Golf is a fun and social activity that provides numerous health benefits. Whether you walk the course or ride in a cart, golfing burns calories and can help improve your heart health.
A recent scoping review found that playing golf can help improve cardiovascular fitness, lower cholesterol and reduce levels of triglycerides. It also offers a mental challenge, boosts mood and promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Improves Balance and Coordination
Golf isn’t known for being a super physically demanding sport, but playing it regularly certainly helps keep your body in tip-top shape. Not only does it burn calories, especially if you skip out on the cart and walk your round (the average course covers around 12,000 steps) but also requires a high level of concentration to play – which in turn exercises your brain, helping to prevent cognitive decline.
Being out in nature is also incredibly good for you, providing fresh air that boosts your immune system and increases vitamin D levels. Aside from that, the social aspect of golfing can also boost confidence and self-esteem – perfect for anyone feeling low or wanting to improve their mood!
The R&A has released a new report aimed at helping golfers, non-golfers and national federations better understand the health benefits of the game. The Strength and Balance Study highlighted that golf can contribute to improved health outcomes for people of all ages, genders and abilities.
Strengthens the Bladder
Golfing isn’t a high-intensity sport, but it still provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. Whether you walk the course or ride in a buggy, a single round of golf can burn up to 1000 calories. Players who carry their clubs burn even more.
This activity stimulates the heart and promotes healthy blood flow throughout the body, including the brain. Stimulating the brain with healthy circulation may help improve nerve cell connections and delay the onset of dementia and other mental health conditions.
Additionally, golfing can improve vision by requiring players to scan the landscape and center in on the small, white ball from far away. Using this exercise regularly can prevent age-related vision loss.
Stimulates the Heart
It’s often considered a lazy sport, but golfing is actually good for your heart. It stimulates your brain and muscles while giving you the chance to get outside in nature, which can help with everything from boosting your immunity to reducing stress. Plus, walking an average course is around five to seven kilometres, which provides the ideal amount of endurance exercise for your heart.
Researchers have found that golf improves a range of heart-related health markers including blood glucose and triglycerides, as well as increasing levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. It also strengthens core muscles, which can help prevent falls – the leading cause of traumatic brain injury in people over 65.
And if you prefer to ride in a cart rather than walk, you still get plenty of benefits from this popular game. It’s been shown that golfers who use a cart spend nearly as much time in a healthy heart zone as those who walk.
Golf is often considered a “leisure activity,” but it provides a solid workout that is beneficial to the body. Regular golfing helps boost endorphins, which are the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. This may help alleviate depressive symptoms and improve sleep.
In addition, the game helps increase flexibility and reduces the risk of injury. It also burns calories, which is good for the heart and helps maintain a healthy weight.
Getting a bit of sun exposure while playing golf helps the body produce vitamin D, which is important for the health of the bones and immune system. The sun’s rays also provide an essential source of energy, which helps the body fight against depression and other mood disorders. The game’s focus on strategic thinking and planning can also help relieve stress. In fact, researchers have found that golfers fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply than nongolfers.**