We all realize that we should exercise. Some individuals even like doing it, but regrettably for society and most of us in it, the majority of people cannot be bothered to get off their backsides, which is why the populations of Western countries are turning to lard before our very eyes. This is a shame not just for the people concerned but for the tax-payers who have to refill the public coffers in order to take care of them when they get sick.
So, how can we induce ourselves to take more exercise? Obviously government health warnings are merely benefiting marketing agencies and the media, so what else? Maybe, they could tell us: 'Play tennis once a week, you will enjoy that vodka a whole lot more afterwards!'. Or 'Play a round of golf first and that G&T will taste better!' Or: 'Walk a mile to the pub, have a pint, walk back and have another one, you will need it!' The puritanical way definitely has not worked, so why not give realism a try?
I mentioned golf there more or less by accident, but it strikes me that going for a game of golf and having a drink with your friends later is a whole lot better than watching it on TV with a can. It is not merely the walking either, which most of us do not do enough of anyway, but it is the actions connected with hitting the ball - the swing and hand-eye co-ordination as well. And the social life afterwards, and loads of people miss out on a social life especially after retirement or the death of a spouse.
Now golf may not appear to you to be an interesting sport and I understand that point of view completely, but that is because it is not until you comprehend how difficult it is to hit that ball hundreds of yards onto the green that most people can grasp the complexity of playing the game well. That may be true of the majority of sports, but golf does look so unhurried, does it not?
One of the good things about golf is that you can play with golfers of comparable ability to yourself so that you do not feel embarrassed or 'out of place'. If you join a ramblers' club after 30 years of watching TV, you will soon feel old and past it, but golf is different, because there is no pace, no hurry, you can take as long as you like, you can let others 'play through' (go on before you) and you can call it a day and go back to the club house whenever you like.
Many retired people take up golf, particularly if they were used to being active at work, but it is also a hobby, that you can take up if you feel that you are not active enough at any age. It is surprising how much a little bit of extra exercise can help stave off stiff limbs and chubbiness.
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