Q: My husband insists that golf is part of his fitness routine. Does it have true fitness benefits?
A: Golf can be great exercise, and it is a good form of low-impact aerobic activity that can be appropriate for athletes of all ages. Studies have shown that the average golfer who walks 18 holes of golf (4 to 5 miles) will burn approximately 1,200 to 1,500 calories (yard work can burn a similar amount). The key is that he must walk instead of renting a golf cart to receive that much benefit. He could begin building his stamina by walking every other hole while riding in a cart with a partner. A walking cart will help protect his back and shoulders and make walking a round of golf much more comfortable. The benefits are physical and also mental as it serves as a respite from the rigors of daily life. Another benefit of golf is that it brings friends together to enjoy the outdoors. All in all, golf is healthy if he walks, so encourage your husband to play golf. It is good for him. I hope my wife reads this.
- Dr. Jason Robertson, Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society
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