Many people think that in order to live an active lifestyle, they have to get up before dawn, run several kilometers, see their medical professionals every three months, and drink wheatgrass shakes for their health benefits. But it's actually much easier than that. Simply playing a round of golf a few times a week can improve your health and contribute to your having an active lifestyle. Here are a few tips that can help you become more active.

When a round of golf takes several hours to complete, it's not necessary to do one a day to stay healthy. Three times per week is acceptable, but many people who have jobs to worry about find it impossible to set that much time aside to play golf. Instead, they may play a round or two on the weekends and supplement their golf playing with cross training activities that will help keep them fit in the meantime, such as walking, jogging, aerobics, yoga, Pilates, cycling, rowing, or even just going to the driving range to practice. Want to know more about pilates?

Not all golfing rounds offer a lot of exercise, so if you're seriously looking to be more active you need to do away with riding around in carts and take up walking the course. Hand carts for your clubs are perfectly acceptable, as you get a health benefit from dragging them along, but if you're looking for more upper body strength, you should carry your golf bag yourself. If you're unable to make it through a whole round this way at first, start by doing 9 holes at a time until your endurance improves.

Done properly, golfing will exercise almost all of your muscles. Your legs and butt get a workout from walking the course. Your arms, and back get stronger from towing or carrying your bag, and your stomach is exercised by the twisting motion you make when you swing. Additionally, being out in the sun means you absorb more Vitamin D, improving your mood and energy levels, and browning your skin until you look as if you've taken a vacation.

If you're serious about your new active lifestyle, you also need to fuel your body properly by reducing the amount of junk that goes into it and giving it the energy it needs. Carbohydrates such as pasta are great before a game and won't weigh down your stomach, but protein is what you need in between rounds, so make sure you order some chicken or fish when you have dinner.

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