Getting Fit on the Green: The Health Benefits of Golf
Golf has received a bad rap over the years, with many people referring to it as “the lazy man’s sport.” This stereotype is not only unfair; it’s completely false! Golf is far more physical than many people suspect, for in addition to using arm and core strength to strike golf balls, the player also winds up walking quite a bit over the course of any given game.
Those who play golf understand just how physically demanding the sport can be, but their experience is further backed up by the latest research. A study conducted by the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences found that a golf player who carries his or her own bag can burn 720 calories while playing nine holes. The calorie-burning potential is reduced somewhat when golf carts and caddies are included in the mix, but even then, golf serves as an excellent form of exercise. The following are just a few of the health benefits that arise from regularly spending time on the green:
Joint and Bone Benefits
Golf is a relatively low-impact sport, meaning that a minimal amount of stress is placed on the joints and bones. This may help to explain why golf is such a popular activity among seniors. It is important to note that the low-impact nature of the activity does not imply a decrease in cardiovascular benefits. In fact, a study published by the British Medical Journal indicates that a single round of golf can produce the same longevity benefits as a 100-mile bike ride.Â (Natural remedies for arthritis: jarretmorrow.com)
Heavy amounts of stress can be toxic to one’s wellbeing, leading to such problems as insomnia, weight gain, anxiety or even depression. However, many golf enthusiasts find that a round of golf can quickly diminish the impact of stress. While exercise in general is viewed as an excellent combative measure for stress, golf is a particularly effective stress reliever. This may be a result of the intense concentration required for success in the sport. Players who are highly focused on making par are unable to worry about things going wrong in their lives.
Increased Life Expectancy
While the above health benefits are certainly capable of improving one’s quality of life, years of golfing can also increase life expectancy by a substantial amount. According to a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, golfers have a death rate forty percent lower than their peers — even when statistics are controlled for such variables as age, sex and socioeconomic status.
If you’re looking for a fun activity that will deliver both physical and mental health benefits, there are fewer better options than a game of golf! Between protected joints, stress reduction and increased longevity, it’s clear that golf is the ultimate sport for promoting health andÂ well-being.