Golf, like many sports, has long been known as a great way of doing moderate exercise, whilst playing a game which can be very enjoyable. But what exactly are the specific health benefits of the game? What will regular golf bring body and mind? See here for our list:
- 1) Exercise - Regular rounds of golf improve overall levels of fitness and stamina. An average round of 18 holes takes about 4 hours, which equates to about 5 miles walking. This is great exercise and an overall workout for your heart and lungs. By playing a round of golf a week you are getting near to the NHS guidelines for moderate exercise
- 2) Muscle strength and tone - It’s not just the heart and lungs that benefit from regular golf – the major muscle groups are exercised, especially your core and upper body. Carrying your clubs means an extra workout for your upper body – if you can, try to take this option rather than the buggy. You won’t get a six-pack, but you may well tone your torso and arms!
- 3) Enjoying the great outdoors – Common sense says that being exposed to greenery and fresh air is good for general well-being and health. Getting back to nature can do wonders for someone’s outlook, and really gives players’ mental health a boost. Exposure to sunlight also gives a boost to Vitamin D levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer
- 4) Social and connectedness – Golf is a very social sport, whether you are playing a two or four-ball. There can be a great camaraderie amongst golfers, whether you are winning or losing. If you are having a good day, your fellow players will share in your joy. If things aren’t going your way, they will put an arm round you and give you support. The 19th hole (the bar) is a great way to unwind with team mates. Studies have shown that social relationships are a key factor in mental health.
- 6) You will sleep better – Since you are walking 5 miles or so on 18 holes, you will undoubtedly sleep better at the end of the day. Scientists have long confirmed the wealth of health benefits that good sleep brings. If you are golfing, you will be more likely to get your eight hours. See more on this subject here:
In summary: golf is a great workout for your body and mind in more ways than one. Even if you play only once a month with friends, it will be enough to get at least some of the benefits above. If you can’t manage 18 holes, try 9 holes. Just try and get started!