'Tis the season to swap your workout spandex for khakis and a collared shirt--August 8-11 is the 95th Professional Golfer’s Association Championship, where top golfers from across the nation compete in 4 rounds of 18 holes of golf for prize money and prestige.
¿Qué? Never tried golf?
Players use clubs to move a golf ball down a green that averages 400 yards, aiming to get the ball in the hole in the smallest number of strokes possible.
Although at first glance this low impact pastime may not appear to provide much physical activity, golf is great exercise. Swinging tones your arms, shoulders, and abs while walking for 18 holes--a 4-5 hour undertaking--is an endurance workout (with added strength training elements if you carry your clubs). Plus, this precision sport demands coordination and focus, keeping your mind in top shape.
My mami regularly played golf when I was young and I would occasionally tag along. Although the runner in me struggled with the slow pace, I enjoyed being outdoors and found the repetition calming. In golf, practice makes perfect. The key is developing muscle memory and going through the same controlled motions each time you swing.
Not ready to commit to 18 holes?
Burn calories with these fun variations of the sport--no country club memberships required!
5 Fun Ways to Play Golf
- Play 9 holes: If you don’t have time for a full game (like most people I know!), most golf courses are set up so that players can finish after the 9th hole.
- Pitch and putt: My husband loves this simplified version of the game. Courses still offer 9 or 18 holes, but each green is shortened to about 80 yards and players only need 2 clubs, which are usually provided at the course.
- Putt putt: Mini-golf was one of my favorite activities to do with my familia on vacation. Choose a course with fun obstacles to get your hijos excited to get out and play.
- Driving range: With a bucket of balls to hit into an open field at your own pace, a driving range is perfect place to build upper-body strength and release aggression.
- Frisbee golf: Also called disc golf, you won’t need clubs or balls for this fun spin on the traditional sport. Players try to hit a target with a cloth frisbee in as few throws as possible.
Staying active can help reduce your risk of many chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Simple changes to your routine like meeting your girlfriends for a golf game instead of dining out makes regular exercise fun and easy and helps your body stay strong. Grab a club and take a swing at it!
¿Need workout inspiration? Click here to read more of my fitness suggestions.
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.
Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.
What is your favorite golf-inspired activity?