Activities that are good for your mind and body are sometimes where you least expect them.
Ten years ago, if you had told someone that you play golf to stay healthy, they may have laughed at you.
Today, this statement is not laughable; it is the absolute truth. Golf is much healthier than most people give it credit for and there are some important reasons behind this concept.
When looking at all of the sports that people have available to them, golf continues to rank among the healthiest choices. Let’s take a look at six reasons why a day on the green is healthier than you realize.
Golf carts can be quite a bit of fun, but they are certainly not the healthiest way to enjoy a round of golf. When you walk an 18 hold round of golf, you will cover more than five miles of terrain. This will easily give you 10,000 steps for the day and leave you with lots of extras as well.
Golfers that carry their clubs are going to increase their calorie burn; however, pushing your clubs around works almost as well.
When walking the golf course, there is a lot of stopping and starting, which is similar to interval-type activity. It is quite good for your physical well-being and will keep your heart in good shape.
If you are worried that walking the golf course may be a bit too much for you physically, start with nine holes and see how it goes. Most find that walking not only improves health but scores as well.
Golfers who walk are more focused on their shots, and they take time to consider where they are hitting the ball and the course plan.
This type of course management is difficult to plan when playing from a golf cart. The next time you head out for a round of golf, wear a fitness tracker, and you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.
- Mental Health
Golf is good for a player’s mental health. When on the golf course, you must clear your mind and focus on your game.
You can’t be on the golf course but have your head in the office. It simply doesn’t work. You won’t play well and you won’t enjoy any of the time that you are getting to spend on the course.
Golfers understand that the golf course is a dedicated space that is made for golf. Your mind should be cleared of other stressors, and the game should be focused on.
With the noise in our current world, this benefit should not be understated.
In addition, golf can give a person a goal and a challenge, something to strive for and attain. As many of us age and grow in our careers these challenges may not be as easy to find. Golf can fill that void.
- Being Outdoors
Getting outside and enjoying nature is a good physical and mental benefit of the game of golf. Not many sports will keep you outside for at least five hours.
Many people look at the time it takes to play a round as a bit too long.
However, try to consider the fact that it gave you all of this extra time in the outdoors.
Although most golfers end up becoming fans of nature, there is something to be said about having your favorite golf clubs with you while spending the day outside.
- Length of Activity
We know that golf is not a high-impact sport. No professional will try to convince you that it is. Instead, golf needs to be considered for the length of the activity.
Spending five hours or more on the golf course is going to burn quite a few calories.
Depending on your size, the pace of your walk, and the speed of your golf swing, it is possible to burn anywhere from 800 to 2000 calories playing a round of golf. Certainly, to do this in the gym, you would feel it.
The length of the time spent on the course helps to make these calories a little easier to burn. For those that are not up for high impact activity, golf is a perfect choice.
Many golfers are retired people who are looking for positive and healthy ways to fill their days. Certainly if you have time on your hands, golf is a great way to spend it.
The time spent on the course will burn calories, give you mental goals and challenges and get in plenty of Vitamin D from the sun.
- Stretching & Muscle Strength
When the physical exercise portion of golf is considered, it is almost always about the walking and the distance covered.
Many people forget to consider the impact of swinging a golf club and the stretching and muscle development that this can have for a player.
Although golf clubs are not all that heavy, they are swung at speeds sometimes over 100mph. It doesn’t matter how heavy an object is; swinging at over 100mph takes quite a bit of effort.
Although golf clubs keep getting lighter so that average players can swing them faster, the better and stronger players use heavy steel shafts. It takes some physical ability to hit these clubs well and to do it consistently.
Golfers that play on the professional tours are spending just as much time in the gym as they do on the range.
Having an efficient and fast turn and strong muscles to control the golf club will absolutely lead to lower scores.
Before every round of golf, players should spend time stretching. This can allow for more extension in the swing and lower chances of injury.
This type of stretching is something that all people, golfers or not, can benefit from having in their lives.
Don’t underestimate the number of muscles and the degree to which the muscles are used in the game of golf.
Perhaps the ultimate reason why golf is healthier than you realize is that it does not have an expiration date.
You can play the game of golf for your entire life. This is not the case for basketball, baseball, and soccer. Not too many 85-year-olds lace up and hit the hockey rink.
Golf is a game that you can invest your time in when you are young and continue to enjoy it for your entire life.
This timeless aspect makes the game incredibly healthy. Not only is it healthy from the sense of having a hobby as an elderly person, but it gives almost everyone an excuse for some type of physical exercise.
As we age and slow down, 18 holes may turn into 9. Eventually, the driving range and putting green may be the extent of our day on the golf course. The point to be considered is that our bodies are still moving, and our minds are still working.
Golf is truly one of the only sports that will allow participation throughout a lifetime. This is a powerful and essential truth about the health benefit of this game.
As you can see, there is no shortage of reasons for a physically active person to add golf into their fitness regime.
The game is a great relief from stress, it is good for our muscle and body movement, and it burns a surprising amount of calories.
The next time you hear that golf is not a sport or has no physical benefit, you will now see the other side of it.
Golfers play the game because they love it. The benefits for their body are only the icing on the cake. The next time you need a healthy activity, don’t think twice about picking up those golf clubs.
Skilled golf co-founder
Henry is the co-founder and editor of <a href=”http://skilledgolf.com/” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>skilledgolf.com</a>. <br>He’s a born and bred golf fanatic and loves to write about all things golf, helping beginner’s and novices alike perfect their game and become master of the green!<br>