Golf is one of the world’s greatest sports. It definitely fits the description of being a game that’s easy to learn but impossible to master as players often spend a lifetime attempting to do so. And, in dedicating so much time to it, those players get to experience and enjoy lifetime health benefits.
Walking and Swinging
Simply being on your feet and walking from hole to hole provides so many health benefits as compared to sitting at home, in the office or elsewhere. Many doctors recommend that people take 10,000 steps a day. Golfers walking through all 18 holes will, in most cases, accomplish this goal in doing that activity alone.
Additionally, the swinging action provides a regular workout for your abdomen, back, arms and legs. And this is a feature of golf that actually increases the worse the player is as the more strokes that must be taken, the better the workout is. Of course, increased stroke numbers also slightly increases how much is walked.
As a result of all of that walking and, less so, the swinging action, golfers get to experience the burning of an impressive number of calories. For an average round of golf for a person of average stature, this will come to about 2,500 calories per round. This is assuming that they’re walking and not using a cart and that they’re carrying their own clubs and not using a caddie. This calorie count reduces slightly to 2,000 if the golfer is using a wheeled bag to transport their clubs and even more to 1,500 if they’re using a cart.
One of the health benefits of golf that’s not discussed as much is the impact of it being a low-impact sport. Not only is it a non-contact sport like football and basketball are, but joints are also not strained as they oftentimes are for runners and tennis players. Yes, golfers do still experience golfer’s elbow, which is similar to tennis elbow, but it’s not nearly as common as the latter condition is.
Although it’s not important to remain mentally alert throughout this athletic experience as is the case for those participating in, for example, soccer matches, mental alertness is incredibly important for short periods of time, making this sport similar to baseball in that sense. Immediately prior to and during a shot, an incredible amount of focus is necessary to ensure that the best shot possible is taken.
As a result of this focus on mental alertness, the brain gets to enjoy the health benefits of golf as well.
Not only does simply doing the walking and other physical activity aspects of this sport result in stress reduction thanks to an increase in endorphins, but so does being in the natural settings that golf courses are famous for. It’s been shown that walking in nature provides extra mental health benefits than walking elsewhere such as in city environments, and this is exactly what golfers do every round they play.
A related health benefit of golf is getting to enjoy deeper levels of sleep. Those who regularly participate in the physical activity that’s necessary in this sport tend to get to sleep faster and experience greater sleep quality.