How playing golf could improve your mental health and make you live longer

Guest Post from Patrick Bailey, Sunshine Behavioral Health

While we all know that the joy of golf comes from a good shot, there’s a lot more going on in the game. Golf is great for your mental health and can actually make you live longer. Science supports that playing golf reduces anxiety, offers good social interaction, reduces depression, lowers stress, and provides a form of therapy. “As a matter of fact, one study found that golfers have an increase in life expectancy of five years.”

Playing golf increases dopamine, which makes you feel good and eases pain. It’s like natural morphine. Even a non-vigorous exercise like golf can up your mental state. Studies published by Scientific American found that playing golf for two and a half hours helped lower depression in women. Playing golf is known as “green exercise.” Being in contact with nature helps reduce stress. Golf’s ability to improve mental health is so strong that it’s sometimes used as a form of therapy at alcoholism rehab centers. 

According to Dr. Adnan Qureshis, Neurology professor at the University of Missouri, “When comparing death rates among golfers and non-golfers, researchers found that golfers had a more than 8% lower death rate (from all causes) than non-golfers. While playing golf hasn’t been shown to reduce risk of heart attack and stroke, golf as a protective factor against early death risk is a suitable activity option for older adults due to its low impact and relaxed nature.”

And if you’ve ever played an 18-hole found, you know that golf is some serious physical exercise. And if you carry your own clubs and don’t use a golf cart, even better. You’ll burn more calories while enjoying some fresh air. Just breathing in some fresh air helps lower cardiovascular problems.

Golf is also great brain exercise. It’s a sport that requires thinking, skill and strategy. You have to visualize the trajectory of the ball, focus on form and plan your next shot. All of this takes brain work. You’re actually exercising your brain when you play golf. Golf makes you smarter. Lower blood sugar levels with a game of golf. Every calorie burned turns into glucose. This is pure sugar that the body uses as fuel. Too much glucose increases inflammatory diseases, obesity and diabetes. Playing golf is a great way to stay healthy, especially for those with type II diabetes.

Boost your confidence and self-esteem with a game of golf. Nothing beats making that difficult shot. Mastering the game of golf will give you a huge boost. For the most part, golf is easy. Build techniques with practice and you’re good to go. Just by having an activity that keeps you motivated, active and healthy, you’ll live longer. So, grab your irons and hit the green today!

Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. If you want to find more articles by Patrick, you can find them on his personal blog or in Sunshine Behavioral Health.

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