It’s no secret that walking is good for your health – and what better place to walk than a golf course with its beautiful settings? Golf is game that can be played by people of all body types and athletic abilities.
Health and fitness experts advocate that taking 10,000 steps per day – the equivalent of 18-holes or five miles – will improve your overall fitness and help control your weight.
The World Golf Foundation and Golf 20/20 commissioned The Walker Research Group to identify and report on the body of literature pertaining to the health and wellness benefits of golf participation.
Below are the key findings and health-related benefits:
- A walked 18-hole round, carrying a bag or using a hand/pull cart, is approximately equal to a 5-mile walk.
- Regardless of handicap, gender, or course played, golfers exceed 10,000 steps during a typical round of golf – which meets the guidelines for exercise recommended by most medical and clinical physicians.
- The total caloric expenditure for an 18-hole round is approximately 2,000 calories for walking while carrying clubs and 1,300 calories when riding in a cart.
- Since walking is bio-mechanically more efficient than running, playing an 18-hole round of golf walking is roughly equivalent to a 3.5 to 4-mile run.
- When walking 18-holes of golf, blood glucose levels fall by up to 20-percent for the young, 10-percent for the middle-aged, and 30-percent for elderly players and body weight is slightly reduced for all groups.
- Repeated golf practice enhances balance control and confidence among all age ranges.
- Older golfers tend to have better static and dynamic balance control and confidence than non-golfing older, healthy adults.
Other ways to burn 1,300 calories:
- Strength training for 2 hours and 45 minutes
- Aerobic activity for 2 hours and 10 minutes
- Jogging on a treadmill for 2 hours and 10 minutes
Additional physical and mental health benefits to the game:
- Sunshine: when you are out playing a game of golf on a beautiful day, you get an adequate dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for building strong bones and good overall health.
- Sleep: people who exercise and work out are proven to sleep better at night. Exercise helps wear off excess energy helps you fall asleep faster and helps you stay asleep through the night.
- Social: golf is an entertaining sport you can enjoy with your family, friends and co-workers. The game is a way to bond with others and build connections with new friends.
- Oxygen: swinging a golf club is equivalent to doing at least 200 twists, allowing for an increased volume of oxygen flowing through the brain and body, simulating healthy cell function.
- Mental Stimulation: Golf helps to sharpen focus, develop cognitive skills and aid in strategic thinking. A 2003 study showed that brains of people with a low sense of worth were more likely to shrink than those with high self-esteem; shrinkage led to poor results on memory and learning tests. Golf gives you a sense of completion and a nice boost to your esteem.