Golf is a fun and relaxing sport that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Unlike many common sports, golf doesn’t require running, wrestling or other overly physical efforts. Playing a round of golf allows you to relax the body and quiet the mind, all while focusing on improving skills that will increase the effectiveness of your game.
The Health Benefits of Golf
Golf is considered a low-impact sport which means it is easy on the joints and bones. This low-impact nature of the game makes it good for the elderly and those who are younger with certain health problems. A Swedish study concluded that walking 18 holes of golf equates to between 40 and 70 percent of an intense aerobic workout. Therefore, young, healthy people that play golf will want to participate in more rigorous sports or workouts in order to glean more cardiovascular, strength training and other benefits derived from more strenuous exercise.
Although golf isn’t an overly physical game, there are still healthy attributes that are derived from playing. Various criteria affect the health benefits of playing golf. The number of holes played, the pace by which you walk, and whether or not you use a golf cart or caddie are all variables that will determine the amounts of health benefits derived from playing the game.
Playing golf requires walking which is a healthy activity. On average, a golfer playing nine holes will burn 721 calories when walking and carrying a bag, 718 calories when walking and pulling a bag cart, 613 calories when walking and using a caddie and 411 when using a golf cart.
Walking 36 holes of golf a week will burn roughly 2,500-3,500 calories, depending on the layout of the course and other factors. For example, playing nine holes on a hilly course is equivalent to walking 2.5 miles on flat ground. Furthermore, studies have also concluded that the walking and exercise that golf provides reduces bad cholesterol levels while maintaining good cholesterol levels.
Women and Golf
Women have taken up the game of golf en masse over the past several decades and they, too, benefit from the game’s health benefits. As a matter of fact, women have caught on quite rapidly to the performance advantages gained through exercise and conditioning.
The physical traits of women are slightly different than their male counterparts and, therefore, their training regimens also vary slightly. Women tend to be more flexible than men and require less training in this area. However, females tend to gain less muscle mass and at a slower pace than males and so greater emphasis should be placed on strength training.
When it comes to muscle building, women normally form quadriceps in the legs more easily than other areas. However, the muscles used for good golf performance are hamstrings, glutes, abdominals, the lower back and shoulder girdle. Therefore, exercises that build these particular muscle groups should be stressed. Women should consider workouts such as various rowing exercises, good morning drills, variations of the deadlift and abdominal rotation exercises using kettlebells and medicine balls.
You can see more of this article in the June 2014 issue of ModelsMania