People who have never played a game of golf may assume that the easygoing nature of the sport means that there aren’t many health benefits to be had, but actually golf is a great way to boost your physical and mental health. Unlike other sports that are hard on the body, golf — when played correctly — has a minimal risk of injury. For that reason, it’s good for a wide range of ages.
The main physical benefit of golf comes, not from the actual golfing, but the walking. In a typical 18-hole round of golf, golfers walk about five miles. Ironically, the worse you are at playing golf the more walking you’ll end up doing. Beginners can rest easy knowing that even if they made a double bogey (or more) on every hole, they’re getting some quality exercise in!
Here are just five of the many ways golf is good for your health and wellbeing:
- Encourages regular exercise
According to the CDC, people who are physically active “live longer and have a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.” If you already enjoy a good walk as your cardio of choice, you might find golf to be a natural fit.
- Promotes social time
It’s important to make time to get out and socialize. As you age, it can sometimes be harder to make new friends, but having a shared interest like golf gives you something to talk about and comes with a built-in activity. Because golf can be enjoyed by people of all ages, it’s a great family activity and can be a good way to spend some quality family bonding time.
- Boosts Vitamin D
Spending time outside comes with its own slew of health benefits, including upping your vitamin D intake. Vitamin D is important for maintaining bone health. In fact, getting sufficient vitamin D can even delay inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
- Lowers stress levels
Stress negatively affects your overall health, so it’s important to find activities that help lower the stress in your life. Most golfers find the sport relaxing — there’s a reason you see people golfing on vacation!
- Sharpens the mind
Whether you’ve played mini-golf or a full 18-hole round, you know how much mental calculation golf requires. Plus, getting active helps maintain a steady flow of blood to the brain, which helps it function better now and in the future.
If you’re looking for a new way to spend some time outside, consider picking up golf as a new hobby. Don’t worry if you’ve never played before. There are professionals at nearly every golf course who would be more than happy to introduce you to the sport. Consider a golf school like BirdGolf.com to find a local instructor who fits your unique needs. After all, no two players are ever quite the same.