinds of distances several times a week (if you’re lucky)
Walking briskly between holes is a great way to get the heart pumping, especially if you carry your own clubs. Overall, golf is an excellent way to get in shape, lose weight and body fat, and maintain a healthy heart, body, and mind.
Is Golf Good Exercise? Golf Health Benefits
Playing golf regularly gets you physically in shape and helps you to stay fit. Obviously, the more times you play per week, the more beneficial it is to your health.
Golf shouldn’t be relied on solely to keep you in shape, but, combined with a good diet, it is a huge contributing factor to a healthy lifestyle.
One of the best, and most underrated forms of exercise is walking. The World Health Organization recommends everyone should walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.
You might be happy to know that 18-holes exceeds this amount, and that’s not including the walk from the car or up to the 19th hole.
Playing all 18-holes uses between 10,000 and 20,000 steps, depending on the course and shot dispersion.
Is Playing Golf a Good Way to Lose Weight?
The combination of swings and legwork between holes causes the body to burn calories. On average, males burn up to 2.5k per round, females burn approximately 1.5k calories.
Put simply, if you burn off more calories than you put into your body, you lose weight and excess body fat that contribute to cholesterol-related issues.
Did you know that hitting 100 balls on the driving range can burn 200-300 calories, pulling a cart around a course burns even more?
Does Golf Build Muscle?
We need strong muscles to protect our joints. The golf swing gives shoulders, chest, and triceps a good workout; these are the muscles that contribute most to an excellent swing action.
Strong muscles improve flexibility and stability in the body – both vital components for good golfing.
Pulling or carrying clubs is another way to build muscle tone; sack the cart and work your way into good shape!
Good heart health…
Any form of exercise is good for the health of your heart; even endurance exercise such as golf.
For the heart to work most efficiently, we should encourage it to pump harder and faster. The brisk walk between holes or the several practice swings you take does just this.
Fast blood flow builds and strengthens the heart’s muscles, which, in turn, lower the risk of heart disease and cardio-vascular problems.
A healthy heart also has less probability of concerns raised by ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.
Is Golf Good for Mental Health?
Golf doesn’t only help get our bodies in shape, it also keeps our minds in good check. Here’s how:
- Physical activity is a proven treatment in the battle against depression. Mix that with sunshine, fresh air, and nature, and symptoms may ease, given time.
- Regular social interaction aids confidence, anxiety, and low self-esteem, especially for those that live alone. Regular rounds of golf with a group of friends can release dopamine into the bloodstream, resulting in an overall feeling of happiness and well-being.
- Stress levels lower significantly while out on the golf course; good company and closeness to nature help.
- Improved concentration and coordination are results of spending lots of time on the golf course; both of which as recognized as signs of good cognitive health.
The Benefits of Getting Into Shape by Playing Golf
A round of golf is an enjoyable experience, even more so if you’re playing well. Few people find fun in a cardio session on a rowing machine.
Playing 18-holes Doesn’t Feel Like Exercise but Has Positive Health and Well-Being Effects.
- Regular walking at a good pace reduces the chances of heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol-related disease.
- It is never too late to start playing golf and getting into shape. Golf is accessible to all ages and people from all walks of life.
- Vitamin D from the sun’s rays is vital for strong and healthy bones – just don’t forget to wear sunscreen.
- Playing golf at least twice a week improves stamina. The more often you play, the easier it becomes to complete the course without aching or feeling breathless.
- Golf doesn’t only help to burn fat, lose weight, and get your body in shape, it also focuses on your mind. Calculating and concentrating on the shot in hand is great for cognitive wellness, and spending time outdoors is an excellent mood enhancer.
There are physical fitness benefits for those that rely on a cart to navigate the golf course. There is still lots of walking involved, and all that swinging gets the blood flowing.
But, for golf to get you into shape quicker, ditch the cart if possible, and get walking briskly between holes.
We also recommend the Body for Golf program here.
An hour in the gym lifting weights or on a running machine increases the heart rate, burns excess fat, resulting in weight loss and improved fitness.
Golf can get you in shape; it might not be so high-impact or have such rapid results, but those who play regularly notice gradual change and improvement.
If the thought of walking around 6-miles twice or more a week is too daunting, aim lower. Find a decent pitch and putt/par 3 course, preferably with some inclines, and begin there.
Progress to playing 9-holes; in little time you will notice an overall improvement in fitness, stamina, and strength. You are now ready to carry your clubs around 18-holes – as often as you can get away with!
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Til next time, hit em straight!