In addition to the fresh air and camaraderie, studies show that playing golf provides a broad range of health benefits for the whole body. From better muscle tone to mental sharpness, here are three good reasons to start working on your swing.
Let’s get physical
Though tamer than most popular team sports, golf is still a very physical game. Playing on a regular basis can help improve muscle tone and increase stamina, at the same time helping to maintain a healthy weight. One study found that walking all 18 holes burns about 1,400 calories (800 if you ride in a cart). Not only are all those extra steps good for your heart, but a Swedish study found that regular golfers have a 40% lower mortality rate and live about five years longer on average. A day on the course has also been linked to a more restful night’s sleep.
Ask any golfer and he or she will tell you golf is definitely a mental game, but here’s what you may not know: playing golf triggers the release of chemicals called endorphins in the body. Endorphins are natural mood enhancers that promote positive feelings. What’s more, golf involves a high degree of attentiveness and coordination, which is good for keeping the mind sharp. It also stimulates the circulation of blood to the brain and supports healthy nerve cells.
Golf makes for good company
Golf is a highly social game by nature and offers a unique opportunity for interaction and companionship. This is important because a number of studies have connected socialization to a better quality of life, especially among seniors. Meeting up with friends or family members on the course is a great way to stay connected while taking advantage of the physical and mental health benefits of the game.