Golf has been known as a leisure sport for the rich, but the health benefits that it provides are not correlated with one’s social status.
A Swedish study has shown that Swedish golfers have a death rate that is 40% lower than the rest of the population, which equates to living five years more than the average person regardless of the age, sex, or social group.
Here are 8 ways in which our bodies benefit from playing golf.
1. Brain Health
Calculations regarding risk and reward when taking a certain shot add an analytical facet to the game. Aside from this, regular aerobic exercise strengthens the brain’s “memory circuits” and improves its functions by providing a good circulation of blood to the brain.
2. Heart Health
Physical activity also does wonders for the heart. Exercise keeps the veins and arteries flexible which allows them to dilate or expand when needed to keep your blood pressure stable even during stress. The increased heart rate while walking and carrying gear will also be beneficial to the overall cardiovascular strength.
3. Social Wellness
You may choose to play the game for fun or you may play it competitively but socialization will always be a part of golf. Although it has a reputation of being a game played only by the elite, many modern golf clubs are now accepting members from various classes and with different budgets. This makes a golfing event a place where people with different lifestyles can socialize.
4. Stress Management
A walk in a fresh air away from work and other stressors can greatly reduce the levels of stress hormones in our body. Couple this with other factors such as aerobic activity and socialization and you have a recipe for mood-enhancing chemicals that relieve your stress.
5. Physical Fitness
Golf is primarily a physical activity so you can expect it to improve your physical fitness. For example, the hip rotation which is one of the most important aspects in a golf swing is not easily trained because there is no gym equipment available for this, unlike for other functions of the hip such as hip adduction and hip extension. Playing golf allows you to strengthen these weak areas in the body.
6. Low Impact
Golf is a low impact sport so the muscles and joints are not subjected to higher stresses found in other sports like basketball or football. In fact, golf ranks much lower than general exercises like jogging or aerobics and equal with other leisure sports like hiking and fishing in terms of injuries per year. This means that older people or those suffering from injuries can have an opportunity to play a sport without being hindered by age or pain.
7. Weight Loss
A regulation course will involve 4 miles of walking in sloping terrain carrying the additional weight of the gear and water. Additionally, you will have to swing which involves the arms and legs as well as the core for 30+ repetitions. This makes a golfing session a serious aerobic exercise that can help you lose weight while having fun at the same time.
8. Bladder Strength
Golfing may require players to hold it in which can be difficult for some in the beginning but they will eventually adjust. This may not be a benefit for some but for those suffering from urinary incontinence which commonly haunts older men, this is a low-cost and low-risk method to address overactive bladders without the need for medication.
You may think that golf carts are necessary for a game of golf but they are not and you may actually be reducing the benefits listed above because you are removing the opportunity to walk around while carrying your gear. Walking to the next hole is not only an opportunity to talk and socialize but also an opportunity to enjoy the view and relax.
However, considering that your gear can weigh over 30 pounds when bringing other things such as bottles of water and that you have to carry it 6200 to 7000 yards for a regulation course, you may start to consider using a golf cart. You can buy your own golf cart for about $4,000 for a basic model, a hefty price that makes this tool a convenience for the elite but nevertheless necessary for some.