10 Reasons Why Golf is Good for You
There are few things that are better for your health than playing a sport. And of all of them, golf has a good claim to be one of the healthiest. It may not be the most strenuous of activities. But, for many reasons, including its outdoor setting, long walks and social aspects, golf is still great for your wellbeing. Here’s 10 reasons why getting out on the links is so good for you.
1 – A Good Walk Spoiled…
Is what Mark Twain famously said about the game. He was half right: golf is a great walk. On average, a golfer walks between 4- and 5-miles during a round. And the health benefits of this are numerous. It’s a brilliant way to improve your general fitness.
2 – Reduces Risk of Health Problems
More specifically, walking the 4 to 5 miles of an average round reduces your odds of getting dangerous health conditions. These include heart disease, diabetes, and various cardiovascular issues such as TIAs and strokes.
3 – Plenty of Socialising
In what other sport do you get to chat 99% of the time that you play? Because only a small percentage of your time on the golf course is spent actually hitting shots, golf gives you more opportunities than do most sports to socialise.
4 – Mental Health Benefits
Playing golf, like many other sports, benefits you not only physically, but mentally. Going out on the links will improve your mood, reduce stress and leave you feeling better and more contented. According to research, exercise releases endorphins (hormones in your body), which make you feel happy and improve your mood. A great way to boost your wellbeing.
5 – Weight Loss
Although you don’t have to be slim to be a good golfer – just look at professionals like Kevin Stadler and John Daly! – playing golf is also a great way to lose weight. The amount of calories golfers will burn in an average round is around 1,500. That is the same amount as a Dominoes pizza!
6 – Good Workout
As well as improving your cardiovascular health and your leg muscles – through all the walking! – golf also provides a workout for your upper body. Even if you’re a slower swinger, the golf swing is a powerful movement and requires a lot of different muscles to control it. The main muscles you use in your swing are the pectoralis major (chest) muscle, lattimus dorsi (back) muscle and the forearms. For some tips about maximising your golf fitness, consider reading some of our Golf Fitness feature articles. There’s a reason so many top golfers are so buff!
7 – Increases Life Expectancy
Yes, that’s right, playing golf can actually make you live longer. According to a recent study by the Swedish medical university Karolinksa Institutet, golfers, on average, live 5 years longer than their non-golfing counterparts. The university also found that golfer’s life expectancy increases the lower they get their handicap. So, even more incentive to get down to single figures!
8 – Maintains a Healthy Brain
Doing any kind of exercise increases your heart rate, which improves the blood supply to your brain. This, in turn, should help your brain to work better. It also reduces the risk of brain diseases. Studies have shown again and again that regular exercise reduces the risk of dementia by 30 per cent. The risk of Alzheimer’s disease falls by 45 per cent.
9 – Fresh Air
One of the biggest health benefits of golfing comes from just being out in the fresh air. Amongst other things, fresh air increases the flow of oxygen in your body. This improves your health in many ways, for example, by giving a boost to your digestion. Fresh air and more oxygen also aid your auto-immune system, giving your white blood cells the energy they need to help them fight germs and bacteria.
10 – Vitamin D
One plus point of global warming is that we’re exposed to more sun. And you can maximise this by spending time on the golf course. Vitamin D, one of the most important vitamins in the body, is produced by your skin when its exposed to strong sunlight. More vitamin D means helps regulate calcium, in turn leading to healthier and stronger bones. This can be increased even further by playing golf in sunny countries aboard. Check out our travel guides and golf resort reviews for some ideas!
Prostate Cancer UK’s March the Month
As you can see, golf really is a great way of keeping your body in good health. It can also help others maintain theirs’. Prostate Cancer UK are running a fundraising event called March the Month, to help fight back against the disease. To take part, you need to walk 11,000 or more steps a day every day in a month, which is, sadly, the number of men who die from the disease every year. Getting out on the golf course is an easy way to reach this target. Around 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives, so this is a really important initiative.
Golfshake Score and Walk Tracker
You can also keep track of your walking stats on the updated version of our stats tracker. As well as all the usual features, it now measures how many miles you walk during each round. A great way to keep track of your golfing fitness!
Think of any health benefits of golf that we’ve missed? Comment below to have your say.
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