Golf has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Scotland during the 15th Century. The game has blossomed into one of the most popular sports globally, with an estimated 25 million people choosing to play at least one round of golf in the U.S in 2021.
Yet golf is not simply a fun pastime and comes with numerous health benefits. Here are four ways that golf can help your body and your mind.
Exposure to the Outdoors
Golf comes with the excellent perk of being played outside, often in glorious surroundings. Time spent outside and close to nature has countless health benefits, including improving mood and lowering stress and anxiety.
Exposure to sunlight is another considerable factor, allowing our bodies to soak up that vital Vitamin D essential for bone growth and health. This vitamin also helps alleviate the risk of heart disease and some kinds of cancers.
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2. Burn Those Calories
OK, golf isn’t a sport that will see you work up a serious sweat (although those nervy long-distance putts to win the round will certainly test the sweat glands). But to burn a serious amount of calories, you don’t necessarily need to be sprinting at high speed for long periods.
An 18-hole round of golf can burn the same amount of calories as a 30-minute gym workout. It amounts to somewhere between 1400 and 1500 calories.
While you think you are simply wandering sedately around a beautiful golf course and occasionally hitting some balls, you are, in fact, providing yourself with an excellent workout. And if you leave the cart parked and walk the course, you can ante up that caloric burn further.
3. Great for Human Interaction
Few people play golf alone, and the nature of the game means that it is an excellent way to catch up with friends or make new ones.
Social interactions are fundamental to the very fabric of human society, and staying connected has been shown to provide several health benefits. Socializing can sharpen memory and cognitive skills and increase the sense of happiness. It also reduces loneliness, which can have serious long-term consequences if left unchecked.
4. Good for the Mind
Whether it’s down to the lack of distractions, the need to calculate scores, or something else, golf is particularly good at reducing stress and anxiety.
So much so that research in Australia found that golfers showed lower levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks than non-golfers. If that’s not enough to get you out on the course, we don’t know what will.
Golf has long been considered a somewhat lazy sport where people stroll leisurely around a course before retiring to the bar after. But golf is much more than just that. With numerous health benefits that can affect both your mental and physical health, golf is a game that lets your body sing.