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Golf is for Girls
How golf and other sports can help girls develop a healthy lifestyle
By Bill Phillips
As disheartening as the many statistics about childhood obesity are, the truth is that the problem is the worst among girls.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the last 30 years, the percentage of kids who are overweight has more than doubled. Eleven percent of 6- to 11-year-olds and 14 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds are obese, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Many attribute this problem to the fact that today’s youth are getting less exercise than their predecessors. Rather than kids running outside to play, they opt to watch TV, or play a favorite video game. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics the average child spends a total of five and half hours per day on various forms of media, such as television, video games and music.
Many experts believe that girls have fewer opportunities to participate in physical activity, and feel less confident than boys to take part in sports. This has led to a dramatic difference in the amount of physical activity between boys and girls. A study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood revealed this disappointing fact: Among 5- to 8- year old boys, 42 percent get the recommended one hour of exercise per day. Among girls in the same age group, only 11 percent get at least one hour of exercise per day.
“Children are becoming more sedentary instead of more active,” said President of American Diabetes Association Alan Cherrington, Ph.D., in a press release. “Parents need to make a commitment to lifestyle changes that includes the entire family—or the entire family may suffer."
There may be only a small window of opportunity to get young ladies interested in sports. Girls have a tendency to get involved in sports later in life, and quit earlier than boys, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation.
If parents can get their daughters interested in an outdoor sport, or activity, their daughters will be self-motivated to get proper exercise. Parents won’t have to nag their daughters to go outside and exercise—they’ll go outside on their own. While helping girls find motivation and the means to stay healthy is valuable, there are other benefits as well. In Raising Our Athletic Daughters, authors Jean Zimmerman and Gil Reavill say that young women who take part in sports are less likely to drop out of school and are more likely to go to college and graduate; they’re also less likely to use tobacco and drugs.
Golf is one sport that many girls have grown to enjoy. There are many fitness benefits to golf, and it is a sport that can be played competitively or just for fun.
Playing 18 holes means walking at least four miles, and four hours of healthy, outdoors exercise. Walking has been called the world’s most perfect exercise, since it is safe for people of all ages to take part in, and there are so many health benefits. Strengthening muscles and joints, and the immune system, and preventing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are all benefits of walking. For young people, playing golf regularly helps them form lasting fitness habits.
One of the advantages golf offers is that the whole family can play together. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, mothers have a profound influence on their daughter’s beliefs on a woman’s role in sports.
Golf and many other sports are not only enjoyable for girls, but also important as they learn to live healthy, active lifestyles that will have a positive impact long beyond their childhood years.
Bill Phillips of Golf Clubs Consultant has enjoyed playing golf since he was a young teenager. His site offers a wealth of information and advice about selecting and using golf clubs, including Titleist golf clubs, used Ping golf clubs, Power Bilt Air Force One hybrid golf clubs, and more.
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