When you think of exercise, you might imagine running a few miles or sweating through weight-lifting reps at the gym. But is golf good exercise? The answer is a resounding yes. Even though you may not realize it, golf is a total body workout. It can improve overall muscle tone and support heart health by raising your heart rate and promoting blood flow.
Playing golf also leads to improvements in balance and provides brain stimulation. Golf can play an important role in weight management when combined with a healthy diet, and best of all, it is an enjoyable activity. Read on for a more in-depth answer to the question "Is golfing good exercise?"
How Is Golf Exercise?
Many golfers have already discovered the fitness benefits of gameplay at least once every week to get an enjoyable total body workout. As with all exercise, you will need to golf consistently to reap health benefits. Golf counts as exercise in four different ways:
- Cardiovascular exercise
- Strength training
- Brain stimulation
Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise refers to exercise that strengthens the heart and lungs. It's the type of exercise that burns the most fat and lowers the risk of diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that adults should get at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise that is of moderate intensity every week. So is golf an aerobic exercise? It is if you ditch the cart and walk the course at a brisk pace. Even the CDC states that walking is one of the best ways to get in your aerobic exercise. On a typical course, walking for 18 holes is the equivalent to walking five miles, and depending on your weight and the pace you walk at, it may burn up to 2,000 calories.
Unfortunately, an estimated two-thirds of all golfers use a cart, and some facilities require their use. You'll need to break from the norm and do some research to find walking-friendly courses if you want to get your cardio from golf.
Cardio isn't the only type of exercise needed for health and well-being. The CDC also recommends that all adults complete at least two to three strength-building exercise sessions per week. But because of the length of time you spend on the golf course, one weekly 18-hole round is likely all you need. When you swing a golf club, you don't just use your arms and shoulders. You also engage the muscles in your back and core and rely on your legs. This means you get a tiny full-body workout with every swing.
Many people ask, "Is hitting golf balls good exercise?" From a strength training perspective, the answer is yes. Going to the driving range and hitting a couple of buckets of balls allows you to work out all of your major muscle groups. The only thing missing from exercise at the range is the cardiovascular component. However, strength training carries health benefits on its own. It can:
- Make your muscles stronger and less susceptible to injury
- Improve your bone density as you age
- Increase your coordination and balance
- Enhance your mobility
Getting into the habit of playing golf can help you maintain your muscle tone as you age, helping you to remain strong and independent for longer.
Another major exercise benefit of golf is improving balance. To maintain the proper form to accomplish various kinds of shots, you must keep your body in perfect alignment. This enhances your center of body strength, and by developing your core, you can improve your balance.
When compared to having more defined muscles, a stronger heart and a trimmer physique, being more balanced may not seem so impressive, but you shouldn't underestimate its occurrence. Each year more than 3 million people visit emergency rooms because of fall injuries, and one out of every five falls results in a serious injury like a broken bone. Falls are also the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries.
Improving your balance dramatically reduces your risk of falls. Although this is most beneficial for older adults, people of all ages can benefit from improved balance. Improved balance can also reduce your risk of suffering from knee and ankle injuries, enhance your posture to reduce back pain and enhance your appearance.
Golf doesn't just work out your body. It also strengthens your mind. Lining up your shots, strategizing, choosing clubs and maintaining form all require incredible concentration. The American Alzheimer's Association reports that mental activities can go a long way toward reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Physical exercise has also been shown to support overall brain health.
With golf, you can get the benefits of brain stimulation, aerobic exercise, strength training and balance improvements all at once while enjoying fresh air and a sport you love. Playing golf with others may also support your mental health and sharpen your mental acuity.
Golf Is More Than A Game, It Is A Way Of Life
Because of all the above reasons, you can see that the answer to the question "Does golf count as exercise?" is a definite yes. Now, you have one more reason to get on the course and play a round. Golf truly is more than just a sport. It is a way of life that allows you to feel and look your best while challenging yourself to constantly improve.
Devereux can help you stock up on apparel and accessories for the golf style. Our clothing is made from lightweight, breathable materials and designed to give you a fuller range of motion for comfort on and off the course. In addition, we design everything with durability in mind to ensure that you can wear it again and again.