When it comes to the fitness world, golf has always been a bit of a black sheep. For years, this high-brow game has been underrated, frequently viewed as a passive sport popular with an older generation. Golf has been put down for its lack of cardio-pumping activity. You won’t need to run or jump to accomplish golf’s main task – getting a ball in a hole (or to hit the flag pole these days). You will, however, need to walk – a lot (i.e. nearly four miles) if you don’t rent a cart. And we all know that walking is a great way to get our joints moving and strengthen our muscles.
Multiple studies have proven golf’s other benefits, including boosting our mood, protecting our hearts, and whittling away calories. Did you know it can also ramp up your brain power? Not bad for a game that boasts a “watering hole” halfway and a clubhouse serving tasty treats and drinks at the end.
Now that things have opened back up to a normal-ish state, golf is a game that is more than worthy of your time. Here are six reasons you should chip in for a birdie today.
1. Strengthen your Joints The more you golf, the stronger you become. The stronger you are, the better you’ll play. Not a bad cycle. According to researchers of a study published in the journal Sports Health, regular strength and flexibility training can also increase your strength, prevent injury and improve your game. Sign up for one of our golf-centered Livestream Stretch classes to boost your power (and your swing) today.
2. Live Longer Older adults who play golf regularly are over eight percent less likely to die of any condition than those who don’t engage in the sport, found a study led by neurology professor, Dr. Adnan Qureshi of the University of Missouri. The reason, he claims, has everything to do with the multiple elements involved in golf – regular walking in a less polluted, natural setting, which is physically beneficial and time spent interacting socially, which is a major mental plus.
3. Feel Happier and Healthier Golf is a social sport, which is part of its innate charm. Catching up with a friend while wandering miles of luscious greens is hard to beat in terms of relaxation. Another bonus, exercising with friends can help you live longer, ward off diseases, and feel happier. Researchers from the University of New England found that exercising with others can reduce stress and increase a person’s emotional, physical, and mental quality of life.
4. Boost Your Brain Power All golfers are aware of the immense level of concentration involved in this sport. Each hole presents a new challenge, be it in the form of sand traps, rolling greens, or unfavorable winds. No matter your skill level, every golfer must be able to relax and focus when lining up that next shot. Having to focus so intently can help boost our overall brain power, increase concentration, and improve our memories.
5. Avoid Exposure to Illness One of the most risk-free sports to play while socially isolated, golf makes it relatively simple to remain distant. Unlike contact sports that require players to bump into each other and share balls (i.e. basketball and rugby), golf is played in small groups that are sprawled over thousands of yards. No need to share equipment, rub against someone’s sweat, or get closer than six feet. Now that you must hit the flag instead of the hole to score, there’s no need to touch anything other than your own bag, clubs, tee, and ball.
6. Beat Stress Too much stress can wreak havoc on our minds and bodies. From increasing muscle tension to upping the risk of heart disease to elevating anxiety and depression, high stress levels can be extremely harmful. One way to combat their negative effects is by playing golf. According to multiple studies, this low intensity sport helps increase cardiovascular fitness, reduce tension, improve concentration, and boost mood.