Golf offers wide range of mental, physical benefits

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Chipo Sabeta
Playing golf is great fun, but also offers a wide range of mental and physical benefits.
The health benefits of golf are far greater than most of us seem to believe, and may have a much greater and broader impact on our well being than we may have realised.

Golf may not be considered a physically demanding sport but an undisputed fact is that playing golf aids in WEIGHT LOSS.

A typical golf course can measure up to 7km with 18 holes the physical activity involved represents an important part of any weight-loss or weight-maintenance effort.

Professional golf coach Tichaona Musemburi said there are many stated health benefits of golf, how good it is the game for the body and mind.

He believes a round of golf can form a superb part of a physical fitness programme, for players of every age and both sexes while weight loss is a common goal for the majority.

“Golf is a good way to losing weight. “If the golfer walks while carrying a bag of clubs that can weigh up to 15kgs, then the game becomes an aerobic activity.

One is expected to walk about 6 or 7km for 18 holes up and down hill.
“Basically, the golden number of steps per day needed for weight loss is approximately 10,000. I have heard many testimonies and witnessed golfers losing weight in my life as a coach.

“In a golf course, any 18-hole round easily exceeds this recommended number, especially when you walk and do not use a golf cart. To lose weight, you simply need to burn more calories than you consume.

“In general, a male golfer burns around 2500 calories during an 18-hole round, and female players burn approximately 1,500 calories faster,” he said.

The instructor added, “Walking will burn about 100 calories per km, but the temptation is to eat more as you exercise more. There is need to resist the temptation to justify eating more as a reward because you will undo the calories burned.”

Musemburi said walking up and down the course is the key to achieving weight loss as golfers are discouraged from using motorized carts and caddies to carry them to each shot.
“Walking is an effective way of training and leads to weight loss.

“Add in the weight of the bag and it becomes a cardiovascular workout. I believed a 14 clubs, balls, tees, a jacket, a towel and a few other items at most weighs 15ks.
“Along with the amount of walking involved, the golf swing in itself is great for providing a full-body workout.

‘ Each full swing exercises arms, legs, back and abdomen, with numerous repetitions over the course of a round – approximately 30+ times for accomplished players and many more for novice golfers,” Musemburi added.

Aside from physical health considerations renowned local fitness trainer Mugove Muhambi believes a round of golf can form a superb part of a mental strength, for players of every age and both sexes.

“Whether it is going for a jog or walking the golf course, keeping physically active is a great way to keep your heart and your brain healthy. By keeping active you make sure your brain has a good, strong blood supply, which is essential to help it function better now and in future,” he said.

Besides the physical, mental benefits, as well as being a fiercely competitive sport, playing golf can be a great social activity.

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