Disc golf is an outdoor sport that has grown in popularity strongly in recent years. There are many reasons behind its popularity, such as the fact that disc golf is suitable for almost everyone regardless of age, gender and wealth. Disc golf can be played alone or together with others. There are more than a thousand disc golf courses in Finland from the south to the northernmost Lapland, and most of them are free to play.
Disc golf has many health effects that make it an excellent hobby for improving fitness and mental health.
In this article, we discuss the problems caused by sitting and the suitability of disc golf for the prevention and treatment of problems. We use the Finnish institute for health and welfare as our source.
Too Much Sitting Is a Problem in Our Society
Repeated and long-term sitting every day is harmful to health. According to the FinTerveys 2017 survey, Finnish men sat for an average of 7 hours 41 minutes and women 7 hours 11 minutes on weekdays.
Problems caused by frequent and long-lasting periods of sitting and other inactivity:
- musculoskeletal system problems
- the risk of developing several long-term diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, diseases of the cardiovascular system and depression.
More information on the website of the Institute of Health and Welfare (in Finnish only, tip: use a translator).
Exercise Recommendations by the Institute of Health and Welfare
The need for exercise varies during different stages of life, which is why the Institute of Health and Welfare has developed its recommendations for different age groups. The recommendations are a good help in planning your exercises.
To achieve the health benefits of exercise, adults (aged 18–65) should exercise once a week
- moderate endurance exercise for at least 2 h 30 min or, alternatively, heavy endurance exercise for at least 1 h 15 min
- exercise that maintains muscle condition and movement control at least 2 times a week.
The recommendation for exercise for children under school age is at least three hours every day. School-aged children and young people, i.e. 7-18-year-olds, should do versatile, age-appropriate exercise for at least 1-2 hours a day. The physical growth and development of a primary school-aged child is continuous, so exercise should be versatile and contain a lot of repetitions in order to develop motor skills.
Read the Institute of Health and Welfare recommendations here (in English).
UKK Institute Weekly Physical Activity Recommendation for 18-64-year-olds (in English)
Disc Golf Helping In Prevention and Treatment of Problems Caused by Sitting
Playing disc golf can be a good way to improve your fitness. One full round on an 18-hole course usually takes about 2-3 hours. Even one round per week can reach the recommendations given by the Institute of Health and Welfare as the minimum amount of exercise for adults. Many disc golf enthusiasts play several rounds a week and thus get exercise in accordance with Institute of Health and Welfare’s recommendations.
Disc golf enthusiasts walk in different kinds of terrains, usually 2-5 kilometers (or 1-3 miles) per round, walking, squatting and throwing at different positions. This makes the sport quite versatile. Exercise comes almost unnoticed to the disc golfer, especially if the round is played in the company of friends, enjoying playing in the fresh air.
When playing disc golf, the heart rate increases and breathing accelerates to a level that develops fitness of people who don’t exercise much. The sport is suitable for most people who can walk or even use a wheelchair. Disc golf does not require as good fitness as, for example, running or skiing. This makes disc golf suitable for a large group of people. Playing disc golf can also inspire a more versatile development of the body and mind, as both of these are certainly beneficial for performance in disc golf.
Disc golf is also an excellent way to maintain social relationships and improve mental health. Disc golf is most often played with friends, allowing players to enjoy being together and share their experiences with others. In addition, focusing on playing disc golf is a good way to relax and relieve stress, as players can enjoy nature and the surrounding landscape while playing.
Disc golf is an easy and affordable way to start exercising. If you’re looking for a new and fun way to exercise, try disc golf!
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