July 13, 2009

Golf is healthy, even if using a golf cart

Golfers can enjoy a fun way to improve overall health -- even if they use a golf cart, a U.S. fitness expert says.

David Donatucci, fitness director for the PGA of America, says simply being outside and enjoying the landscape will contribute to a healthier state of well-being, but playing golf also burns calories and rejuvenates the mind through moderate aerobic activity -- walking.

Health and fitness experts advocate taking 10,000 steps per day, the equivalent of 5 miles.

Walking a nine-hole course enables a golfer to take approximately half the recommended daily steps.

A player can burn around 2,900 calories by walking 36 holes a week, or two 18-hole rounds, but even a visit to the driving range can burn 200 calories per hour, Donatucci says.

Even riding in a golf cart for nine holes will burn around 400 calories, help oxygenate the body, improve posture and renew your spirit, Donatucci says.

To further reap health benefits, Donatucci recommends including golf-specific strength and flexibility exercises with driving range and course time.

Training your body to use the right muscle groups will increase your chances of avoiding injuries, improving your swing and saving strokes, Donatucci says in a statement.