Staying physically active is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, but that doesn’t mean you have to compete in a basketball league or run 10 miles every day. The best activity to choose is one that you enjoy doing, so you’ll look forward to every game or workout. Golf might not be the first sport that springs to mind when someone talks about getting fit, but UT Health East Texas Physicians Podiatrist, Dr. David Andreone, is a firm believer in the benefits of scheduling tee times.
Walking around an 18-hole golf course will help you achieve your weekly active minutes and can work out several muscles. “Golf can help you with getting motion and movement, especially people who might be developing arthritis, provided it’s not too painful for them to do,” says Dr. Andreone, “with some arthritis you can keep moving easier after a while. You have to have a lot of hand-eye coordination, so it’s good for your circulation and balance too.”
Although it’s tempting to ride around in a cart, ditching motorized transportation and opting to walk will have you racking up over 10,000 steps per game. Walking a couple of miles is great for burning calories, if you’re trying to lose weight. Plus, after expending all that energy, you’ll have an easier time falling into and staying in a deep sleep. This type of rest will help with regeneration and repair muscles and tissues.
As everyone knows, golf is quite the mental game. “It’s good for your brain, it gets you thinking, especially about hand-eye coordination,” says Dr. Andreone. Completing an accurate swing, judging a course and planning a game all require a great deal of strategy and mental attentiveness. However, even if you’re trying for your personal best, it’s also important to remember that there is no such thing as perfection. It’s especially important to keep that sentiment in mind, if you’re trying to get the stress-relieving, confidence-building benefits that golfing can provide. Dr. Andreone, a golfer since age 6, has learned a healthy approach to golf. “It’s a game you’ll never get perfect. You just have to be out there and have fun, because if you’re not having fun, you probably shouldn’t be playing.”
If those benefits still aren’t quite enough to get you on the green, then maybe it’s a good idea to call up some friends for a game. Golf can be a solitary sport, but it can also be a great way to socialize. Time spent outdoors, relaxing with friends will boost endorphins and put you in a better mood (even if you miss a putt or two). There is almost no better combination than sunshine, friends and competition.
If you’re trying to think of a way to stay active, look no further than your local golf course!
If you have been out of the game for a while, please make sure to check with your doctor if you have any health concerns.
David A. Andreone, DPM, DABPM, is a board-certified podiatrist, who practices at UT Health East Texas Physicians North Campus Tyler. As a foot specialist, he focuses on biomechanical exams and treatment of complex foot deformities, surgery, diabetic wound care, limb salvage and foot dermatology.
Dr. Andreone is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment with him, please call 903-877-7826.