Golf and Exercise

Do you think golf is “a good walk spoiled”? I do! But I am not Tiger Woods!

I like to golf. And I like to ride a power cart when I golf. There are many reasons for that. One of them has to do with the flight and landing of my golf ball. It has a tendency to land on areas that are not designated as fairways. Now for a guy who believes in exercise, I should relish the thought of walking to find my ball and find other peoples’ lost balls. But not me!

Why? I don’t golf for exercise. I golf for fun! But so far it has been anything but fun. So why make it more painful by walking? Besides, many golfers believe that due to the nature of the golf game (stop-and-go), walking while golfing is not counted as exercise. That’s what I thought. But, an article in the Golf Digest says golfing and walking is healthy.

An average player covers five miles or more during each 18-hole round. The article quotes a Swedish study that examined the physiological demands placed on middle-age golfers who walk the course. The researchers found that despite the short walking intervals, the golfers’ exercise intensity ranged from 40 to 70 percent of maximum aerobic power. They calculated that four hours of activity on a golf course is comparable to a 45-minute fitness class.

The article quotes another study done by a cardiologist, Dr. Edward A. Palank, which looks at the effect of walking on cholesterol levels. The study found that a group of middle-age men who played golf three times a week for four months had LDL (bad cholesterol) level decrease significantly compared to controls. There was no change in the HDL (good cholesterol) level.

Walking has many health benefits, whether you walk a golf course, a sidewalk, a park or a trade-mill in the warmth of your basement. It will keep you fit without the risk of serious injury. It is a very natural form of exercise and anyone can do it.

Walking improves cardio-vascular fitness, lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Burns calories, improves muscle tone, relieves tension, improves digestion, and makes one feel good about one self. It also helps prevent osteoporosis.

Spring is here and the golfers are already out on the golf courses. I will be there one of these days. Am I going to walk the golf course or enjoy my trade mill (while watching Golf Channel) and continue to ride my power cart when golfing?

Well, I have so many excuses (its my plantar wart, its my ingrown toe-nail, its my knees, its my back, I am on-call, I don’t want to delay others, etc) to use a power cart that I may still find myself using one. I know I will need one as I tee-off at the first tee-box and my ball disappears from sight.

But don’t forget, walking is good for you and don’t do what I do on the golf course!

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