Despite all the prejudices – the fitness factor associated with golf shouldn’t be underestimated


Stay healthy and relaxed with golf

Golf is certainly comparable with sports such as Nordic walking, hiking or swimming. Here you can find out how well the green sport trains your body and mind.

Exercising in the fresh air, watching the balls fly over the lush green grass and spending time with congenial fellow players – the life of a hobby golfer can be so good! So, it’s no wonder that golf is becoming ever more popular in Germany. According to the German Golf Association (DGV), there are currently more than 630,000 people in Germany who regularly practise their golf swings. The over-55 age group has not only seen the greatest growth, but it is also the largest group. For a good reason. A Swedish study recently came to the conclusion: Older people who regularly play golf live an average of five years longer (Source: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports).

Swing for your heart and circulation

When completing a round of 18 holes, the golfer is on the move for an average of four hours and walks about 8.5 kilometres. As the whole body is used when swinging and walking, the body uses up to 1,200 calories. The comparatively low but constant level of exercise is ideal for the heart and circulation. But you will only feel the positive effects if you play regularly: You should work on your handicap three times a week.

Effective muscle training

Golf also helps to develop the muscles. Teeing off correctly uses more than a quarter of a golfer’s muscles each time. The stroke itself particularly promotes the chest and shoulder muscles, which are responsible for the inwards and outwards rotation of the movement during the golf swing. The back muscles also have to work hard, while the trunk and leg muscles ensure a stable stance. A well-planned strength training programme is a good counterbalance to the muscular requirements of golf.

Golf relaxes

Playing golf is not only good for your physical health, but it also has a positive effect on your nerves. The quiet of the golf course and exercising in the fresh air help you to leave everyday stress behind and reduce stress. The social aspect also plays a part: Spending time with like-minded people after the round is a wonderful way of relaxing. But that’s not all: Experts say that the green sport even improves stress tolerance, as every stroke requires calmness and balance.

Good for the coordination

Golf improves concentration, the sense of balance and hand-eye coordination. This is always important when you need to hit the ball in the right place at the right moment. Sports scientists at the University of Regensburg even think that the game of golf, with its specific requirements for hand-eye coordination, can help to restore lost capabilities in those who have suffered a stroke. Another positive and important effect, particularly for older golf players, is the prevention of falls. Through constantly having to find their balance in various swing positions, golfers have a better sense of balance. That helps in everyday life.

Don’t give golfer’s elbow a chance!

For young and old – golf is suitable for everyone who wants to get their cardiovascular system, muscles and coordination skills going and reduce stress. But golf is also a one-sided sport - at least in terms of its directional movement.

Thus, many golf devotees suffer from back and joint complaints, particularly if their swing technique isn’t perfect or if they train too intensively. One typical disorder: the so-called golfer’s elbow (epicondylitis). This condition involves inflammation of the tendon insertion that connects the muscles to the elbow bone.

The good news: Epicondylitis is particularly responsive to treatment. Altering the sequence of movements during sport and wearing an elbow orthosis for a short period is usually sufficient. This relieves the strained extensor and flexor muscles of the hand and nowadays the orthosis is so small and light that it is not conspicuous under clothing. Another vulnerable area for golfers is the back. Here again, changing the movement routine, allowing sufficient regeneration phases and performing additional abdominal and back muscle training is usually sufficient to take the strain off the spine.

Special back supports can additionally help to stabilise the back and reduce tension. Lumbar supports, such as Lumbamed active, Lumbamed basic or Lumbamed plus from medi can prevent the development of lordosis: The pelvis is pushed forward and the spine is straightened up.