Q. My husband insists that golf is part of his fitness routine. Does it have real fitness benefits?
A. Golf can actually be great exercise! It is a good low-impact aerobic activity appropriate for athletes of all ages. Studies have shown that the average golfer who walks 18 holes of golf (around 4-5 miles) will burn approximately 1200-1500 calories (yard work can burn a similar number of calories, too!). The key is for him to walk instead of renting a golf cart. He can begin building his stamina by walking every other hole while riding in a cart with a partner. A walking cart will help to protect his back and shoulders and make walking a full round much more comfortable. Golf also has mental health benefits, as it can serve as a respite from the rigors of daily life, and it’s also a great social outlet that brings friends together to enjoy the outdoors. All in all, golf is healthy if he walks, so encourage your husband to play. It’s good for him! (I hope my wife reads this!)
Jason Robertson, M.D.
Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics
2415 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37404