Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 375–381 | Cite as

Golf: a high intensity interval activity for elderly men

Original Article

Abstract

Background and aims: The aim was to quantify the time spent at different exercise intensities for male golfers, in relation to age, while walking a “normal” 18-hole golf course. Methods: 19 healthy male golfers (six 27 (5) years old, seven of 50 (7) and six of 75 (4) years) performed a maximal exercise test on a treadmill (maximal oxygen uptake and maximal heart rate were measured). Within one week, they played an “average” 18-hole course starting at 7:00 a.m. During the round, their heart rate was monitored with a Polar Vantage heart rate monitor, which sampled the heart rate every 5 seconds. Body weight was measured before and after the round. Blood glucose was taken at rest before the round and after each 3rd hole. Perceived exertion and perceived pain in muscles and joints were rated using the CR 10 Borg scale just before reaching each green and after a few selected uphill parts of the course. Results: High intensity of exercise was reached during 6% of the total playing time for the young, 30% for the middle-aged and 70% for the elderly golfers, playing 18 holes ( p<0.05 ). The golfers’ heart rate was below 50% of their individual maximal heart rate, 18% of total time for young golfers, 16% for the middle-aged, and not at all for the elderly. Perceived exertion, breathlessness and leg fatigue were rated in a similar manner for all three groups. Perceived pain in joints and muscles was rated extremely weak except in a few players who had some known joint or muscle problem. The mean blood glucose level fell by 20% for the young ( p<0.05 ), 10% for the middle-aged, and 30% for the elderly players (p<0.05) after 18 holes of play. Body weight was reduced 0.7% similarly for all three groups ( p<0.05 ). Conclusions: Walking an 18-hole golf course corresponds to an exercise intensity which is moderate and high for the elderly, mainly low to moderate for the middle-aged, and low for young male golfers. All golfers, regardless of age, perceived their exertion similarly as weak to moderate.

Key Words

Aerobic power elderly exercise intensity golf middle-aged young 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Blair SN, Kohl HW, Gordon NF, Paffenbarger RS. How much physical activity is good for health? Ann Rev Public Health 1992; 13: 99–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Saltin B. Sedentary lifestyle: an underestimated health risk. J Intern Med 1992; 232: 467–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cherubini A, Lowenthal DT, Williams LS, Maggio D, Mecocci P, Senin U. Physical activty and cardiovascular health in the elderly. Aging Clin Exp Res 1998; 10: 13–25.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ahacic K, Parker MG, Thorslund M. Mobility limitations in the Swedish population from 1968 to 1992: age, gender and social class differences. Aging Clin Exp Res 2000; 12: 190–8.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Broman G. Golf: Exercise for health and longevity. In Thomas PR, Ed. Optimising performance in golf. Australia: Australian Academic Press, 2001: 149–63.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Parkkari J, Natri A, Kannus P, et al. A controlled trial of the health benefits of regular walking on a golf course. Am J Med 2000; 109: 102–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Palank EA, Hargreaves EH. The benefits of walking the golf course. Phys Sports Med 1990; 18: 77–80.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kukkonen-Harjula K, Laukkanen R, Vuori I, et al. Effects of walking training on health-related fitness in healthy middle-aged adults: a randomized controlled study. Scand J Med Sci Sports 1998; 8: 236–42.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jetté M, Sidney K, Campbell J. Effects of a twelve-week walking programme on maximal and submaximal work output indices in sedentary middle-aged men and women. J Sports Med 1988; 28: 59–66.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pollock MJ, Miller HS, Janeway R, Linnerud AC, Robertson B, Valentino R. Effects of walking on body composition and cardiovascular function of middle aged men. J Appl Physiol 1971; 30: 126–30.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Magnusson G. Golf: Exercise for fitness and health. In Farrally MR, Cochran AJ, Eds. Science and golf III: Proceedings of the 1998 World Scientific Congress of Golf. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1999: 51–7.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Murase Y, Kamei S, Hoshikawa T. Heart rate and metabolic responses to participation in golf. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1989; 29: 269–72.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Stauch M, Kiu Y, Giesler M, Lehman M. Physical activity level during a round of golf on a hilly course. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1999; 39: 321–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998; 30: 975–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Borg G. Borg’s perceived exertion and pain scales. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1998.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Schvarts E, Reibold RC. Aerobic fitness norms for male and females aged 6 to 75 years: A review. Aviat Space Environ Med 1990; 61: 3–11.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Spirduso WW. Balance, posture and locomotion. In Spirduso WW, Ed. Physical dimensions of aging. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1995: 155–79.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wilmore JH, Costill DL. Thermal regulation and exercise. In Wilmore JH, Costill DL, Eds. Physiology of sports exercise. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics, 1994: 249–52.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Äijö M, Heikkinen E, Schroll M, Steen B. Physical activity and mortality of 75-year-old people in three Nordic localities: a five-year follow-up. Aging Clin Exp Res 2002; 14: 83–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sports and Health SciencesStockholm University College of Physical Education and SportsStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical PhysiologyKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations