Benefits of Golf: How Golfing Improves Your
Mental and Physical Health
Golf is a game that anybody, of any age, can play and enjoy. It's also one of the only sports where players of vastly different ages and skill levels can play together and still have a great time. Perhaps some of the greatest benefits of golf, though, are those that may go unnoticed or unseen.
Of course, playing golf requires being in the outdoors, getting some sun, and moving your body, especially if you elect to walk. Spending time in the outdoors is a natural anti-depressant, as is exercising. As you expose yourself to the sun (notice, I did NOT say expose yourself to sunburn), your body gets natural, significant doses of vitamin D, which comes with a host of mental and physical benefits. Below we will cover just a few of those benefits.
Golf Relieves Stress and Anxiety
There are 2 things that have consistently been correlated with stress relief and lowering anxiety. One is spending time outside and observing nature. Getting out and feeling the breeze, hearing the rustling of leaves on trees and birds chirping, looking at the clouds in the sky, observing the landscape…all of these things have a relaxing effect on the mind. Playing golf forces you to spend time outside and reap the benefits that come from being outside.
The second is walking. Just moving your legs continuously and rhythmically generates a physiological biorhythm that calms your thoughts and emotions. There is always a good amount of walking that occurs when golfing. But, when you forego the golf cart and walk the entire time, you will experience an even greater calming effect on your mind and emotions. This way you combine the walking with being outside, and you will experience even greater levels of relief from anxiety and stress!
Golfing Increases Sun Exposure
More specifically, golfing increases your exposure to UV rays. I know, I know. You probably know that UV rays cause sun burn, and sun burn is bad for you skin. And you're right. But I'm talking about exposure to sun light, not sun burn. You can get plenty of sun light without getting sunburned. Sunlight (UV rays) is one of the best sources from which our body gets vitamin D.
So why do we want more vitamin D? Vitamin D provides a ton of health benefits to the body. Vitamin D helps maintain phosphorous blood levels and regulates calcium, two big deciding factors of bone health. It helps support the immune system as well as the nervous system. It plays a role in regulating levels of insulin, which is crucial to managing diabetes. It supports cardiovascular health and healthy lungs. The list goes on and on. Bottom line is, vitamin D is so good for us, and most of us don't get nearly enough of it.
Human Connection Through Golf
My favorite thing about golfing is socializing with those I'm golfing with. Now, you've got to make sure you are golfing with people that you want to golf with. I remember golfing with my grandfather as a child, then my father as a young adult, and friends and other family members later on. In some cases, this time spent together is what began the formation of our relationship. In other cases, good relationships were strengthened and enhanced. And in almost every case, memories were forged that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Healthy relationships and meaningful connection with others are a huge factor in happiness as well as longevity. Knowing you have people you can turn to for strength and help can help put your mind and thoughts at ease. Regular interactions with others where you laugh, share personal experiences, and just be silly, are also great for your mind. Human connection plays an important role in the enjoyment and fulfillment you get out of life.
Getting outdoors and moving around is so beneficial to your mental and physical health. And it becomes more and more beneficial the older you get. Golf is not only a fun game that allows you to spend hours with friends and family, it gets you moving around outdoors. If you are not a golfer yet, it's time to start. There are so many benefits that come from playing golf in addition to the fun inherent to the game that you will be doing your mind and your body a huge favor.