Outsiders often suggest that golf involves limited physical activity, which is accurate for players who drive a golf cart. However, despite this one drawback, there are copious health benefits of golfing that no one talks about, and we will look at the top five in this post.
You will find that golf aids mental health, weight loss, healthy bones, and reduces the risk of heart disease. The next time someone tells you golfers are unhealthy, refer them to this article and school them on the benefits.
First up is mental health, a topic society is starting to take seriously, as we should. Getting out onto the golf course for a couple of hours every week allows you to engage with nature, clear your head of the noise, and disconnect from your work and personal life.
In addition, you will find that the change of scenery from your living room or office expands your perspective on life.
Besides breathing fresh air and engaging with the surrounding beauty, golf forces you to focus on one shot at a time. This distracts you from any problems off the course and gives your mind a reprieve from stress and anxiety. Plus, the adrenaline of draining a birdie putt makes you instantly forget about the negatives in your life.
The weight loss benefits associated with golf are only attainable if you walk the course and leave the cart in the garage. Walking a few steps from your cart to your ball, swinging, and jumping back on the vehicle will not aid your cause.
However, walking allows you to stretch your legs, work up a sweat, and on undulated courses, you may fit in a cardio workout. A New York Times report on a study by the Director of the Center for Health and Sport found golfers over 700 calories when walking nine holes.
Players that carry their clubs burned an average of 721 calories over nine holes, while those with push carts shed 718. In addition, the study found that swinging a golf club 100 times consumed excessive energy. If you take two practice swings before each shot, you will reach this point before the end of the front nine, adding to your calorie dump.
The CDC explains that for every 3500 calories you shed from your diet, 1 pound of mass is lost. Therefore, if you double the numbers from the Center for Health and Sport report, we find that you can lose just under ½ a pound from walking and carrying your clubs for 18 holes.
An Active Mind
A challenge that retirees face is keeping their minds active once they no longer have the workday structure in their lives. Golf gives you something to work on, because your mission is to improve your scores every time you step on the golf course. This requires practice, dedication, and a calculated strategy.
Added to the time you need to invest in practice, you are also kept on your toes with every shot. What part of the fairway gives you the clearest route to the flag? Which way does the green break? Which club is the best option for your shot, and how do you want the ball to fly.
There are a host of factors to consider as a golfer, which is why it is an excellent way to keep your brain active, analytical, and sane.
Increased Vitamin D Intake
You often hear doctors encourage using suntan lotion and UV protective clothing to combat the risk of skin cancer, and they are correct. However, the same doctors will also explain that catching sun rays are necessary to enhance your natural vitamin D intake.
It is vital to find a balance by acquiring sufficient vitamin D without compromising your skin cells. Using UV protective clothing shields you from the majority of the sun’s rays. However, the small proportion which leaks through is sufficient for your vitamin fix.
Vitamin D is vital because it regulates phosphate and calcium levels in your body. Vitamin D deficiency leads to weak teeth, bones, and muscles.
Reduced Risk Of Heart Disease
Emeritus Professor Doctor Terence Dwyer of Oxford University analyzed the lifestyles of 90,000 British residents relative to their health. His findings highlighted that individuals who walked limited distances daily increased their risk of heart disease.
However, the study showed that citizens who walked at least 2 hours every day showed no increased risk of heart complications down the road. Considering that 9 holes last at least 2 hours, walking golfers carry a reduced risk of heart disease.
I understand that not everyone can fit 2 hours of golf a day. Therefore, if you can’t make it to the links, at least schedule a walk around the neighborhood after work to make up for it.