There are many health benefits to playing disc golf. Those who know me, know of my love for disc golf. Some of you may not have heard about disc golf yet, but you’ll know a little about it by the end of this blog post, and why it’s so beneficial for people with diabetes.
I started playing disc golf about 20 years ago. My cousin Jon got me started with it when I lived in Schaumburg, IL. The first course I ever played was a 9 hole course in Elk Grove Village. While everyone else was playing golf, I was playing disc golf. I liked it better because it was free, the discs were cheaper than clubs, and you didn’t have to make an appointment to play. You just called up your buddies and said “Hey, you wanna throw today?”. Little did I know back then how healthy my favorite past time was.
So with disc golf, you have a tee, a basket (the hole), drivers, midranges, putters, just like in golf. Tees are often made of concrete, and they give you a good place to get a running throw. Sometimes they’re made of dirt, but mostly they’re concrete. The drivers are usually very rigid and thin with a sharp edge, and they’re designed to be snapped out of your hand to get the greatest range. Midranges are heavier, not as sharpe edged, and made of different plastic. Putters have a soft blunt edge, are much heavier, and made of very soft plastic, so they drop like a rock when they hit the chains of the basket. Most serious disc golfers play every hole a par 3, no matter what the sign says par is suppose to be.
Disc golf is played in public parks all around the world. In my area of the midwest, I’m kinda lucky because it’s kinda the only thing we have to do around here, so there are tons of courses around to choose from. With them being in public parks, it means it’s a nice walk through nature every time you play. Some courses are short, some are long, but you can sometimes end up walking a few miles just to play 18 holes. It’s low impact, yet brings great benefits. All kinds of studies show how just walking 30 minutes a day bring many health benefits including warding off cancer and diabetes. Terrain in public parks ranges from slow and steady, to steep hilly, rugged, etc. So your walk can be a more challenging workout too. Especially for people like me who have to climb trees, or into streams to recover his disc!
You actually burn an average of 900 calories on an 18 hole course. I tested this once, and it was true! I wore a calorie burn / heart monitor once while playing 18 holes. Now, if you burn that many calories, think of what it’s going to do to your blood sugar as a diabetic? For most people, it will make your blood sugar drop, so make sure to always carry glucose tabs with you on the course. Do this often, and your body will start to improve it’s own insulin resistance. Plus it helps you lose weight. Just because of the exercise. Exercise that’s fun and enjoyable, yet not terribly impacting. People of all ages can play disc golf. I’ve seen guys in their 70’s playing, and kids below 10 playing.
Disc golf courses can be found in most big cities, and even in small towns now days. If there’s a disc golf course in your town, disc’s are probably sold at your local nearby drug store, grocery store, or department store. Here is a link/picture to Disc Golf Course Review, where you can search for courses in your area. http://www.dgcoursereview.com/
So to review the health benefits of disc golf for diabetes:
- Burns 900 calories per 18 holes, around 400 for 9 holes
- Improves insulin resistance and reduces blood sugar
- Aerobic exercise causes weight loss
- Improves cholesterol and reduces blood pressure
- Reduces risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease
So now, what is the next step? Get our there and throw of course!!!