For some people, spending hours running on the treadmill doesn’t sound very appealing. It requires a lot of effort and can feel tedious.
That’s why sports can be a great way to get your exercise in while still losing weight. However, since golf doesn’t require any running or jumping, is it even possible to lose weight while playing golf?
So can golf help you lose weight?
If you’re an avid golfer, you may be ecstatic to hear that golf can help you lose weight. In fact, the average person may burn about 350 to 475 calories per hour while playing golf. At a driving range, they may burn between 200 to 300 calories per hour. You could even burn more if you carry the golf clubs in a carry bag or walk on hilly terrain.
Golf also requires some core, back, arms, and shoulder strength for a golf swing. In this article, we’ll discuss the various health benefits of playing golf.
Health Benefits from Playing Golf
For avid golfers like myself, golf is a great way to burn some calories without exercise being the main focal point. If you’re running or cycling, it can be dreadful to think about every mile you reach.
In contrast, with any sport, especially golf, your main objective is to win the game. You’re only focused on shooting a good shot and beating your previous score or someone else’s score. However, as a byproduct of playing golf and having fun, you get to lose some weight!
Playing golf can be much more enjoyable because you’re getting the competitive juices flowing. Not to mention, you get to be outside and soak in the fresh air.
Doing standard cardio can feel like a chore, making it difficult to stick to or find the motivation for. Golf is something you already enjoy doing, making it much easier to stick to for the long term.
For elders, losing weight can be difficult, especially because doing strenuous activities such as weight training and cardio may not be feasible. Luckily, golf is a sport that is suited for people of all ages and fitness levels.
How to Lose Weight by Playing Golf
If you’re new to the sport of golf, you may automatically assume that golf is a sedentary game and won’t help you in terms of conditioning or losing weight. However, professional golfers are incredibly well-conditioned, and you won’t find many overweight professional golfers.
A four-round tournament at a 7,000-yard golf course equates to about 4 miles of walking, not to mention the distance between holes. On average, golfers walk between 3 and 6 miles while playing a round of regulation 18-hole golf, and that doesn’t include wandering around for lost balls or walking before and after the game.
Here are tips you can follow to lose more weight by playing golf:
- Warm-up for 15 minutes before playing. Stretch out your muscles to prevent injury and hit the balls to raise your heart rate and warm up those muscles.
- Carry your clubs and walk at a brisk pace through the golf course. If you have neck or back problems, you may want to invest in a push or pull cart.
- Instead of riding to each ball, leave the cart on the path and grab each ball by walking to them.
- Some people like to combine fitness with golf, called “extreme golf and fitness golf.” The goal is to play as many holes in the shortest amount of time. This means you’ll grab a few clubs with you and run to your ball in-between shots.
How Golf Helps Build Muscles
You may have seen some pro golfers effortlessly hit the ball 280 to 320 yards. How is it possible if they don’t look muscular like a bodybuilder or NFL player? The key is that they have strengthened specific muscles designed for improving the golf swing.
The primary muscles used in golfs are the core muscles, upper back, shoulders, legs, forearm, and tricep. The core is the base of any person’s golf swing and helps stabilize the body throughout the swing. A flexible and strong core helps to complete a full turn back and drive into the ball. Golfers will strengthen their core to improve their swing. But your core will also strengthen by swinging the golf club a lot, such as at driving ranges.
The upper back helps to control the backswing along with the follow-through of the club. A person’s shoulder muscles help to generate good speed for the club. Strong shoulder muscles and rotator cuffs help to create more speed and more distance.
The legs are the foundation of a good golf swing. The quadriceps are used to power through the ball as you turn your hips. The hamstrings are the base and hold the golfer in place. Not to mention all the leg muscles used to walk around the golf course, especially on hills.
Lastly, golfers will develop strong forearms and triceps because the follow-through uses these muscles. If you find yourself in the rough or bad lies, you’ll need strong triceps and forearms to power through the ball and get out of those tough situations.
As you play more golf, these muscles will develop, and your game will also improve. Many pro golfers will do exercises to strengthen these muscles. However, if you’re a casual golfer, these muscles will naturally develop as a byproduct of playing golf.
Is Golf Bad For Your Body?
Just like any exercise or sport, improper form and posture can cause pain or injuries. Although golf doesn’t require supreme athleticism, injuries can still occur. A golf swing utilizes your entire body, and the repetitive nature of the golf swing can cause joint pain, back issues, hand or wrist injuries.
However, playing golf three times per week is great for cardiovascular health. You can minimize the chances of injury by developing a stretching routine before you play, focusing on your arms, shoulders, and back.
Since your back takes a large load when swinging the golf club, incorporating abdominal strength training is a great way to protect your spine and the surrounding back muscles.
Another way to minimize the risk of injury is to wear lightweight and flexible attire that doesn’t impede the golf swing. High-quality golf shoes are necessary to prevent chances of slipping in wet conditions and having blisters or spraining your ankle.
Lastly, you want to develop the skill to listen to your body when it’s not feeling right. Although golf can be addictive, golfers must recognize any signs of fatigue or discomfort. If you’re hiring while walking on the course, it’s time to take a break. Never let a small issue turn into a big one by pushing through the pain and exacerbating the problem.
Can Golf Help You Lose Weight – Final Thoughts
Although golf isn’t a high-energy workout such as running or playing other sports, it can be suitable for beginners or elders. If you’re someone who struggles to get up to work out, golf can be a great alternative, especially if you already enjoy playing golf. For the elderly, golf is a low-energy activity that can still burn a lot of calories and help you lose weight.
Golf doesn’t just help you lose weight, either. It helps you get stronger in your legs, arms, back, and core! Not to mention, it helps you destress, relax and socialize with other people!