Golf is often referred to as a gentle sport that does not require any great degree of, nor give any great degree of fitness. It is a sport associated with retirement and expense, and not fitness regimes.
However, that does not mean that golf has no fitness benefits, that it can’t be used as part of a healthy fitness regime. Golf could very well be a genuinely good workout, help you get fitter, and aid in weight loss too.
So with that in mind let’s take a look at the possible fitness benefits of golf, and how exactly they can help us keep in shape.
Is golf a good workout? Golf is not only good for your body it is also good for your mind. Golf undoubtedly is a gentle way to keep in shape and one that anyone can participate in. It is also great fun and extremely rewarding as you build upon your level of skill and fitness.
Taking A Walk
It’s a well-known fact that walking is considered to be a great form of exercise. In fact, it is believed that brisk walking (4 mph) for just 10 miles can burn of approximately 1000 calories. 150 minutes of this moderate-intensity form of exercise is recommended per week to help reduce chances of a heart attack and strokes.
As most golf courses are spread over acres of land, playing golf is a great way to walk for at least 4 miles over the 18 holes. Of course, however, this walking is not done all at once, pauses are made to play holes before continuing to walk on. Still, it is believed that 800 to 900 calories are burned over the 4 miles walked with a little help from the swinging of clubs.
It should be noted, however, that if you use a golf cart, the distance you walk will be at the least halved. That is not to say that you get no benefit from using a cart at all, as doing something is always better than doing nothing when it comes to exercise.
Using an electric golf trolley like the one cheapest ones we could find here! Will reduce the amount of physical energy used in a game of golf. If you struggle with any aches and pains carrying your bag. Then this is a sensible option.
Strength Training Your Body
Believe it or not, there is a lot of strength training involved in the sport of golf. Swinging your clubs would be the most obvious example of this, although perhaps not the best one, as this really is low impact activity.
Rather, the main way you will build up your strength, and hence fitness, with golf is by walking the hills and valleys. This will work your quadriceps and hamstrings which help to make up the muscles of the lower body.
Also lifting your golf bag in and out of the car and carrying it around with you all day will help build up your strength. This type of strength training is great for the upper body.
Building Up Your Balance
Classed as one of the best forms of exercise in golf, balancing your body is difficult to achieve, but essential for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it helps you to build up a very strong core, and secondly, it helps you avoid injuries.
The core of your body includes abdominal muscles as well as those of the lower back and buttocks. These muscles work together when the perfect balance is achieved, to prevent back pain, falls, and other dangerous occurrences.
A Mental Work Out
Whilst a physical work out is great for your level of fitness, it is not the only kind of work out you should be getting. Mental exercise is also essential to prevent brain degradation which can result in memory loss.
Golf is the perfect way to avoid this by exercising your brain. This is because it forces you to remember numbers, images, tips, and playing techniques. It is a great sport to play from a strategic and technical point of view, as well as a physical one.
Many new golfers and mid-handicap players struggle to stay focused and ignore all the distractions around them. Read all about DISTRACTION on the golf course and how to blank it out.
Swinging Your Clubs
We already know that swinging your clubs teamed with walking the golf course are of huge benefit to fitness levels. However, what about swinging your golf clubs alone? Does this activity have any kind of cardiovascular benefit, and if it does, well, how much?
Research undertaken has shown that in order to get any real benefits from ‘swinging your clubs,’ you would need to be doing it for at least thirty minutes consecutively. This means, for example, you would need to be going to a driving range and hitting shot after shot.
Before you consider this, however, rather than playing a round of golf, it should be noted that this activity does not provide the best work out. Though it can, double your heart rate, proof of a cardiovascular benefit, it is only classed as a ‘light’ workout.
Another point to consider is your equipment and the effects it can have on not only your game and scores but also your body. Poorly fitted clubs can result in fat shots and incorrect contact with the ground. This can cause many injuries to your hands and arms. Read our article on the 6 Most Common Golf Injuries and try to avoid getting hurt!
Will you lose weight playing golf?
Yes, If you play golf on a regular basis and eat sensibly ‘ Read what the pros eat’ then you will undoubtedly lose some weight.
Is golf alone the best way to lose weight? No, unless you play every few days then golf alone will not lose you significant weight. A healthy balance of eating, sport and lifestyle is the only true way a golfer is going to lose weight.
Conclusion: Is golf a good workout?
It has to be said, however, that golf is certainly not high energy, hence high fitness sport unlike others such as tennis, football, or running. However, as shown above, it does have its health benefits and will certainly keep you in shape and, hopefully, fit as a fiddle.
Reduce the strain on your back and shoulders by using a golf trolley like the EZE Glide push along trolley. This will take the weight and strain off your lower back and help you swing better throughout the full 18 holes.
You’ll also feel less exhausted after your round. Play well and shoot low!