Unlike some other sports, golf remains a great option for older adults. It’s a safe, social, and pleasurable activity that places low demand on the body.
Studies show that older people can benefit from moderate exercise of long duration. And that’s just what golf has to offer. A typical 18-hole round of golf involves about a 4-mile walk.
But walking is the key. If you use a cart, you miss out on the benefits. Walking during a golf game has been shown to help blood cholesterol levels. And golfing may relieve lower back pain. Plus, walking a golf course can reduce weakness and increase coordination, which may cut the risk for falls.
As with any type of exercise, a round of golf comes with more than just benefits.
While golf is generally a low-risk sport, it does have its share of potential injuries. Some common golf injuries include:
In addition to these common injuries, there are some very uncommon injury risks. A golfer may hit a fellow golfer with a reckless backswing or with a club thrown in anger or disgust. A golfer also can injure himself with that same club thrown in anger or with a swing that hits the ground instead of the ball.
While these injuries can be prevented with some self-control and a few lessons, the more common injuries can be prevented by warming up before a round. Proper swing mechanics taught by a professional golfer and a regular exercise program also can decrease your risk for injury.
One final thing that every golfer should remember is to know and follow the course’s procedures for lightning safety. Lightning-strike injuries occur every year on golf courses. When a storm comes, it is always safest to get indoors or inside a closed metal vehicle with the windows up. If this is not possible, lie in a sand trap. Be sure not to lie close to your fellow golfers because lightning can travel from person to person. Avoid standing on the fairway, near a metal pole, or near trees.
Golf may not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions. Check with your doctor before adding golf to your exercise routine..
The holidays are meant to be a season where families gather and share special time in reflection on their lives and faith. However, the holidays have also become a source of increased stress for most, if not all Americans. Busy social schedules, the tasks of entertaining, shopping, and the traditions of mailing cards and decorating can leave us feeling worn out by January 2.
However, exercise can be a great antidote for stress during the holidays. Exercise burns off many of the stress hormones generated when we are anxious or feeling pressure. Excessive amounts of stress can lead to high blood pressure, increased blood sugar, weight gain, lack of sleep, and even memory loss. When we work out, we are literally burning off the hormones that cause these effects. With exercise, we feel more relaxed, restful, and even more productive.
As little as a ten minute walk can do wonders to calm the spirit. If you anticipate a particularly stressful day, it may be wise to exercise in the early morning before the action of the day begins. Weightlifting is especially beneficial and has been shown to have the equivalent calming effect as Valium. As an added bonus, holiday exercise will do much to prevent the ever present weight gain most experience after too many office parties, elaborate meals, and extra alcohol consumption.
Remember, just a few minutes of exercise can make a big difference in stress levels and weight gain during the holidays..
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