Health experts from the US to Australia are insisting that golf can be good for your health. There are so many factors that make playing a round a healthy way to stay fit and keep your heart pumping strong. For players of all ages, as a competitive activity or a casual pastime, golf can help you improve endurance and lose weight.
What the Experts Say about Your Health and Playing Golf
The American Society of Golf Course Architects stands by a Tallahassee.com article by Becky Sauers on the subject. In it, she tells of Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences researcher, Neil Wolkodoff’s report which shows that walking the 9-hole course actually helps you burn calories:
- Golf players who carry their bags while walking the course burn 721 calories on average.
- Players who travel the course using pull-carts actually burn 718 calories on average.
- Golfers who walk the course, but have caddies carry their bags burn 613 calories on average.
- Those who ride in golf carts throughout the game still burn an average of 411 calories.
The State Government of Victoria (Australia) has made similar claims. On their website, Better Health Channel, they remind us that by walking throughout your round of golf on an average course, you’re trekking about 4-kilometers. That converts to just under three miles, which is a good workout for just about anyone.
Currently, playing golf is Victoria’s third most popular activity for those seeking leisure workouts. Walking an 18-hole course, 3-5 times weekly, gives golfers an ideal amount exercise for the heart. Carrying your own golf clubs, or at least pulling them yourself, is even more beneficial to your health. According to Better Health Channel, the three main health benefits of playing golf are:
- Helps you stay fit
- Improves your endurance and muscle tome
- Assists with losing body fat and unwanted calories
7 Benefits of Golfing, According to Players
Golf has quickly become a popular sport all over the globe. Players of all ages, walks of life, social standings and geographic locations find solace in a good game of golf. Here are seven health benefits of playing golf, as told by various golfers:
1. Reduces Stress – It’s been said that playing a round of golf releases endorphins. These are all-natural, powerful, mood-enhancing “drugs” within our brains. Basically, golfing helps you relax, reducing stress, which can effect health drastically.
2. Stimulates Blood Circulation – Some suggest that playing golf may actually stimulate blood circulation with your brain. This helps to improve nerve cell connections, and may actually delay dementia onset.
3. Improves Mortality Rate – A Swedish Study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports concluded that golf just may affect life expectancy. According to the publication, of those who play golf regularly, there was a 40% decrease in mortality rates. That’s an increase of a 5-year life expectancy.
4. Helps You Get a Better Night’s Sleep – It’s during sleep when our bodies heal most. Therefore, any activity that causes us to sleep well, naturally, is good for our health. Between walking the course, lugging your bag, prepping and swinging, you’ll get enough of a physical workout to fall asleep fast and stay sleep all night long.
5. Improves Vision – It takes pretty good vision to zoom in on that round, little white ball. Each time you take a swing at it, you get the opportunity to evaluate the keenness of your vision. This is especially true when you’re trying to figure out where your ball has landed.
6. Gets Your Bladder Trained – This one was a bit surprising to hear from golfers. But, it deserves noting. Those frequent visits from your friendly course beer-cart girl can give your bladder a run for its time. The longer you learn to hold it, the more you strengthen the capacity of your bladder. And, as noted by some women golfers, it’s also an effective way to strengthen leg muscles, especially in the thighs. Those crouching maneuvers used by those who can’t “hold it” are a unique way of doing leg exercises.
7. Stimulates the Heart – Remember that any form of physical exercise helps to get your adrenaline going. This, in turn, gets the blood pumping to your heart, strengthening it naturally. Exercising for just 30 minutes each day can help you lower your blood pressure by up to 5-7 points. Workouts also help you improve your cholesterol, lose weight and lower risks of getting heart disease.
Are you happier playing golf? Have you lost weight? Slept better? Add your comments below.