Disc golf is a well-liked sport that continues to grow in popularity every day. Sometimes, it can be so much fun that you won’t even think of it as a workout! As it’s easy to pick up and enjoyable to play, you might be wondering if disc golf is good exercise.
The answer is, yes! As long as you play regularly and safely, disc golf can be a great way to keep you fit and healthy. There are many reasons why disc golf is great exercise, so if you’re thinking of taking up the sport, keep reading on.
Why Is Disc Golf Good Exercise?
Lots of Waking
In a typical round of disc, you could be walking anywhere between 2 and 5 miles depending on the course. Many players will often play two rounds on the same day, which could at up to 10 miles of walking if you’re playing a fairly long course.
With the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommending that adults perform “moderate-intensity” aerobic exercise such as a brisk walk a minimum of 30 minutes, five days per week, you’ll definitely be hitting that 30 minute milestone for at least one day. and if you play a light round five days in a row, you’re completely covered.
Full Body Movement
You might not believe it at first, but disc golf gets your whole body moving. It involves a lot of walking, as players can walk over a mile every round. Walking has a ton of benefits for the body. It keeps the heart healthy, your joints nimble, and improves your balance.
Over time, walking also makes your lower body muscles stronger. There are other motions involved in disc golf too. As you throw, you use a lot of muscles in your upper body. Your chest, back, and triceps all work together to move the disc.
Disc golf works out a lot of muscles, which can make you stronger and fitter in the long run.
Disc golf can also help you lose weight. Many people underestimate the number of calories burned while playing the sport. Depending on your gender, age, and weight, one round of disc golf can burn 400 – 500 calories.
If you want to lose weight, you might want to start playing! As long as you don’t overeat, you may see your body slimming down over time. You don’t need to play it every day, as two or three times a week is all you need to see a difference.
Disc golf can improve your mood and energy levels. In general, the more exercise you do, the better you will feel. Movement increases the hormones responsible for your mood, dopamine and serotonin.
If you’d like to improve your mood, there’s no need to lift weights in the gym, or run miles every day. These can be too much if you’re older or new to exercise. Disc golf can be played by all ages and abilities. A few games a week could help you feel better.
Is Disc Golf Bad For Shoulders?
While disc golf is a fun and entertaining game, like any sport, it comes with risks. Throwing a disc can look smooth and controlled, but these movements are more intense than they seem. Repeated over time, these motions can be demanding on our bodies.
A study found that the most common disc golf injuries happen to the elbow and shoulder. Other upper arm sports, like tennis, volleyball, and basketball, have a similar shoulder injury rate to disc golf.
So, disc golf can cause shoulder injuries, but there are things you can do to prevent this. Many people don’t take the time out to prevent injuries. Instead, they act once the damage is done. Preventing injuries is one of the best ways to stop future ones. Here are a few ways to prevent disc golf injuries.
Make Sure You Stretch!
Unfortunately, it’s common to see many disc golf players jump straight into a game without warming up. Dynamic stretching is one of the best warm-ups to prevent injuries. It’s different from static stretching, as it warms up muscles by moving them in different motions.
Dynamic stretching is great for disc golfers, as it increases blood circulation to muscles used to throw the disc. It can also make your joints mobile, which is important for the areas you use in disc golf, like shoulders, back, and hips.
Dynamic stretches don’t have to be complicated either. There are lots of stretches to try, but simply doing shoulder circles, foot circles, and high knees for a few minutes can go a long way to prevent injuries.
Active Rest & Recovery
If you love disc golf, you might be tempted to play the game every day. However, this can be one of the worst things you can do for your body. A lot of disc golf injuries occur when playing repeatedly without rest.
If played every day, a golfer can throw a disc thousands of times a week. Without adequate rest, this can cause wear and tear on your joints. Try to play no more than two to three rounds a week. If you experience any pain, decrease the amount you play to one or two rounds instead.
Your resting period is just as important. Active rest is different from simply resting. You should try and keep your muscles moving gently.
Go for a walk, do dynamic stretches, or try yoga. On active rest days, you can even try using a foam roller to keep your muscles flexible, or ice baths to soothe your joints. These will all prevent stiffness and injury while keeping your muscles mobile.
Why Does Disc Golf Hurt My Arm?
If you play disc golf a lot, you may have found that your arm hurts from time to time. This is probably because you’ve overused these muscles. A movement that is used in every game is called the backswing.
A backswing uses many muscles, but the two main ones are called the deltoids (in your upper arm and shoulders) and the triceps (in the upper arm, helps to extend the elbow). If these muscles are used too much, they then become sore and painful.
If you’re struggling with arm pain after a game of disc golf, some light stretching could help alleviate the pain.
However, if your pain is in your elbow, recovery needs a different approach. For disc golfers, the most common cause of elbow pain is tendonitis. Muscle tendons are thick tissues that connect muscle to bone.
When a tendon is overused, the tissue can become inflamed. If the tissue isn’t inflamed, other causes of tendonitis are the tissue tearing or becoming weak.
If you’re a disc golfer with a painful elbow, you’ll want to make the tendon more elastic. You’ll also want to increase circulation, and decrease tension around the elbow joint. This can be done through physiotherapy. A physical therapist or a sports chiropractor will be able to help you. You may not want to stop playing, but if you have elbow pain, a break from disc golf is necessary.
Playing through pain can only make your condition worse. Similarly, completely resting the elbow isn’t recommended either. Light movements will keep the elbow joint strong, so if you’re told to wear a brace, don’t keep it on any longer than necessary.