Is Golf a Good Workout? Everything You Need to Know About Your Fitness Goals + Hitting the Green

The health benefits of playing golf and how you can reach your fitness goals with the sport

March 25, 2022

Main image courtesy of Golfinglucy’s Instagram.

Are you an experienced golf player? Or are you new to the game? Regardless of your experience level, golf can be a great way to improve your physical fitness and stay motivated to be healthy. If you’ve ever wondered whether golf is a good workout or not, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll be covering a few topics about golf, including:

  • The health benefits of playing golf
  • Whether golf is a good workout and other exercises to try
  • Ways to stay motivated to play your best at golf
Woman sitting in a golf cart
Skip the golf cart to make the most of your walk around the green. To get the look of the Dona Jo Tribe Member above, shop the Jojo Skirt ECO in Navy. Image courtesy of Birdiesandbliss’s Instagram.

The Potential Health Benefits of Playing Golf

Ways that hitting the green can improve your health

Golf is more than just swinging a club and hitting a golf ball into a hole. Golf can involve extensive walking – with an average golf game requiring players to walk anywhere between two to four miles around the course. If you play multiple games per week and avoid using golf carts to get around, you’ll be getting the average amount of low-intensity cardio recommended for adults per week. Carrying your own clubs can multiply these benefits, helping to develop muscle tone and endurance over time.

In addition to improving your cardiovascular system, the increased blood flow and physical activity can help to release endorphins, which is the chemical that creates a feel of well-being. This release of endorphins can cause a helpful mood boost, lowering stress and anxiety and overall creating a feeling of relaxation.

On top of these benefits, the full-body workout that golf requires can dramatically improve your sleep. After golfing and walking around the green for a few hours, your body needs extensive rest and repair which deep sleep can help to bring on.

Depending on the type and intensity of the workout, golf can be a great way to stay physically fit and even achieve certain fitness goals. If you’re looking for a higher-intensity workout or have specific fitness goals, you might want to consider supplementing your time on the green with some work in the gym.

Woman golfer standing at golf hole
Look sleek and chic on the greens with a full black and white golf outfit. To get the look of the Dona Jo tribe member above, check out the Dona Jo Birdie Skirt ECO in White Lily. Image courtesy of Stylist.whitney’s Instagram.

Workouts to Help Improve Your Golf Game

While golf is a good workout, improve your fitness further with these exercises

Developing an effective workout routine to improve your golf skills requires a careful balance between a few types of exercises – strength and cardio. Creating a workout schedule that has an even mix of these two types of exercises, as well as built-in rest days, can vastly improve your health and golf abilities.

For the strength training days of your workout schedule, utilizing a set of dumbbells or completing sets on a barbell are highly effective ways to improve your muscles quickly. If you’re exercising with a set of dumbbells and have never used them before, start with a set that weighs between five and ten pounds and see how they feel. Some great exercises to try with dumbbells are lateral raises, bicep curls, overhead press, and tricep dips. Some great barbell exercises to build up your upper body muscles and improve your golf swing include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and bicep curls.

If you like to train at home and don’t have equipment or weights, some great strength exercises to try out include push-ups, burpees, planks, squats, lunges, and step-ups. While these are just a few examples of exercises you can do without equipment, there’s many more that you can integrate into your routine over time. The most effective way to complete these weightless workouts is by completing a high number of reps and sets. This can help to push your muscles to their limits, causing muscle mass to increase.

For the cardio training days of your workout schedule, the most effective way to improve your game is by mimicking your performance on the course. Completing workouts like long walks or jogs, hiking outdoors, or circuit training are some examples of exercises that utilize the same muscles as playing golf does and help to build up endurance over time. Some other cardio exercises that you can integrate into your golf workout routine include running, cycling, using an elliptical, swimming, jumping rope, and rowing.

Ultimately, when it comes to cardio, the best thing you can do for your fitness is listen to your body and push your limits within reason. For some outfit inspiration to get you in the mood to workout, check out this Dona Jo guide to running leggings.

Female golfer in all white outfit swinging golf club
Get classy for the course in a monochromatic outfit, like the one above with the Dona Jo Ace Tank 2.0 and Shakira Skirt in White. Image courtesy of Clairehogle’s Instagram.

Ways to Stay Motivated to Hit the Green

Tips and tricks to achieve your golf fitness goals

Keeping a consistent workout routine or golf schedule can be difficult for anyone – especially if you have a hectic and jam-packed schedule. A great way to stay motivated to stick to your workout and golf plan is by establishing a fitness schedule before the start of every week – building in cardio, strength training, times to hit the green, and break days. Creating this schedule beforehand can prevent overbooking yourself or not leaving time to prioritize your fitness.

Another great way to make yourself excited to hit the gym or head out to the golf course is by dressing in athletic attire that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Whether you prefer leggings, capri leggings, tennis skirts, biker shorts, tank tops, or long sleeved shirts, there’s a world of options out there designed to make you feel your best. If you’re looking for ways to style a more feminine golf look, check out this Dona Jo guide to fitness dresses and skirts.

Lastly, the best way to stay motivated is to constantly remind yourself of what fitness goals you’re working towards. By writing these fitness goals down and looking at your list before you head out to workout, you’ll be more likely to work your hardest and get the most out of your exercises.

Woman in matching athletic wear outfit standing on beach
Feel your best on the course by dressing to the nines. Try out this Dona Jo Soar Skirt and Love Bra in Flore. Image courtesy of Irosenav’s Instagram.

Golf is a good workout if you give it your all – if you’re willing to forgo the golf cart and walk the course and put your best effort into every swing. However, your golf game can be greatly improved with the help of workouts outside of the course. So, if you’re looking to maximize your golf gains, consider hitting the green but also incorporating the gym into your workout goals.

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