While golf could easily be regarded as a rather effortless activity from a physical exercise point of view, and to the wholly uninformed, even a sedentary business, recently published research once again highlights its many health benefits.
Even so, it’s no big bounce to say it lacks a certain sweat-inducing oomph when compared with most other sports. Instead of jerseys ridden with moisture and mud-stained boots, players appear to be simply taking a stroll across a giant lawn while engaging in small talk.
New research presented at the American Stroke Association’s annual International Stroke Conference, however, tells an entirely different story. Especially in the case of older players, golf is now being credited with extending the individual’s life expectancy by quite a bit.
Golfers Live Longer
Researchers based their presentation on a study that involved around 5,900 individuals over the age of 65. Of these, a total of 384 jotted themselves to be down as active golf players. And while the study spanned all of 10 years, with individuals assessed for events such as heart attacks and strokes at the point of follow-up, no significant difference between golfers and non-golfers were noted.
What researchers did however manage to discover about golfers vs. non-golfers, was the considerably higher mortality rates among members of the second group.
According to Dr. Guy L. Mintz who is the Director of Cardiovascular Health at New York’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital, what makes of a round of golf such a great workout is the fact that people don’t even notice they’re getting in a healthy dose of aerobic activity.
Since taking a walk and swinging away at a club aren’t typically considered hard work, golfers are less likely to postpone their next round on the green.
Exercise Made Easy
Since golf isn’t just about moving about, but also about enjoying the environment and interacting socially with like-minded individuals, it makes an alluring solution for those not all that into enjoying the benefits of exercise.
This means golfers get to enjoy all the many benefits of physical exercise, including the prevention of bone loss in older individuals, the mental benefits of getting out into nature, and the building of muscle – and without all the trepidation so often associated with staring a rigorous training regime.
Golf’s Many Benefits
A big part of playing a round of golf is the walk. And since walking the length of an average-sized golf course could mean a steady stroll of up to 7 kilometres, it’s easy to see why golf is good for the mind as well as the body.
The many mental and physical benefits of golf include:
- Keeping fit
- Improving bone density, endurance, and muscle tone and strength
- A loss of fat and body weight
- Keeping bad cholesterol under check
- Keeping in touch with friends – and even making new ones
- Reducing stress and loneliness
Also great about golf is that it’s not all that difficult to get started. For newcomers to the game, it’s often helpful to start out by signing up for a few lessons. This will not only improve your game, but also help you to connect with others who play at the same level as you.