While the uninitiated may see golf as a complete waste of time, there are actually many surprising health benefits to playing 18 holes at least once a week – and it’s not just about the exercise!
Here’s how golf improves both your mental and physical wellbeing, ultimately improving your quality of life and prolonging your lifespan.
Exercise and Increased Weight Loss
You will likely rack up 10,000 steps or more on the average 18-hole course, which equates to roughly 8 kilometres of walking depending on your stride length and walking speed.
Carrying your own clubs is encouraged as well, as this counts as a weight-bearing exercise which helps to build muscle and strengthen your bones. Paired with a healthy diet, golf will help you lose excess fat, thereby strengthening your heart.
Stress Relief and Relaxation
Exercise has been proven to encourage the release of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins reduce the feelings of physical pain and also encourage positive, happy feelings in the body.
As such, while golf is a fun hobby, the act of walking between holes encourages the release of endorphins which will improve your mood and reduce stress levels.
Strengthens the Brain
Anyone who’s ever played a round of golf knows that it’s as much of a physical game as it is a mental one. Concentration is required in order to line up your shot and the required strategizing sends as much blood to your brain as physical exercise does – which is certainly similar to the strategizing required to be successful with online blackjack.
Your brain needs 3 times as much oxygen as your muscles and all the oxygen-rich blood moving towards the brain helps you think more clearly and increases your brain’s elasticity, essentially strengthening it.
A Dose of Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is especially common amongst office workers and this essential vitamin has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer, help bones maintain their calcium levels, boost your immune system and mood, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and so much more.
Fortunately, the sun is a perfect source of vitamin D and there is plenty of sunshine on the green!
Improved Blood Sugar Levels
As your body breaks down food ingested it creates glucose which is used as energy for the body to function as it should. However, most people ingest far more sugar-rich foods than their bodies could ever require which adds to the risk of developing diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory diseases.
However, pairing golf with a healthy diet reduces blood sugar levels, thereby reducing your risk of these diseases.
Golf is certainly a difficult skill to master, however the act of practising and improving upon a difficult task greatly increases self-confidence. As golf professional Arnold Palmer stated, “golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.
It satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening—and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind ever invented.”