The health benefits of playing golf – Yes, it really is good for you
Whether you’re looking to lose a bit of weight, get fitter or de-stress, there are many ways to do so, and whilst you may not think leisurely sports like snooker, darts and golf would have a major impact on your health, you may be happy to hear that you don’t have to sweat it out in the gym, and can enjoy these pastimes whilst making a big difference to your general health, and you’ll look better in your Nike golf clothing as well! Here, we take you through the health benefits of a good game of golf, not just on your physical health, but your mental health too.
Any type of cardio exercise can help your heart. By getting the blood pumping around your body, and to your heart, you could reap benefits such as lower risk of diabetes and stroke, as well as reducing bad cholesterol and blood pressure. The good news is, a game of golf includes many ways to get that blood pumping, including walking the course, swinging your clubs and even carrying your bag. A study by the NGF (Norwegian Golf Federation), found that over a period of play that lasted between 2 and 5 hours, on an 18-hole course, an average golfer will have an average heart rate of 100 bpm.
An added bonus of any type of exercise is the effect it can have on your weight. With the average course easily over the (often advised) target of 10,000 steps, it’s no wonder that, combined with a healthy diet, golfers can see great rates of weight loss. Studies have found that over an 18-hole course, the average male can burn approximately 2500 calories, whilst women burn fewer – around 1500 calories over the same distance.
Less chance of injury
Let’s face it, we all know runners that push it too far, then can’t exercise for a while as they’ve done themselves some damage. With golf, you get all the benefits of exercise in a low impact setting that doesn’t provide many opportunities to injure yourself.
Improved brain function may sound a little far-fetched, but in actuality, regular exercise in the form of walking the course may well improve memory circuits. The Alzheimer’s Society puts this down to the strong blood supply provided by such exercise.
Whilst golf can really help the physical health of participants, there are a number of mental health benefits too, any fitness professional will advise of that. There’s a reason that many top executives play golf, and it’s not just for the networking opportunities. A round of golf can release those all-important endorphins, crucial when it comes to stress management.
With all these benefits to the game, there’s really no reason not to try it out. And if you’re already a golfer, then you’ve all the more reason to make your time on the course more regular – you’ll be able to enjoy all these health benefits as a result.