Check out these 12 health benefits of golf and start putting today, trust us, you’ll be glad you did. Click here for more information on the subject!
Did you know that participants walk between two and six miles during a typical 18-round golf game? Of course, calculating these distances depends on variables such as whether they used a golf cart; if they played the forward, middle, or back tees; and, more. As you can imagine, golf comes with some serious health benefits, especially when you scrap the cart and carry the clubs.
From heart health to peace of mind, the health benefits of golf prove many. While some claims remain anecdotal, others carry the full weight of the scientific community. Read on to learn more about 12 verified health benefits of golfing and then get ready to hit the green.
1. Can Golf Help Me Live Longer?
For thousands of years, humans have remained captivated by the idea of the “Fountain of Youth.” In fact, spurred on by Native American myths, 16th-century Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon went on a mad man’s quest for immortality.
His hunt for the fabled waters of Bimini brought him to Florida in 1513. Sadly, though, his youth never got restored. While in Florida, he should’ve given golf a try instead!
Why? According to researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, golfers enjoy a 40 percent lower death rate than their non-golfing peers. That equates to an increase in life expectancy of five years.
According to lead researcher Professor Anders Ahlbom, “A round of golf means being outside for four or five hours, walking at a fast pace for six to seven kilometers, something which is known to be good for health. People play golf into old age, and there are also positive social and psychological aspects of the game that can be of help.”
2. Will Golf Help Me Lose Weight?
If you’ve ever watched the reality television series The Biggest Loser, you know they don’t spend a lot of time on golf courses. In fact, low impact exercise has very little do with their frenetic, mad-capped athletic routines. But, as you may also know, many contestants regain their weight because those crazy workouts prove unsustainable–even injury-inducing.
This begs a couple of questions. Can you actually lose weight golfing? If so, how many calories do you burn during your average game?
According to weight loss professionals, you should take a minimum of 10,000 steps per day to enjoy the benefits of weight loss. Fortunately, playing 18 rounds of golf helps you easily exceed this number, especially when you nix the golf cart.
So, how many calories do you stand to lose? Without the cart but carrying your own bag, expect to incinerate upwards of 1,500 calories.
3. But Does It Do a Heart Good?
When it comes to improving and maintaining cardiovascular health, any form of physical exercise that gets your blood flowing helps. Doing things like leaving the cart at the clubhouse and carrying your own bag get your heart pumping. Since your heart is a muscle, building it through regular exercise will improve its endurance, efficiency, and strength.
Cardiovascular exercise reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. It also helps you fend off diabetes and reduce harmful cholesterol levels. Since it’s a low impact activity, it also proves safer for middle-aged people and those recovering from heart attacks and strokes.
In fact, high-intensity exercise comes with its own risks. According to a study by the University of Illinois at Chicago and Kaiser Permanente, middle-aged males who “exercise at high intensities are 86 percent more likely to develop plaque buildup in their arteries than those who exercise at low intensities.”
4. Can Golf Help My Brain?
Did you know that a consistent walking routine can improve your brain’s memory circuits? Staying physically active and maintaining a strong cardiovascular system through regular exercise prove a potent recipe for long-term mental clarity.
Why? Making exercise a regular part of your routine ensures that you have a steady flow of blood nourishing your brain. But, when it comes to golf health benefits, there’s even more to it than that.
Golf proves a mentally challenging sport. It’s as much a head game as a physical game. By stimulating your brain and your body through regular low impact exercise, you help ward off Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine now recommend getting five miles of walking in a week: “Walking is the best medicine to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s–and cut your risk of getting it.”
5. Does Golf Help with Stress?
Is one of your benefits of playing golf feeling calmer? It’s not a figment of your imagination……;
Golf represents one of the best stress-reducing activities out there, and with good reason. From the quiet surroundings to the green grass, golf removes us from the fast pace of daily life, allowing us to unplug and regroup.
When you golf, your body releases powerful endorphins–chemicals that naturally enhance mood–resulting in greater peace of mind and a calmer outlook. Getting out with friends also proves a powerful stress reducer.
Fresh air and green surroundings don’t hurt, either! In fact, the best golf courses represent true landscape masterpieces. For example, this Irish gem located by the sea will leave you feeling tranquil and rejuvenated, and you can read more about it here.
6. Can Golf Help You Sleep Better at Night?
When you combine lower stress levels with physical exercise, you’ve got a great start to a restful evening. A regular exercise routine helps you fall asleep. But it also helps you enter the most beneficial type of dozing pattern–deep REM sleep–and stay there longer.
That way, you’ll awaken in the morning feeling more rested and relaxed. A better quality and quantity of sleep has also been linked to many health benefits. These include lowered risks of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
7. But What If I Hate Exercising?
Statistics across the board prove that we need a certain amount of activity in our lives to stay healthy. But if you’re a self-avowed couch potato, the last thing on your mind is heading out for a morning jog or doing sit-ups and pushups.
Unlike other forms of exercise that make you dread every excruciating moment, golf proves a pleasant activity that’s just as social as it is healthy. In fact, it’s attracting more non-exercisers than ever before.
The result? A whole segment of the population untouched by previous fitness trends is now getting fit while improving their swing. Because it feels more like a game than an exercise, golf inspires self-proclaimed non-exercisers to keep coming back for more fun NOT punishment.
8. Will Golfing Make Me Happier?
Yes, golfing will make you feel happier. This increase in golfers’ happiness quotients stems from many different factors including some of those mentioned above:
- getting more and better sleep
- feeling healthier
- having a better memory
- relying on a proven stress reliever
Because golfers take time to socialize with friends and enjoy life at a walker’s pace, they report greater satisfaction with life. In fact, the more active the golfer, the higher they scored their happiness.
9. Can Golfing Help Me Reduce My Risk of Exercise-Related Injuries?
As we’ve said before, golf fits into the low impact exercise category. This comes with many great benefits including a reduced risk of injury.
Walking on a gently rolling, soft surface proves easier on your joints. So, you’re less likely to need joint replacement surgeries as a result of this activity. Yet, you still benefit from heart-pumping exercise that burns calories.
10. Can Golfing Replace Other Forms of Exercise?
Not only is golf a great stand-in for other forms of exercise, but you get a concentrated burst of exercise in one game. Let’s crunch a few numbers…
A typical golf game takes four hours or 240 minutes. It represents moderately intense activity when you carry your own clubs and walk. That’s nearly double the 150 minutes of moderately intense activity recommended per week by many health professionals.
In other words, one round of 18 holes can supply you with a week’s worth of exercise. Are you running low on time for exercise or lack motivation? Know that one session of golf per week lets you reach and exceed your recommended activity levels.
11. Can Golf Make Me More Social?
Golfing’s an activity bet done with friends and colleagues. Unlike inviting someone to the gym for a sweat fest, golfing represents a pleasurable activity that anybody can start no matter their fitness level.
And because you walk the course, you’ll have time (and breath) for conversation. How often do you get to participate in an activity that’s good for your health and your social life?
12. Are There Any Other Health Benefits of Golf I Need to Know About?
Golfers experience a greater sense of social trust than their non-golfing peers. Again, it hearkens back to the social nature of the sport as well as its focus on sportsmanship and etiquette.
When individuals feel a stronger sense of social trust, communities and economies flourish. So, it’s in everybody’s best interests to get out there and start swinging. We could all use a greater sense of community and social trust.
Go Green for a Happier You!
Are you ready to start working on your swing yet? There’s never been a better time to start enjoying mental health benefits of golf. From increased health to greater mental acuity, golf will change your life for the better.