Disc golf is not only about hosting a spring tournament with over 1,000 players in attendance. It is not only about hosting a Professional World Championship with the best player’s in the world registered. Disc golf can be a group of coworkers battling for plastic tags, and a wrestling title belt every week. The majority of disc golfers may not ever participate in a tournament of any kind.
For most, the best part of disc golf is finding a fairly inexpensive way to enjoy the outdoors in some way/shape/form. I was able to speak with Memphis’ own Ben Taylor about how he specifically implemented disc golf into a more healthy lifestyle. Ben is a local member of the 901 Discs disc golf club, and a manager of Central BBQ in Memphis, TN. Ben felt that his old lifestyle was, for lack of a better word, unhealthy; because of this, Ben used a growing sport to help him attempt to reach his personal health goals.
Dynamic Discs: What are the biggest changes you made that helped you lose weight?
Ben Taylor: Exercising daily is obvious. I would go out to a local course as often as
possible. I started out not being able to throw further than 200 feet or so, and running to each throw for an entire round was a challenge. I started doing some light yoga to stretch out as well as some lighter workouts to supplement my game. I wear weighted vests while playing, and working out. Now I can throw up to 350 feet, and run four rounds in a single day. Watching what I eat, and cutting soda/excessive sugar almost completely.
DD: How were you able to incorporate disc golf into your healthier lifestyle?
Ben Taylor: At my place of work, we posted a weight loss challenge. I had heard about
disc golf years before, and I had toyed with the idea of getting into it. I had some some random plastic in my garage, and there is a course on my way to work. Having the course on my way to work made it easy to dive into the disc golf life. Most of the courses in Memphis are on the outskirts of town, until very recently. I also hate to run, so a strictly cardio option wasn’t for me.
DD: What advice do you have for those who think disc golf is NOT for losing weight?
Ben Taylor: Well for people who don’t even try to lose weight, playing in the summer
heat is better for you that not doing anything. Walking a mile or two on the course helps you to get into a routine. It can also very easily be added to whatever else you already do for exercise. Just doing something is the best way to change your lifestyle.
DD: What would you tell a person who thinks they just can’t get healthier, or lose weight playing disc golf alone?
Ben Taylor: There is no way to NOT get healthier if you play unless you shoot yourself
in the foot after a round by reverting back to poor eating habits. Even if you aren’t running or jogging from throw to throw during a round, just keeping moving does wonders. Besides, being outside in nature is taken for granted with all of the unnatural settings of city life, and a busy weekly schedule.
Ben is just one, of many, individuals around the country who has taken up the sport of disc golf for something more than a competitive ‘I want to win’ mentality. He used the sport to help him get his, admittedly, unhealthy 255 lb weight to a much healthier (and steady) 175-180 lbs. So take some of Ben’s advice, and at the very minimum, get outside with friends and family. Break the monotony of the everyday schedule, and enjoy some disc golf.