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Is Golf Good for Your Health?

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/1/2006 | Health
Can golf be good for your health? Absolutely! The United States Golf Association believes this as they advise that when you play a round of golf, you walk the golf course if you can. Riding in a golf cart should be avoided, if at all possible.

Golf courses want you to ride a golf cart to play the course, as they want to get as many rounds played in as short an amount of time as possible. They also get more revenue from renting the cart to you. This is business, but their business does not help your health. Walking the golf course gets your heart pumping and circulates blood throughout your whole body. This is great low level cardiovascular exercise.

Walking is also a great way to enjoy the pleasure of walking in the outdoors away from it all. This will relax you and probably improve your golf game. The more relaxed you are, the better you play.

Walking is a great form of exercise. This fact has been published in many articles and medical and health journals. There are studies that show that walking the golf course during an 18 hole game of golf is equivalent to between 40% to 70% of an intense aerobics class. Playing 18 holes of golf and walking the course has also been shown to equate to a 45 minute workout. It is also been shown to be the same as walking 3 to 4 miles. There are also studies that show walking the golf course is beneficial for lowering your bad cholesterol as opposed to riding in a cart. Riding in a cart did not provide the same health benefit.

As you are walking the golf course, take in the great scenery that is offered on a golf course. These areas are groomed and kept up on a daily basis. While you are walking, you can think about your next shot. You can also think about your last shot and get in a good mind set to make a good shot on the next stroke.

Most golf courses are not flat. They have hills that must be traversed. Riding a golf cart, you usually do not notice the change in elevation. Walking those hills will really give you a great appreciation for the lay of the land. This should also give you ideas for how best to play your shot.

As with any exercise plan, you should check with your doctor. Your doctor can best determine if you are capable of walking for 18 holes on a golf course. Chances are the doctor will enthusiastically recommend it.

Go out there and enjoy walking the golf course. It could improve your golf game. It will certainly improve your health. If you are having a bad day on the golf course, taking your focus off of your game by enjoying the scenery while walking can be a great stress relief.