Even if you use a golf buggy to get to each hole, you are still being active! Being sedentary is not only bad for your body, muscles, posture, and mental health but can easily lead to obesity, lethargy, and depression.
Golf is a very social game, of course, so even if you decide to take up the game and play at your local club starting out on your own, you’ll soon meet others and make friends. The nature of golf means that clubs are welcoming and have a strong social side, usually offering great facilities within the clubhouse, including food, drinks, and events.
Many people play golf together, and it is a great opportunity to be outside, enjoying nature while walking and talking as you play. Playing golf provides a great workout for your cardiovascular system and strengthens muscles. Walking gets your legs and glutes working, and swinging the club works your back muscles, shoulders, and arms. The upper body twist during the swing also targets the oblique stomach muscles, working your waistline.
One thing to watch out for, though, is that golfers tend to use their dominant arm and side to swing, so it is beneficial to regularly practice Pilates to avoid one side becoming overly tight. If lots of golf is played and the body’s muscles are not corrected post-playing golf, Scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine in an S shape, can start to develop. The tight muscles of the dominant side can tighten so much that they start to pull on the spine and misshapen it! Since it is challenging to switch sides when playing golf, incorporating a weekly Pilates session helps adjust muscles and realign the body.
Pilates exercises that are specifically beneficial after playing golf include chest stretching exercises such as ‘The Swan Dive’ or ‘The Double Kick’ (full version). Practicing ‘The Shoulder Bridge’ is also great for releasing the back, stretching out the glutes and thighs on the way back down the mat, exhaling and squeezing the stomach muscles to activate the core. ‘The Jack Knife’ and ‘The Roll Up’ are excellent exercises to lengthen the back, hamstrings, and Achilles. If the hamstrings are tight, it can tilt the pelvis, causing imbalance and pulling on the back muscles, leading to backaches, pain, and discomfort if not corrected.
Playing golf regularly is a brilliant form of exercise in a pleasant environment, surrounded by nature and under the skies, which is great for our well-being. It is low impact and kind to your knees and hips too. You can easily burn around 1,500 calories with each round of golf if you walk the course! Being outside is so good for us and helps us connect with nature and the seasons while boosting Vitamin D levels, which improves your immunity. Golf is also great for improving balance, control, and coordination, which are three of the eight principles of Pilates!
Pilates offers a different way of exercising, focusing on specific muscle groups with each of the 34 Pilates exercises. It is accessible and suitable for virtually everyone, with different intensity levels to suit experience and any conditions. Through correction, the body and mind rebalance, leaving you refreshed and ready to face the next challenges of the day with zest and vigor. It may even help you get to the 19th hole faster!