Compared to running or an intense gym workout, golf is a relaxed game. Therefore, people often ignore what can actually be some very important health benefits with the sport. Just because you aren’t sprinting or jumping up and down with an instructor, this doesn’t mean your health isn’t improving. So ladies, grab your golf skirts, guys, grab your golf shorts, here’s how golf can help you stay fit (even just a casual game on the weekend!).
Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, you’ll walk around the great outdoors. Even if you only play nine holes, you’re still stretching the legs, getting the blood pumping, and enjoying the fresh air. If you walk around a golf course once or twice a week while playing, everyday tasks will become much easier. You’ll find it easier to stay on your feet at work, play with the kids and grandkids, and more.
Depending on your chosen golf course, a single round can cover anywhere between 30 and 200 acres; this is a fair bit of walking. There are award winning public golf courses that are even bigger than that. As long as you skip the golf cart, some people walk up to seven kilometers playing recreational golf. Of course, you could even carry your own clubs and burn more calories. Although this is heavily dependent on lots of factors, some golfers are able to burn 1,000 calories across a round.
As well as the walking, you’ll stop every so often to swing the club and this can get the heart rate up. It will never compete with more intense sports, but it will limit the ‘bad’ cholesterol in your body and reduce the risk of heart disease. Let’s face it, your heart rate will be quicker playing golf than sitting at home on the sofa.
Vision and Brain Function
When we think about staying ‘fit’, the mind automatically jumps to physical fitness. However, recreational golf will maintain things like your vision and brain function too. While hitting the little white ball around the course, you will need good vision, concentration, hand-eye coordination, discipline, and more.
While on the topic of other ways of staying fit, recreational golf can do wonders for the mind. You’re out in the outdoors, fresh air running through the body, and with nothing to worry about but getting the ball into the hole. With any luck, you’re not thinking about work and the fresh air allows you to relieve tension, stress, and anxiety.
We mentioned about the increased heart rate, and this also improves blood flow to the brain. Soon enough, the nerve cell connections are stimulated and improved. Thanks to scientific research, we know that this can stave off dementia and other mental illnesses.
What’s more, golf is a game of scoring. We want to beat our previous records, as well as those we’re playing. Therefore, we also get a boost to self-esteem and confidence. In fact, doing the scoring alone will keep the brain active, and this is yet another benefit.
Just in case you haven’t been convinced so far, golf also offers the following benefits;
- Improved relationships with friends and family members (and whoever you play with!)
- Boosted social skills as you play with and meet new people
- Strengthened leg muscles (and bladder, strangely enough!)
- Better sleep as the body is more tired than normal (and coursing with fresh air)
Even after all this, the risk of injury with golf is significantly lower than with other forms of exercise. And, just to top it all off, golf can be great fun. With all this, you’ll stay physically and mentally fit for the foreseeable future!