Why golfers should walk as much as possible, according to a new study

Playing golf is good for your heart health.

Walking 18 holes is good for your heart.

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BREAKING NEWS: Exercise is good for your heart health. 

OK, so maybe that’s not breaking news, but a new study has helped to quantify the strong link between staying active and having a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. 

While we know that physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, exactly how much exercise a person should get and whether there is a limit to these benefits intrigued Dr. Terence Dwyer, an emeritus professor of epidemiology at the University of Oxford, in England. 

To find answers to this question he and his colleagues utilized data from more than 90,000 adults stored in the U.K. Biobank, a database of health and lifestyle information. 

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After analyzing the data by crosschecking which participants developed heart disease in the years after joining the study with their activity habits, Dr. Dwyer’s team unsurprisingly found that being active protected against heart disease.  

But the findings also showed that people in the least active group of participants had more than double the chance of developing heart disease compared to the most active people. 

More important, the study bolsters the growing body of evidence that almost any amount of physical activity is good for your heart. That includes even mild forms of exercise like walking, something many golfers do a lot of. 

So how much golf should you play to maximize the positive benefits for your heart? 

You’re going to like this answer. 

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The researchers found that the men and woman who exercised the most, including those who walked more than two hours a day (sounds almost like a round of golf to us), showed no increased risk for heart disease. 

Dr. Dwyer’s results “provide even stronger evidence than has been previously available that physical activity, including vigorous physical activity, is important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Playing golf is a great form of exercise, not just because you burn a lot of calories, but also because it’s actually good for your ticker. It’s important to note that while playing golf in itself is a good form of exercise, it’s even better for you if you walk rather than ride

Increasing your activity (read: rounds of golf played) will substantially decrease your risk of heart disease later on in life. That means that you can play as much golf as your heart desires — doctor’s orders!

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Rachel Bleier

Golf.com Editor