Golf is a relaxing sport that players of all ages enjoy. But, few realize that the sport additionally offers a variety of health benefits.
1) Great Exercise
As long as players do not use a cart, the game involves walking from one hole to the next, which provides a cardiovascular workout. The act of simply walking improves blood flow while strengthening the cardiovascular system. Each time a player swings the club, they use muscles in their arms, back, abdomen, arms and legs. Even accomplished players repeat these movements approximately 30 times during a game. Novice players often use more strokes. Along with helping their heart, players put their major muscle groups through the paces. In effect, golfers get exercise that benefits the entire body.
2) Lose Weight
Playing 18 holes of golf typically requires walking anywhere from five to six miles. The changing terrain makes the trek more challenging. As such, golfers expend approximately 1,500 calories or more during gameplay. That equates to more calories burned than a typical workout at the gym. Thus, golfers have a great chance to stay in shape and maintain a healthier weight.
3) Low-impact Workout
Many people avoid exercising due to the stress the activity puts on weight-bearing joints. However, golf is considered a low-impact sport. The joints are not subjected to the hard impact that often accompanies sports like tennis or jogging. In this way, golf makes for the ideal exercise activity for individuals needing a less stressful workout.
4) Improves Cognitive Health
Older adults contemplating ways of keeping their cognitive processes healthy might consider playing golf. The cardiovascular effects of gameplay enhance blood circulation, which the brain needs for the oxygen and nutrients carried in the blood. The visual stimulation combined with the physical movements and strategies involved in playing golf encourage the development of new neural pathways between brain cells. Chemical messages that are unable to travel through one route then have other options thanks to playing golf.
5) Relieves Stress
Getting outside on a bright sunny day, enjoying the scenery and spending time with a friend or loved one on the golf course has a relaxing effect. Golfing makes for a great escape from the hassles and stressful circumstances of daily life. Thus, golf is a good way to improve overall emotional and mental health.
Originally published on LarryStone.org