Playing golf, as we have mentioned in our previous post, has many positive aspects. In this post, we will share the health benefits of golf based on what we have experienced and what the results of studies have shown.
HELP! I CAN’T SLEEP!
One of my challenges is falling asleep fast and staying asleep all night. Usually, I do a lot of tossing and turning until I finally fall into a restless sleep. Drinking camomile tea or organic herbal tea helps relax me enough some days, however, when I play golf I have no problem falling into a deep sleep fast.
Does exercise improve sleep? We all know that exercise can and it is the same with golf. You simply sleep better because you are tired after an 18 hole round. All the fresh air, sunlight, walking, swinging clubs and mentally being engaged for 4-5 hours results in a deeper sleep.
Studies show that deeper sleep helps the body regenerate cells and gives muscles and tissues time to repair.
So if you want a good night’s sleep, get out on the golf course!
GOLF IS A WAY TO EXERCISE FOR YOUR HEART HEALTH
Playing golf regularly helps increase your heart rate which in turn reduces risks for heart diseases and lower bad cholesterol levels.
Research conducted by Neil Wolkodoff of the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences (Denver, Colo.), which was quoted in the American Society of Golf Course Architects Site, noted that burning 2,500 calories per week can “greatly reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.”
So for those who ask me “why do you play so much golf”…my heart says “to keep me healthy”.
SO HOW MANY CALORIES DO I BURN PLAYING GOLF?
For those of us playing in the hot and humid summers in Florida, it sure feels like we burn a whole lot of calories playing golf. The research by Neil Wolkodoff mentioned above was used to show roughly how many calories a person burns playing an average 9-hole golf course.
According to the article, the amount of calories you burn depends on whether you walk & carry, walk do not carry, or if you ride a golf cart.
- walk and carry – burn 721 calories
- walk and do not carry – burn 613 calories
- ride the golf cart – burn 411 calories
During the months when we can play until 8 pm we play 18 holes 5 times per week and we drive our golf cart. (Did I mention its way too hot to walk in the summer here in Florida?)
That equates to a lot of calories per week.
You can see how those can add up to benefit your health.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS
Increase in life expectancy
There are many studies and statistics about life expectancy (the average period that a person may expect to live) based on lifestyles, age, sex, socioeconomic status and much more. Insurance companies look at mortality tables to determine the risk they take in insuring applicants. “Mortality tables show the rate of deaths occurring in a defined population during a selected time interval, or survival from birth to any given age. Statistics included in the mortality table show the probability of a person’s death before their next birthday, based on their age.”
When we look at this most of us expect to live a healthy long life.
We are not saying that golf will guarantee you will live longer, however, it is just one more way to stay active which in turn helps us stay healthier.
A study by The Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), which was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports compiled data from 300,000 Swedish golfers. Here are their results:
- death for golfers was 40% lower than people of the same sex, age, and socioeconomic status.
- they showed a 5-year increase in life expectancy for regular golfers.
When you are out on the golf course playing an 18 hole round, it is you, that little white ball and the beauty of nature that surrounds you. The stressful job, the kids giving you a hard time, the bills waiting to be paid, chores to be done and anything else is forgotten if only for those 3-4 hours that your mind is totally engaged in the game.
The exercise you get through golf will have a positive impact on you and boost overall mood. Getting away from the daily routine helps us clear our minds of those cares and return to them with refocus.
The beauty of nature combined with good friends to golf puts you in a good mood and feelings of happiness and relaxation.
In the process of personal competition, you gain confidence and self-esteem increases with the support and encouragement of like-minded fellow golfers who have made the same journey as you and hung in there through the ups and downs of learning the game.
We would love to hear whether you have experienced any of the benefits we mentioned or if there are other benefits of golf that you have experienced and want to share.