Surprising Health Benefits of Golf
That Keep You in Shape
Golf may seem like a leisurely, chilled-out game, and so it is. But that doesn’t mean the health benefits are less than other sports!
In fact, playing golf regularly can improve your health significantly and help keep you in shape. If you don’t play golf, here are a few reasons you should be!
#1 - Improved Cardiovascular Health
Any physical exercise, be it a simple walk around the block or an intense gym session, will get your blood flowing and your heart rate going. Golf is no different!
Don’t assume that a relaxed sport like golf doesn’t do much for your cardiovascular system. Just walking from one hole to the next increases your heart rate, and every drive gets your heart beating faster.
If you’re still sceptical, you may be interested to learn that the American Stroke Association presented research at the International Stroke Conference in 2020 to suggest that playing golf just once a month appears to lower the risk of death from heart attack or stroke in older adults!
#2 - Lowered Stress Levels
It’s no secret that less stress equals more health. What’s less well-known is that spending time in nature (which includes beautiful golf courses) helps to reduce stress, lower cortisol levels in the body, and increase health.
This is because exercise releases endorphins, which enhances mood and helps us relax, both physically and mentally. This can help put the fight-or-flight response to rest, so we aren’t constantly on edge!
Being surrounded by natural beauty definitely has huge benefits. But so does interacting with others who have the same interests, so whether you’re playing alone or with others, there are stress-relieving advantages.
#3 - Better Rest
When your cardiovascular system is stimulated, your stress levels are lowered, and you’re getting some fresh air and being exposed to nature and all its goodness, it all contributes to a better night’s rest.
Exercise, even a small amount, releases those good endorphins and raises our serotonin levels, which is known to be a big part of getting quality sleep.
Serotonin is particularly beneficial for deep sleep, which is the sleep stage that we need the most but get the least of. This sleep stage is when our bodies heal and regenerate.
Things like stress, poor health, and use of blue light devices can hamper our deep sleep. But a round of golf and its contribution to our health can be a good start towards improving your rest and recovery.
#4 - Increased Weight Loss
Golf may be a slow-paced sport, but you’re burning calories with every step, swing, and slice. If you really want to get this benefit from your golf game, leave the golf cart behind and head out on foot.
Most courses have some ups and downs, and if you’re playing a full 18, you’ll also be walking upwards of 7000 yards! Not just that, but you’ll be carrying your golf bag too. You’ll be burning calories, but you’ll also be building a bit of muscle.
If you keep it up and eat healthy too, you’ll find that your rounds of golf contribute nicely to weight loss.
#5 - Mental Stimulation
Health is not just about the body - it’s about the mind, too. Golf is a great sport to keep your brain sharp!
On the course, you’re constantly strategizing, readjusting your game plan, and devising new plans against the elements (especially when a sneaky wind pops up).
Research has shown that mental stimulation helps prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. Other things that contribute include better regular exercise, quality sleep, and stress management - all of the things that a round of golf offer!
Golf is a surprisingly health-promoting sport. If you’re looking for something active to help keep you in shape that’s a great mix of relaxation, exercise, and mental stimulation, golf may be the game for you!
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