A while back I wrote an article on this site talking about how running can be a great cardio exercise, but how there are so many exercise alternatives for people who don’t enjoy running (of which I am one).
Among alternative exercises that we listed:
- Doing a workout video
- Playing basketball
- Rowing machine
- Hiking on local trails
- Spin classes
- Stationary bike
- Roller Blading
The alternatives are really numerous and you’re really only limited by your creativity. There are a ton of exercises out there for non-runners.
One of the alternatives that I didn’t list, but that truly can be great exercise, is golf.
Golf Can Give Great Exercise
One thing a lot of people really don’t realize is that golfing can be great exercise. I think people have an image in their heads of a bunch of old fat guys riding around in a cart and stopping off for drinks and food at the clubhouse. But the truth is that golf can help you to burn hundreds of calories. Playing 18 holes of golf can be about the same as walking 3.5 to 6 miles!
Research conducted by Neil Wolkodoff of the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences in Denver found the following statistics:
Golfers who walk and carry their own bag burn 721 calories, golfers using a pull cart burn 718 calories, golfers walking with a caddie burn 613 calories and golfers riding in a golf cart burn 411 calories on average.
So if you carry your own bag and walk the course when you play, you can burn in excess of 700 calories. That’s not too shabby! Even those who rode a cart still burned more than 411 calories by golfing 18 holes.
Not only does golf give you some great exercise, it can prolong your life! A Swedish study by the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports and based on data from 300,000 golfers found that golfers have a a lower death rate than others:
The death rate for golfers is 40 percent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status, which correspond to a 5 year increase in life expectancy. Golfers with a low handicap are the safest.
They found that those with a lower handicap – those who typically play more – had better health. Also, because golfers tend to golf into old age, they will enjoy the health benefits for longer as well. So start golfing and add years to your life!
Of course in order to enjoy the health benefits you have to be a regular golfer, and not a once every 3 months type golfer.
Golf is another great exercise alternative for those who don’t like to run, bike or do workout videos. It will help you burn hundreds of calories while being low impact and doing something you enjoy (if you’re good enough and not hitting it into the sand traps!)
Next time you may think twice about taking your buddies up on those golf offers because you’re in fact improving your health and prolonging your life. So go hit the links!