Meet a never-say-die athlete and get to hear his story. He’s tough, strong and endures all challenges. He is in good shape because every time he competes, he covers enormous amounts of ground for hours. He is in touch with nature and fresh air. He can play for a team, with a partner or by himself. The challenges he faces are both mental and physical. Through practice, the athlete is prepared for both.
The athlete is a golfer.
Believe it or not, the average round of golf requires a golfer to walk 3 miles or more. That means that a golfer burns just as many calories in a round of golf as a player does in a 60-minute football game. It may sound incredible, but it’s true. Golfing doesn’t require the high-stress levels of contact sports on bones and joints either.
Besides the lessened levels of physical stress, golf relieves mental and emotional anxiety. Golf requires mental concentration that disciplines and focuses the mind. Golf improves balance and coordination, especially among older players. Golfers can focus better on tasks, and their hand-eye coordination is better than non-athletes.
The key to losing weight by playing gold is, obviously, not using a gold cart. Adding the weight of the clubs by carrying them around the course is a physical challenge that not many people can bear. The clubs can weigh as much as 50 pounds. Once the weight of the clubs is factored in with walking, gold becomes an aerobic activity. On average, golfers who play 3 to 4 times per week burn enough calories from walking to lose a little over 1 pound per week or 52 pounds per year.
Gary Player once noted that the best way to solidify weight loss and make it a true fitness component.
There are more benefits…
Probably the most overlooked part of a fitness regimen anchored in golf is the benefit that golfing brings to the back and legs. The golf swing is one of the few movements in any sport that require every muscle in the back to work. Every time a golfer makes a swing, all of his back muscles are used.
A golfer’s hands and wrists become very strong after taking up the sport. As a baseball player, wrist motion, and proper technique are essential for a wining golfer.
Golf is a proven way to sleep better and rest. Spending three or four hours on a golf course, conversing with a group of golfers and carrying clubs around raises the heart rate and strengthens the heart.
It lowers blood pressure by increasing circulation from walking the course.
It is always important to remember that golf alone will help a person reach part of their fitness goals. The other parts come from proper eating and nutrition habits.
Although the golfer is often overlooked when fans list the sports that require athletic fitness, the health benefits of golf are scientifically proven and time tested.