Are you considering taking up the game of golf? Are you an intermediate golfer? Are you a professional golf player? Read on.
Golf can be a great investment in your health, potentially increasing your life expectancy by 5 years according to a 2008 Swedish medical university research. Not only, but if you are a really good golfer, you increase your chances of living longer even more! Just another reason to make sure you keep on practicing as Dale Burnett, the club professional at WFCC, would say!
Most professional golfers these days are fine athletes because of the physical and mental demands that are required at the highest levels in the sport. For the amateur or intermediate player, these benefits are not dissimilar. An 18 round game of golf is equivalent to walking for approximately 8 kilometers and if you carry your clubs you will burn almost 1500 calories. Not bad considering you are outdoors enjoying the weather and chatting with friends!
Just to give you an example – the golf swing itself requires a turning of the torso that is great for the back and the abs and will keep you slender and in shape. But golf isn’t just good for your physical fitness – it’s also a great game for the mind. It keeps you sharp, provides you with much-needed human contact and much more.
The 5 main reasons golf is good for you are:
1 Golf is good exercise
It might seem like golfers casually stroll around the golf course, stop, hit a ball and keep on going. In actual fact, while playing golf you would usually exceed 10,000 steps which is the guideline for exercise recommended by medical experts to maintain good health.
Your core muscles, your abdomen and your back are all exercised together with your arms and legs during a typical golf drive. During the golf swing the body fully turns back and forth with each full movement. After 18 holes, you might have repeated this exercise at least 60 times (unless you’re Tiger Woods) and if you add practicing at the driving range, this number may be much higher.
Also, you will be burning quite a lot of calories, especially if you carry your own clubs and the course is hilly! A round of golf is equivalent to a one-hour workout in the gym but without the monotony and repetitiveness of the treadmill or the rowing machine.
2 Golf stimulates your brain
Have you ever missed that 1 meter putt at the end of your round and blamed it on concentration? Golf is a strategic game that requires a great deal of mental sharpness and coordination in order to end up on top.
By calculating that odd shot, considering all the variables that may affect the ball in the air or on the ground or even adding up your score, you are keeping your brain sharp. No matter how old (or young) you are, golf will always challenge your mind teaching you to stay calm and collected so as to make that birdie look smooth and simple.
In addition, an abundant supply of fresh air will help you to keep cool under pressure when deciding the best strategy for your next shot.
3 Golf helps you reduce your stress levels
You’ve had a tough week at work and that project you’ve been working on for months needs to be presented on Monday morning. You call your golf partner, tee off early on Saturday morning and let those endorphins start kicking in! That’s what golf is all about.
Just taking that stroll out into the open green field, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying a bit of sun can really stimulate your body to produce endorphins, the feel good hormones that will boost your mood naturally in a way no anti-depressant ever could.
Being away from the usual stresses of modern life such as mobile phones can really help you relax and reduce your stress levels.
4 Golf is a social and family sport
Golfing is a great way to spend time with friends, family or colleagues in a relaxed environment away from the office or home. This however does not mean that business deals are not conducted while playing a round of golf, quite the contrary. In numerous countries around the world golf is commonly practiced with the intent of improving business relations or even sealing an important business deal. Few other sports allow you to spend various hours outdoors strolling in a beautiful and peaceful environment and engaging in conversation.
When golfing with friends and family alike, you have the chance to bond over a low impact, high interaction sport. Unlike tennis where you are too far to have a chat while playing and too exhausted to have a chat between games, golf is ideal when it comes to improving interpersonal relations.
5 Golf improves your bone health
Spending a few hours outdoors on a beautiful sunny day is a great way for your body to produce vitamin D. As an essential vitamin for bone health, for regulating the growth in skin cells and regulating the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood, Vitamin D should not be underestimated. Many Australians choose to take tablets or supplements to top up their vitamin D levels although there is nothing better than a wonderful game of golf with your friends on a sunny day.
Just don’t forget to take the necessary precautions with regards to sunlight! Always apply 30+ sunscreen at least 25 minutes before exposing yourself to the sun, wear a hat and bring an umbrella if needed in case there is no shade on the fairway.
So don’t procrastinate, get on the golf course and by this time next month you will be fitter, healthier and happier!