While golf has never been high on my priority list, it is one of the most popular sports—to play and watch—worldwide. Not only does golfing provide hours of social interaction and an opportunity to casually talk business, it has many health benefits as well. From building muscle to burning calories, golf is a great way to combine fresh air, friends, and fitness.
So, let’s chat and chew about how a round of golf can keep you healthy—both physically and mentally.
Golfing reduces stress. Even though I didn’t grow up on the golf course, I was very aware of why people enjoyed playing. The hybrid between competitive sport and leisure Sunday activity makes golf an ideal activity for anyone. It enhances a person’s mood by releasing endorphins, gives them a chance to interact with friends or people with similar interests, and helps recharge the mind and body.
Golfing burns calories. For anyone who has either watched or played golf, the endurance golfers (and caddies) must have hardly goes unnoticed. Between walking 3-5 miles, carrying a golf bag, and swinging a club, a person can burn over 1,000 calories in one 18-hole round.
Golfing is heart-healthy. Your heart can greatly benefit from a day on the golf course. Between each par four, you are constantly exercising, which increases heart rate and blood flow. Overtime, a person can lower their risk for heart disease, improve cholesterol levels, and lose weight.
Golfing benefits the brain. As your heart rate increases, blood flow to the brain does too. This helps stimulate and improve nerve cell connections, which can ultimately delay mental illness like dementia. As players compete for the lowest score, they are tallying numbers, adjusting their strategy, and maintaining hand-eye coordination, which keeps the brain active and focused. The competitive nature surrounding golf—whether internally or amongst players—also helps build self-confidence.
Golfing improves vision. As someone who is blind-as-a-bat, I should learn to golf simply for my eyesight. Tracking a tiny white golf ball hundreds of yards from the tee is not exactly easy. Forgo the technology that searches for you and you’ll quickly learn just how well you actually can see.
Golfing leads to a better night’s sleep. Between the sun, walking, lifting your golf bag, and focusing intensely for hours, your body is tired after leaving the course. The amount of energy golfers exert allows them to fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply, and remain asleep for longer periods. This is critical for your body to restore itself and repair any muscle or tissue injuries.
It’s no surprise why golf is such a popular sport – it’s fun, improves your health, and ties nicely into work-life balance. Just remember, golfing is challenging, so there’s no need to rush into it—expecting to play like Jordan Spieth or Tiger Woods is probably not the mindset you should tee off with your first time. If you’re new to the sport, check out this list, Guide to Playing Golf, for some basic tips on how to get started. However, if golf is an old pastime of yours, feel free to share your own tips and tricks in the comments section below!