PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- A round of golf is not only an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon outdoors, it's also a great way to exercise. The World Golf Foundation and Golf 20/20 commissioned The Walker Research Group to identify and report on the health and wellness benefits of golf participation. According to the research, a round of golf can burn between 1,300 and 2,000 calories and has a similar bio-mechanic effect as a 3.5 to 4-mile run.
With May recognized as National Physical Fitness & Sports Month, The PGA of America is encouraging golfers to get on the course and experience the fitness benefits attributed to golf. These include walking up to five miles, building strength and improving balance.
"Golf is a fun and enjoyable way to get exercise, and it provides an outlet for physical activity for a lifetime," said David Donatucci, owner and director of The Florida Institute of Performance at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. "It is a great way to introduce a young person to physical activity and a healthy pursuit for adults and seniors because it requires exercise basics like balance, flexibility and walking."
In addition to burning calories, golfers who walk 18 holes will take more than the daily-recommended 10,000 steps and potentially reduce blood-glucose levels by 10 to 30 percent depending on age.
Flexibility and core strength are also important for your game. The mechanics of a golf swing require flexibility in the hips, back and shoulders - all muscle groups that can plague a person as they age. Many golfers have turned to yoga to improve their flexibility and compliment their own physical fitness.
"I have taught yoga for golf for more than a decade, and I consistently hear from my students about the physical benefits of playing golf," said Katherine Roberts, founder/president of Yoga for Golfers. "Being active a little bit each day keeps you flexible and feeling great on and off the golf course."
The PGA of America also recognizes May as Welcome to Golf Month. PGA Professionals across the country are making golf more fun and accessible by hosting free and affordable golf programs.
For more information or to register for a program near you, visit GetGolfReady.com.