Some people are still of the opinion that golf isn’t really a "sport" sport. That golfers are not athletes. Aside from the Tour, they see people driving around in golf carts, parking next to their ball and swinging a club a few times. Hardly a lot of work, right?
But golf does offer a great opportunity to combine exercise and a hobby into something fun and transformational at the same time.
Benefits for Your Golf Body
1. Pick It Up and Burn Some Calories!
If you’re looking for a fun way to lose weight, walking the course might just be right for you. Four to five hours of walking with your clubs can really add up. In fact, the average adult can expect to burn around 400 calories per hour while carrying their golf clubs. Driving around in your golf cart doesn’t count. Challenge yourself to be physically active.
2. Improve Blood Flow & Keep Your Heart Rate Up
Walking the links, hauling your clubs, and taking 150 or so swipes at the ball (including practice swings) increases your heart rate and improves your blood flow. Not an unhappy way to lower your risk for heart disease and help decrease “bad” cholesterol levels.
3. Low Impact Activity = Less Joint Pain
No jumping, running on hard surfaces, or putting extreme pressure on your joints. Walking on grass is a joy. Not only does it help give you a better sense of the hole you're playing, but players suffering from sore knee joints or ankles will find it refreshing to have a soft cushion under them.
4. Lower Risk of Injury
Golf is a fairly low-injury-risk sport. The key is to keep your body flexible. Warm up before tee time. Most golf-related injuries happen because you're too stiff. Even when you're pressed for your tee time, you can get in a quick parking lot warmup!
5. Increased Life Expectancy
Research has found that happy and active people live longer. Forgiving the wayward shots, a bad day on the golf course still beats a mediocre day just about anywhere else. The more you play golf, the more enjoyment you’ll get out of life. You’ll have a stronger body, a stronger mind, and stronger bonds with your playing partners.
It’s Not Just Physical Health: Mental Health Benefits of Golf
6. Becoming More Relaxed
Just being outside and enjoying the weather helps reduce stress. Golf takes this a step further. Walking around in a beautiful environment, moving your body, spending time with friends… these can all help reduce stress (unless you find yourself playing from behind a tree.) The mechanism behind this is the release of endorphins, our body’s way of naturally enhancing our mood. The end result? A happy and relaxed golfer.
7. Helps Naturally Reduce Depression
Just like with stress reduction, the chemicals in your brain help to naturally reduce depression. Endorphins play a big role here too, but so do the social interactions that occur during a spirited round of golf between friends.
8. More Social Interaction
Although golf is not a team sport, it’s a lot of fun to play with a group of friends and/or family. The simple act of enjoying a great day outside with people that matter will strengthen those bonds and create life-long memories.
9. All That Fresh Air Will Clear Your Mind
Many of us live hectic lifestyles running companies, managing teams, taking care of families...there are probably a thousand things on your mind at any given moment. Take a few of those moments, clear your mind and enjoy a few hours out on the course.
10. Better, Deeper Sleep
We humans sleep better when our bodies are active and our heads are clear. Golf helps with both. People who are overweight tend to snore more, a clear sign they struggle to breath while sleeping (and why they often wake up multiple times during the night). Weight loss is proven to help people sleep better, and golf is proven to help with weight loss.
So Take A Hike
The health benefits of golf apply to any age group, body type, and fitness level. Everyone should be able to enjoy a beautiful day on the golf course getting some exercise, clearing the mind, reducing negative thoughts, and socializing with others.
Just keep in mind, the best way to take advantage of these 10 health benefits of golf is by walking, not driving the cart.
Give it a shot! Sling on a carry bag, or take a pull cart with you next time out.