Golf is a fun and relaxing non-physical sport that can be enjoyed with friends or family. It’s a great way to go out and enjoy nature, get some good exercise, and socialize with others.
Most other physical sports such as basketball and football are more aggression-based and rely on strength, speed, and accuracy to win. Golf relies more on strategy and stamina than anything else.
Researchers have been studying the health benefits of golf for years and have come to the conclusion that playing the game has amazing benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the best reasons why playing golf is beneficial for good health.
- Increases Life Expectancy
We’re going to kick this list off with a shocker. Who would have thought that playing golf, or any game for that matter, could actually help you to live a longer life? Well, that’s exactly what researchers from the Karolinska Institute discovered after studying 300,000 golfers in Sweden.
It was found out that the death rate for golfers was 40 percent lower than for non-golfers of the same age, gender, and socioeconomic status. The study also found out that on the average, professional golfers tended to live to about 88 years old.
- Reduces Stress
Playing golf has been known to reduce stress levels by around 3.3% by releasing endorphins in our brains. Endorphins are powerful chemicals which enhance a mood, effectively allowing a person to become more happy and relaxed.
Couple this with the added benefit of socialization during gameplay, and you’ve got a great stress-relieving sport.
- Encourages Brain Stimulation
According to Clive Ballard, the director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, physical activity is a great way to encourage brain stimulation and to keep it healthy. An 18-hole game of golf involves walking a 5-6-mile course, and this physical exercise is exactly what your brain needs to keep the blood pumping to and from.
- Helps Lose Weight
As mentioned above, playing golf entails lots of walking, jogging, and sometimes sprinting. According to a study done by the Norwegian Golf Federation (NGF), it was discovered that the average male golfer burns around 2,500 calories by simply playing an 18-hole round.
Of course, make sure that you’re actually walking, carrying your own golf clubs around, and doing the physical activities. If you’re constantly in a golf cart and have caddies carrying your stuff around, don’t expect to lose much weight.
- Improves Sleep Patterns
Playing golf can be considered a workout or even exercise. Most people know that the more you tire out your body during the day, the better you sleep. This is because your body is working double-time to help repair your muscles. Therefore, playing golf (as with any other sport) will help to improve your sleep pattern and allow you to get the much-needed rest.
- Promotes a Healthy Heart
A healthy heart needs plenty of blood pumping out and in. This reduces blood pressure and can produce very positive effects for those that are suffering from diabetes or hypertension. Similarly, the risk of stroke or harmful cholesterol buildup in the body is reduced as well.
Playing golf provides these benefits, especially, given the activities which comprise the game. Actions such as walking, swinging, or carrying dozens of golf clubs all promote the necessary blood flow for maintaining a healthy heart.
- Strengthens the Bladder
Playing golf on an 18-hole course will take around 3-4 hours to complete depending on skill level. Not surprisingly, there aren’t many bathrooms in the area and public urination is strictly forbidden. You’ll have to “hold it in” until you get back, and this is an excellent way to do Kegel exercises and strengthen leg muscles.
- Provides Improved Vision
A standard golf course is pretty vast and encompasses a lot of open ground. Playing golf provides improved vision because you’ll spend a lot of time adjusting your eyes to varying distances of near and far objects; an excellent exercise in good eye care.
Additionally, the white golf ball is quite small and as you scan for it throughout the different types of terrain, your eyes are getting a good workout.