On Your Health

Check back to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog for the latest health and wellness information for all Oklahomans, published three times a week.

Steps to Health: On the Golf Course

07/05/2016

Posted in

Tracing its roots back to the 15th century, golf has evolved from its beginnings in Scotland to a beloved worldwide sport enjoyed by millions. Golf lives up to its “lifetime sport” reputation, as it can be enjoyed by players of almost any age. Golf may not be top-of-mind when considering physically demanding sports, but we hit the course for an afternoon and experienced a solid, demanding workout.

Am I really getting good exercise playing golf?

We typically consider golf to be a leisurely, relaxing activity. Riding around in a motorized vehicle, swinging a club a few dozen times – how much exercise could we possibly be getting? As it turns out, quite a lot: especially if you play sans cart. Playing 18 holes on an average 6,500-yard course can take between three and five hours, depending on pace, and on our afternoon outing, we clocked more than 10,300 steps. That’s about 4.6 miles — well over the recommended daily step count. information about steps walked on golf course

Why is golf good for my health?

Golf can exercise the mind as well as the body. Not only does golf offer physical benefits, the mental health benefits from golf can have a positive effect on your well-being. The game requires both concentration and problem-solving skills, while also offering relaxation and meditation while spending time outdoors, breathing fresh air. Regardless of whether you use a cart to get around the course, playing golf requires a substantial amount of walking, often over hilly terrain. Take away the cart, and the cardiovascular benefits of the game increase. Your heart rate stays higher as you walk the course and carry your gear, and during several hours of play, an average person can burn between 1,300 and 2,000 calories per round. Swinging the club incorporates both strength training and balance. Your core muscles, including the abdominals, lower back and quads, can be strengthened by practicing proper swinging form.

Golf is a full-body workout

Spending an afternoon on the course is a great way to get in a full-body workout this summer, for players of any age. Be sure to protect your skin from harmful UV rays with sunscreen, and hydrate often. End your round of golf with a stretching session to help with muscle recovery.  For more ways to increase your step count, go exploring and make the most out of your daily activities, check out our Steps to Health archives.

Subscribe to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog

Subscribe for weekly emails full of useful and interesting Oklahoma-centric health and wellness info, from the doctors and health experts at INTEGRIS.