2020 was a difficult year, and many people struggled with both their physical and mental health, thanks to being unable to go out as much as they normally would. Hopefully, as we enter a new year, things will begin to pick up, but in the meantime, it could benefit many of us to take up a new sport – especially if it is one that can be played out in the open, without needing to be in close contact with many people. Golf is the perfect activity for this, but there are many other benefits of playing too.
It Keeps You Fit
There is a lot of walking involved in a round of golf, which raises your heart rate and increases cardiovascular fitness, especially if you opt out of using a buggy. This in turn reduces the risk of serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and high cholesterol. The golf swing exercises and strengthens your arms, back, legs, and your core muscles, while still being low impact, meaning that people of all ages, and even those with joint issues can play. Research even suggests that playing golf can improve your life expectancy!
Even if you cannot get to a golf course for whatever reason, you can still practice your swing and reap some of the benefits. These are good for practicing, wherever you are.
It is Good for Mental Health
Playing golf is good for the health of the mind as well as the body. On top of taking your mind off everyday stresses, working out your swing keeps the mind alert, reducing cognitive decline, and potentially staving off dementia. Learning new skills and improving your game builds confidence and makes you feel good about yourself, and the exercise decreases stress and anxiety.
It Burns Calories
The average golf course with 18 holes will mean a player walks 4-5 miles during a game. Walking is a fantastic, low impact way to burn calories, and the average person will burn 1400-1500 calories during one round. Even people who choose to use a golf buggy will burn an average of 800 calories during a game. The good thing is that when you’re having fun playing, it doesn’t feel like you are walking so much, and the fun of the game makes it more enjoyable than working out for the sake of it.
Being Outdoors is Good for You
There is a mountain of research which shows how good being outdoors is for you. Being out in the fresh air improves your mood, boosts feel-good hormones such as endorphins and serotonin, and the sun’s rays give a good dose of vitamin D. Many golf courses are set in beautiful surroundings too, which is an added bonus, as being among natural beauty also promotes wellbeing.
It is Sociable
Golf used to be considered the sport of businessmen or the elite, thanks to high club fees and cliquey clubhouses, but thankfully this is no longer the case. Golf clubs welcome a range of players from all backgrounds, genders and ages, and fees are now much more affordable. Playing golf is a great way to socialize with existing friends and to make new friends, and the clubhouse provides the perfect location for kicking back and enjoying the company of other players after a day on the open.
Whatever your age, golf is a great way to keep fit and socialize. It doesn’t matter what standard you are playing at, as long as you are having fun and getting something out of it. Even if you are competitive, there are plenty of other players who would be more than willing to make a friendly competition out of it – there really is a game for everyone in this inclusive sport.
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