The influx of technology in our everyday lives has certainly changed the way many of us parent compared to previous generations, and getting our kids off of their digital devices is harder now more than ever before. Not only is it important to ensure your child is involved in other activities, but incorporating physical exercise for kids is equally as integral to their overall health and well-being. Whether your child is naturally fit or their doctor has recommended that they engage in some sort of exercise program, what activities can you turn to that are both fun and challenging?
For many, disc golf is the answer. While it might not look like exercise on the surface, the act of throwing a disc and walking to it across 18 holes can burn calories and help aid in weight loss for kids. However, it’s not just children who can benefit either – we spoke with two professional disc golf players who completely transformed their health through the sport.
Living A Healthier Life
Jordan Castro is a 25-year-old from Minnesota. While he discovered disc golf in middle school with his friends and fell in love with the sport right away, he didn’t utilize it as a weight-loss tool until later in life. “My dad passed away from not being healthy and I didn’t want to end up like him,” he shared. “I just wanted to live healthily and eat better.”
Castro set out a goal to lose 45kg and blended a healthy diet along with disc golf as his main form of exercise. He tours the country and competes at the highest level the sport has to offer, and he knew that if he lost weight, he would feel better and be able to play better. At the start of his weight loss journey, he measured in at 165kg.
“I wanted to play every day. It was a good way to explore nature while exercising. It was super challenging and I wanted to get better,” Jordan said. And play every day he did, sometimes walking several kilometers just to finish his favorite courses. Once he got started, the weight kept coming off, resulting in him exceeding his goal and losing 86kg.
Trying to find good exercises for kids can be challenging, but Castro has a few wise words to share: “If I can do it you can do it. You have to set up a plan and a goal and stay determined. It’s life-changing – it’s going to be hard and challenging but it will all be worth it in the end.”
Doing What It Takes
It might sound easy for a single young man to find the time to exercise and lose weight, but what about people who have busy lives? Victor ”Skywalker” Nyhuus is a 40-year-old living in Sweden. While he discovered disc golf with his friends at age 12, he didn’t really pick up the sport until he was an adult. Married with two children, as well as working two different jobs, Victor still found the time to meet his weight loss goals.
“I was at 171kg at my heaviest when I realized that I had to do a real change in my life. Now almost 4 years later I’m at 94kg. I’m still not at my goal, which is 88kg,” he said. Although he is considered to be a professional player and competes against the best in the world, Nyhuus takes a more lighthearted approach to the game:
“I have never strived to the best player in the world; my goal with disc golf has always been having fun and being active, meeting new people, going to new places, and spreading the sport that I love so much to new people! I love competing in disc golf and I have been in many different countries to play – it is great to see how the sport is growing all around the globe. I have also made a lot of new friends from all over the world through disc golf.”
So how can disc golf seamlessly blend kids and exercise? Victor explains, “It’s fairly cheap compared to a lot of other sports and it’s easy to fall in love with it. You are outdoors, get fresh air, and you can do it at your own pace. All ages can play it and it’s perfect for the family to get more active together. People of all levels of the game can play it together. It’s an easy and fun way to be out getting exercise without feeling like you are exercising!”
The Perfect Exercise Program For Kids
Disc golf has brought some impressive results to both Victor and Jordan’s lives, and there’s no reason that kids around the world can’t engage in this fun and exciting sport. If you’re not sure how to introduce disc golf and healthy living to your family, consider these thoughts from Nyhuus:
“Kids these days get so much input from social media about how they should look and many kids feel bad about themselves. I think you as a parent have to be a role model and make sure you don’t cut corners with giving them food that’s not good for them and just let them sit at their computer and iPad. Start looking at yourself – what do you do to live a healthy life? Lead by example and try to get the whole family included in a better way of living with both exercise and healthy food!”
Her passion for disc golf and writing come together seamlessly as Courtney writes for some of the biggest names in the disc golf industry. As the co-owner of Author-Eyes, her creative studio based in Oregon, she's committed to developing content that engages and inspires.