Can Cardiovascular Exercise Improve Your Golf Game?

By Lisa Holtan

The golf season may be over but that does not mean you should stop your fitness routine. This month we are talking about cardiovascular exercise. Many people view the game of golf as a leisurely activity (and it may be for some), but you are moving your body for 2-3 hours, which can be a lot. To help prevent pain and to increase your endurance, incorporate these cardiovascular exercises into your fitness routine and by this coming spring, you will be walking the course with ease.

The key to making these cardiovascular exercises most effective is by knowing your maximum heart rate. To figure out your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220 and then multiply by the percentages indicated below to determine where you should be. The addition of a heart rate monitor will help you know what level you are at.

If you have never done any cardiovascular exercise before, start simple with walking for 30 minutes, at a medium intensity or 65% of your max heart rate three days per week.

If you have done cardiovascular exercise before, incorporate these workouts each week:
• 1 day of walking for 30-60 minutes at 65% of your max heart rate.
• 1 day of walking hills at 75% of your max heart rate.
• 1 day of intervals – warm up for 5 minutes, then walk at 65-75% of your max heart rate for 2 minutes, then walk faster to get your heart rate up to 80-85% of max heart rate for 30 seconds, and then slow your pace to recover for 2 minutes, and then go faster for 30 seconds.

Repeat the intervals 4-6 times. Finish with a cool-down for 5 minutes.

If you don’t have access to a treadmill, walk outside. If the weather does not permit walking outside, you can walk the halls in your office over your lunch hour, or most schools let the public walk the school hallways during certain days and times. These are all great options for getting in your cardiovascular workout.

As always, consult your doctor before starting any cardiovascular or strength program.
If you are interested in doing 1-on-1 golf fitness training, you can contact Lisa at

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