Its seemingly undemanding nature makes it look like golf does not provide any health benefits. However, this is merely a misconception. Playing golf requires you to hone your body coordination, strength, concentration, and confidence when you get into this sport.
Practicing these skills, along with other abilities, can improve your overall well-being — indicating that this sport can deliver both physical and mental gains through training.
From improving your strength and endurance to enhancing brain function and relieving stress, here are some of the health benefits of playing golf.
Develops Endurance, Stability, and Strength
While it may not be as intense as basketball or football, golf still encourages you to be physically fit. That means you need to have sufficient strength, endurance, and stability while playing.
Unless you have a cart you can drive, golf will have you walking around all day as you move from one section of the course to another. It can also improve your stability since you’ll need to balance your body, especially your core, to ensure a poised and accurate swing.
You also need to be strong enough to carry your bag full of golfing must-haves. From your golf clubs and tees to extra items like sunscreen and range finder, you’ll need sufficient strength and endurance to move them around the golf course.
Boosts Brain Function and Concentration
Golf requires you to have good concentration since playing the sport is hinged on making accurate swings. You also need to be a creative thinker to envision your shots, calculate how far the ball will go, and make your move based on these estimates.
Golf helps you practice these skills along with other cognitive functions such as attention, focus, and strategy-making. The more you play the sport, the more control you’ll have over these abilities, your awareness, and thought process.
Walking from one side of the course to another also enhances brain function since this motion increases blood flow. It can even improve your memory, which is important if you’re a newbie golfer since you’ll have to develop this skill when learning the right techniques.
Burns Calories and Has a Low Risk of Injuries
Despite not being a high-energy sport, golf still requires you to exert physical effort while playing it. Each swing of your golf club demands strength while transferring from one location to another calls for endurance and leg power.
These sustained activities then help you improve your physical fitness and even lose weight. Constantly moving will get your blood flow going and your heart rates up to reach an optimum level for burning calories.
You can also reach your target number of steps per day considering the amount of walking you’ll be doing. Opting to walk and carry your bags instead of riding a golf cart can even help you burn up to 1,400 calories.
Even with these physical demands, golf remains to be a low-risk sport. That means you are rarely exposed to serious injuries. You can still hurt yourself, so you must implement proper form and technique while playing.
Being careful when carrying your equipment and walking on the golf course is also something to keep in mind to prevent golfing injuries.
Relieves Stress and Enhances Mental Health
Big golf courses are located outdoors and surrounded by nature, which can generate positive emotions that relieve stress and improve your mental well-being. Playing the sport also gives you an outlet to release your tension into something more productive.
Additionally, being exposed to natural light increases the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates your mood. Normal serotonin levels will make you feel emotionally stable, happier, more focused, and calmer — which then reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.
This combination of being surrounded by nature and having an avenue to relieve your stress also helps you get better sleep. The effort you exert throughout the day will make you feel tired, which then enables you to fall asleep faster and deeper at night.
Improves Heart Health
Any exercise that increases blood flow and improves heart rate lowers the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Golf has these effects on the body, meaning it’s a viable option to boost your heart health and possibly increase life expectancy.
Regularly playing the sport can also enhance lung function thanks to all the walking and carrying that golfing requires. Stronger lungs then result in improved cardiovascular health.
Additionally, the stress-relieving effects of golf reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Improved mental health due to the sport also fosters health conditions associated with minimizing the likelihood of cardiovascular ailments such as improved glucose level and control, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and better body composition.
A Great Sport for Your Health
The health benefits of golf can go a long way in supporting both your physical and mental well-being. It will make you more active, aid you in reaching your fitness goals, and even boost your brain function to help you live a more fulfilling life.
This sport also provides a great way to relax and unwind from all the responsibilities you’ve been harboring. From office workers to healthcare providers, a recreational activity like golf can provide an important break from their duties and allow them to recharge properly.