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Golf for Your Health: Tips from Pro Natalie Gulbis

Natalie sure knows how to be in the swing of things! (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern

Before the entire month of August slips from our grasp, we wanted to make sure you knew one fun tidbit: August is National Golf Month! Another thing you might not know: the sport can be a fantastic addition to your workout routine. Walking through those 18 holes is equivalent to a five- or six-mile walk. Adding in the actual process of playing can help you potentially burn up to 2,000 calories! Want more stats? Golfers can take 10,000 steps or more during an average game. So forget hopping on the ol’ golf cart between holes and you can easily tally your daily step recommendation!

Not a golfing pro? No worries. Pro golfer, LPGA star and fitness addict Natalie Gulbis, 29, recommends grabbing a few girlfriends and hitting the links on the weekend. What’s great about golf, she says, is that “regardless of skill level, you can play together.” As a beginner, there’s no need to be intimidated, even if you’re playing with an experienced golfer (though I’m certain I’d be pretty intimidated going up against a three-time tournament winner.) “You can get fit and enjoy being outside and the challenge of the game,” says Gulbis, who routinely plays with beginner friends when she’s at home. Plus, “it’s a great way to stay connected.”

Want an extra challenge? Forgo the caddy and carry your own bag for a couple hours, or pick a hilly neighborhood course. Golfing is “great cross-training,” says Gulbis. Whipping that club around at 70 to 110 miles per hour takes some power, after all. If you can’t commit to 18 or even nine holes, grab your balls and head to the driving range, many of which are open at night after work. “Anybody can go hit,” says Gulbis, likening the social aspect of the range to batting cages. After all, “fitness has to be fun!”

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