Everything about our lives is busy. We not only do our work at work now a days, but carry work with us. Cell phones, video conferencing and wireless Internet allow work to be done anywhere and anytime. Technologies advancements have helped business reach across the globe and do more work with greater speed than ever before. Yet, some businesses are seeing a decrease in workers productivity. A person can find themselves asking, “how can this be?”
Well, technology allows people to complete tasks with less physical exertion. Escalators, elevators, and cars make it easy to get where you are going without moving very much. We even have buttons to open car doors for us and save the time and effort to do it ourselves. Along with the weight control benefits of exercise lost due to all this technology, we also lose the benefits for reducing stress that come from exercise. And with stress is on the rise for many Americans these benefits are greatly needed. Stress reduces work productivity and causes businesses millions of dollars in lost work due to this reduced productivity and absenteeism associated with stress.
Lucky for the golf lover, golfing is not only recreational, but also a great healthy activity. A key to success in using golfing to reduce stress is to get all the exercise out of it that you can. If a person walks the golf course they walk 4-5 miles. Even though it is stop and go walking, it is still beneficial. An average American needs to take 10,000 steps a day to maintain weight, that is about 5 miles. Golf is the perfect solution for the goal to move more. Unfortunately, there is starting to be a trend to use a cart while golfing instead of walking. It has been said, “walking is the way that golf is meant to be played.” Supporting this statement is that fact that participants in the PGA tournaments are required to walk the course. Part of playing the game is having the endurance not only to play, but also to travel in between holes. Playing traditional golf, including walking the course, also shows respect for the game.
Other benefits of walking, other than reducing stress, are time to unwind and slow down. Because most people are busy all the time, and always in a hurry to get to the next task. Walking the golf course allows a person to relax and take the time to fully enjoy what they are doing. When you have a cart, you quickly get in it to move quickly to the next hole. The person who does this robs them self of the time to look at the course and enjoy being outside. Slowing down gives you the time to think, contemplate and figure out life’s problems. Stress is reduced not only for the body, through exercise, but also the mind through pondering. If you aren’t able to walk the entire time due to lack of conditioning or poor health consider these suggestions:
1) walk 9 holes, use a cart for 9 holes
2) if golfing with a partner each walk half the time and use the cart half the time
3) take someone with you as a driver, to transport only between holes
4) start by walking everything you can other than the actual travel to each hole
5) Take the stairs more often, park further away from the fronts of businesses, and take a 10 minute walk on your lunch break to work up to more physical endurance.
6) Take time to slow down, enjoy the course and get all the benefits that golf has to offer.