Is Golf for Physical Exercise? Definitely!
Golf is great for your health. As a gentle and fun sport with no age barrier, golf is more physically rewarding than you would initially believe. Keep reading to find out more of the benefits to both your physical and mental wellbeing from this underrated activity.
How many kms do you walk in a round of golf?
It’s easy to be sceptical about how much exercise you can actually get in by hitting a few balls. You might immediately conjure up images of motorised carts transporting people around the course – not exactly the traditional idea of getting your heart rate up! However, if you ditch the cart, you can easily walk roughly 8-10km in a day! Obviously with a cart, this is far less. Of course, various factors contribute to the type of workout you will get in, too. Basically, golf is as exhausting as you wish to make it. The length of the course has an effect, but there is more to it than that. Retrieving the ball, walking up and down the green and even walking from the clubhouse all contribute to the overall physicality of golf.
Walking is one of the simplest, yet one of the most beneficial exercises you can do. Most people are not aware of the many health benefits associated with walking 30 minutes per day. If you really want to enjoy the benefits of this exercise, it’s best to walk at least 30 minutes a day, distraction free, and gradually increase the pace. Pick up your golf bag and you can have fun while you’re at it!
Strength & Flexibility
Aside from the walking aspect, you are also engaging your muscles. When you take a big swing there’s plenty of balancing, turning and twisting involved to give you an almost yoga style workout for your whole body. Also, do not underestimate the effect of carrying your bag around. Upper body strength is imperative for a great swing, therefore, incorporating a strength workout with the use of weights is a fantastic way to improve your performance on the green. A strength program will also help you to stave off fatigue and eventually preventing injury – particularly of the shoulder. Since Tiger Woods dominated the golfing scene in the 90s and 2000s, other competitors realised the importance of keeping their body in great shape for improved performance. Squats, pushups, lat pulldowns, cable wood chops and Russian twists are just a few examples of exercises you can add to your gym workout to increase your strength and performance.
Flexibility is highly important for your swing. Making an effort to warm up and cool down will greatly benefit your performance. Another option is to invest in a foam roller for any extra tightness. You want to keep your lower and upper body as loose as possible for optimum results. Buy an arm and thigh foam roller and use it to warm up before you hit the course. Flexible glutes are also critical because keeping a balanced swing depends upon it. You can include some hip flexor stretches and bridge exercises to improve these muscles.
Mental Health Benefits of Golf
While you can easily play golf solo, it really is a social sport as many people prefer to play in groups. This provides individuals with the opportunity to meet new people, make friends and enhance relationships. Additionally, forming human connections helps avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness.
The World Health Organisation found that positive interpersonal interactions and social participation are crucial protective factors from developing mental health problems. Mentally; getting in touch with nature and interacting socially is believed to reduce stress, while physically this keeps your blood pressure in check and reduces the chance of a stroke.
Furthermore, golf is far from ageist – anyone can join in! While it may be very difficult to become a pro at golf, it is relatively easy to be good enough to play 9 or 18 holes.
Overall, golf is brilliant for your physical and mental health. The fact it is so accessible adds to the appeal, as anyone can play it regardless of age or gender. You can make new friends or strengthen existing ones and if you aren’t very good you don’t have to worry about getting kicked off the team, as you can always play solo!
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