While the great game may not seem like a sport that is physically demanding, it can have a wide range of benefits on both the health of the body and the health of the mind. A recent study has found people who play golf live longer than those who do not, concluding that physical gains from the activity increased with age.
The research, led by the World Golf Foundation, also claimed that the sport was likely to help chronic diseases and improve balance, muscle endurance and cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory health.
So, what exactly are the health benefits of playing golf?
Any form of physical activity will help get blood pumping to your heart. Simple movements such as walking and swinging will all increase heart rate, potentially decreasing the risk of stroke and diabetes in the long term. This physical activity may also go some way in reducing blood pressure and harmful cholesterol.
On average, we need to complete around 10,000 steps a day to induce and encourage weight loss. Not using a golf cart during your round of golf will help to reach that number.
This may be an unexpected addition to our list of health benefits of playing golf. However, our body isn’t the only thing that can benefit from a round of golf—our mind is affected too. Physical activity will allow for a healthy blood supply to the brain. In addition to this, golf is also great for problem-solving, ultimately stimulating the brain and improving mental health.
Socialising, walking in the fresh air and spending time doing an activity you enjoy can dramatically improve your mood and reduce stress all in one. Playing golf releases endorphins, the natural feel-good hormone.
A low-impact physical activity, golf can be attractive for more mature players as they can burn calories, exercise their joints and be outdoors with a very low risk of injury. The key is to always warm up before a round.
Golfers typically burn a minimum of 1,500 to 2,500 calories over 18 holes—those walking the course could cover as many as eight miles