Is golf the best form of exercise?
By mustang6560 on 12/18/12
Is golf the best form of exercise? The answer may surprise you.

According to a new study published in BMJ, a peer-reviewed medical journal based in the UK, high cardiovascular intensity activities like cycling is no better for your long-term health than low cardiovascular intensity activities like golf. In fact, it may negatively impact your "survival benefit".
The study adds to a small but growing body of research suggesting that years-long doses of extreme exercise—measured by amount or intensity—may be unproductive, if not counterproductive. In general, the research suggests that the well-established longevity benefits of exercise may cease to accrue or may even diminish beyond a point, for instance, 20 miles a week of running.

"During high intensive exercise the human body has to deal with all kinds of micro traumata. Over time, this will result in an accumulation of damage, which can be explained as a form of aging," said Frouke Engelaer, an author of the study, conducted by a vitality-and-aging department at Leiden University Medical Centre in Leiden, Netherlands.
Now I don't have to feel bad for skipping the gym in lieu of the golf course!

I've always said one of the reasons I love the game of golf is because you can play it your entire life. There is an elderly gentlemen, probably 85-years-old or so, who plays nine holes everyday. He moves slow and doesn't hit the ball very far, but he can still enjoy the game he loves. My grandpa on the other hand who ran several miles everyday was forced to give up the game in his 70s because his knees gave out on him.

So before you decide to start running marathons, make sure you understand the long-term side effects of your decision. Besides, do you really need an excuse to play more golf?


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Image via Flickr, tejvanphotos


[ comments ]
GolfSmith7 says:
The one problem is that most golfers ride instead of walk. Walking the course is way to go for the benefits. Perhaps most Oobers walk? Could be a poll question.
12/18/12
 
Torleif Sorenson says:
GolfSmith7 makes an excellent point. My beloved maternal grandfather preferred to walk the course, rather than ride - an excellent influence on me in several ways.
12/18/12
 
joe jones says:
With a total knee replacement,acl surgery on the other knee a pin in my hip,a pin in my shoulder and a spinal fusion, walking is not an option. I walked and carried until I was 64 but right now I'm a little like humpty dumpty that was put back together. 18 holes of golf is enough walking for me. I do work out 3 days a week with rubber expansion tubes to improve flexibility.
12/18/12
 
birdieXris says:
This very article states why i love to walk. it's so much nicer than hitting the gym and tearing up my muscles and knees while jogging around the block. In fact, i've combined the two. Recently received a Speedcart V1 as a birthday gift, which will allow me to "jog my rounds" much better than when i carry my bag. I will still carry if it appears to be a slow day, but on days that i am paired with riders, it's so much nicer to be able to jog along side (or in most cases, faster than) the guys in the cart and play quickly. The lighter impact of the grass as opposed to the blacktop is nice on my knees as well.
12/18/12
 
bkuehn1952 says:
@ birdieXris - interesting that you will trot around the course when things aren't too busy. This off season I have taken to jogging between shots now and again to stay warm and get around the course faster. I am not going to enter any "Speed Golf" competitions but it really gets you around 18 quickly. Think how fast I could play if I didn't have to hit the darn ball so many times.
12/18/12
 
Matt McGee says:
I walk all but the steepest and longest of courses. The worse I play, the more exercise I get. Glass half-full, and all that.
12/18/12
 
windowsurfer says:
I love to practice, play lots and generally over-indulge - regardless of the sport. I've always felt like the health & performance benefits I get from over-the-top activity offset the negatives. Now, with my tweaks and aches increasingly hard to ignore (arthritis is a beast) I read this and wonder. I am a few years younger version of Joe J and other oobergenarians. Hi-miler. Maybe good to reel'er in a bit practice-wise and look to longevity as the real goal. Hmmm.
12/18/12
 
hughesj says:
I look at the golf cart more as a beer cart. If I intend to get some exercise and really focus on my game (need to do a lot more focusing from what my scores show) then I walk. In fact, most times I will walk. If it's been a stressful week and I just want to kick back a bit and have a few beers while hitting the ball around (not much focusing going on here, and more difficult the more beers) then I will get a cart.
12/18/12
 
legitimatebeef says:
Walking and carrying for 18 holes is no joke. It burns a ton of calories. I have a hard time keeping the weight on. I am a bit bemused by what I'm reading about this study though. Of course there is going to be a point of diminishing returns. Nobody in their right mind would believe that if a three mile run is good for your health then a hundred mile run must be the magic elixir of life. No, I look at older people who are nutty hardcore runners and who wants to end up looking like that. They tend to look drawn, and shriveled. However thats not to say running isn't good, it is. It's good to push yourself to your limits occasionally. Scientific studies have a way of missing the point don't they
12/18/12
 
windowsurfer says:
Oh to be drawn and shriveled. Eye of the beholder - I just want what looks good to my heart, my arteries, my joints, etc.
12/18/12
 
Duke of Hazards says:
I usually walk and shoulder carry. It is good exercise and it helps to loosen me up and get blood flowing as I generally will go straight to the first tee from sitting at a desk most of the day without any warmup.
12/18/12
 
GolfSmith7 says:
I find when I walk I stay in a better frame of mind. I get to soak in the surroundings and better put the previous shot in perspective. I would say I walk about 95% of the time.
12/18/12
 
birdieXris says:
@bkuehn1952 - i only trot if i'm with someone. It's a toss-up when it's not busy. If i want to get in a round i'll go quick, but sometimes i'll just shoulder carry and hit 2-3 balls - or combine the two. It's so much nicer with a push cart than with the old two wheel i was schlepping around behind me, and i ruined two bags when jogging while shoulder carrying haha.
12/18/12
 
Kurt the Knife says:
I used to bike to work 40 miles round trip every other day. Then came cell-phones, GPS and put-on-your-dashboard portable DVD players. Three or four near death experiences with distracted drivers n I went back to the spam can. I try to walk courses as much as I can and love that fact I rarely have to dodge the occasional errant driver.
12/18/12
 
Ward says:
in terms of calories burned per time doing the activity, golf is terrible... walking or riding
12/18/12
 
GBogey says:
I started walking two seasons ago to get more exercise and found that I usually play better when walking, so now I'm hooked. I read an article recently that cited a study that showed walkers play better than riders.
12/18/12
 
windowsurfer says:
I'm a walker & would love to still carry but extra weight on bone-on-bone knee is no go. I like my beer after, not during, so that part is no trubba. My buddy has a soft Sunday bag (no stand) and prefers it for an 11-or-so-club set when it's dry out. (No wet bag from laying it down and no need to juggle umbrella.) Plus his hip is pretty much shrapnel and he says it's OK - no pain cuz the bag is light enuf. It's just a sgl shoulder strap too - not a dbl.
12/18/12
 
Matt McGee says:
But, Ward, in terms of calories burned per time spent enjoying something, golf is at the top of the list. I could run two miles and burn the same number of calories as I do in a round of golf, but I think running sucks.
12/19/12
 
Bryan K says:
It's tough to walk here in Phoenix. The cheapest green fees I can find almost always include a cart.
12/19/12
 
BK Smith says:
I walk 98% of the time with a push cart ... even if green fees include a power cart. Much more relaxing, plus I'm able to walk directly to my ball and plan my shot enroute. Never a problem keeping up with riders, and I'm often waiting for them when it's "cart path only."
12/19/12
 
SpaceMaNy0 says:
I don't know about exercise, but it's a great form of therapy for me.
12/21/12
 
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