- Lower your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes
- Help you lose weight
- Reduce stress
- Boost your energy and improve your sleep
- Increase your lung capacity and stamina
- Improve your mood while fighting depression and anxiety
- Enhance your immune system
Golf carts were invented in the 1930s, became widely used in the ’50s and are the primary mode of transportation for the majority of golfers today (at least in the U.S.).
In many ways, carts have been good for golf. Many spectacular courses have been built on land unsuitable for walking. Carts provide courses with a significant (and much-needed) revenue source as well. And they allow injured or disabled golfers to continue enjoying the game.
But there’s no question that walking the course is healthier than riding a cart. There are numerous studies that prove it.
The Rose Center for Health & Sports Sciences (Colorado) found that a golfer walking 18 holes can burn 1,400 calories or more, compared with 800 calories used when playing in a cart. Research by cardiologist Dr. Edward A. Palank revealed that walking can reduce bad cholesterol, while riding does not. Golf Science International determined a four-hour walking round to equal the benefits of 45 minutes in fitness class.
Generally speaking, you’ll walk about 5-7 miles during an 18-hole round over a course measuring 6,000 yards or more. Depending on the terrain, your heart rate will increase to an average of 111 – 119 beats per minute and top out at around 150 bpm. In addition, walking may:
Walking has even been shown to reduce cravings among cigarette smokers, making it easier to quit. That, of course, opens a whole new world of benefits.