This may come as some surprise to many of you, but golf is a great hobby for your body. It is one of the most popular sports around the world, especially among older people looking to keep busy during their retirement.
Today’s post looks at just a few of the benefits playing golf, both mental and physical. For a look at other sport and fitness hobby ideas, please see our top five article.
1. Golf burns those calories!
A game of golf takes place on a huge course, with up to 19 holes over five or six miles! A single game of golf can lead to your burning between 1500 and 2000 calories, depending on the style of the course and the amount of equipment you’re carrying between holes.
Then, one you arrive at the next hole, you are swinging golf clubs as hard as you can in order to get your round off to a good start. This works the muscles in your arms and burns more calories. All this calorie burning will lead to weight loss. Not only this, but golf can help you build on muscles that you might not otherwise work on a daily basis. This leads onto our next point.
2. It’s a full-body workout
It’s this headline which may shock those of you who aren’t a fan of golf. Each swing of a golf club is providing you with a full-body workout, as it exercises your:
Then, once the hole is complete, you’ll be carrying a heavy bag of golf clubs to the next hole. Playing golf one or two times a week is going to help you to build-up your muscle mass, especially in your arms and abdomen.
3. Low impact, low risk
Although you’re receiving a good workout by playing golf, this game is classed as a leisurely sport. There is no contact and you’re not constantly moving in vigorous way, which means that the overall risk of an injury is quite low.
It also doesn’t have much impact on your joints, which is perfect for older players who may struggle with their knees or have arthritis. It’s easy to have a casual game of golf and still receive a full-body workout in the process.
4. You’re experiencing the great outdoors
Golf is a sport which is played outside, often on huge courses with lovely scenery. This means that you, as a golf player, can enjoy all of the mental and physical benefits of being outside for the majority of the day. This includes:
- A reduction in stress.
- Boosting your Vitamin D levels from the sunshine – leading to bone growth and a healthy heart.
- Reducing the risk of depression.
- Lowering your anxiety levels.
- Improving your mood.
- Getting a lovely sun tan – remember to use sun cream!
Being outside in sunshine can bring a smile to your face. Not only are you getting out of the house, you’re also playing a game you love in some of the best-looking locations around the country.
5. It can be played solo, or as a social activity
As many who are members of a golf club will testify, this game can be incredibly social. Even if you choose to tackle the course solo, chances are you’ll meet people along the way and have a chat. Failing that, the club at the end is always a good place to meet new people and make new friends. Golf is a great way to meet like-minded people wanting to get fit, and they might even encourage you to go more often. This will improve your game further, and your fitness.
6. It’s great for your brain and vision
Playing is great for your cognitive functions. Firstly, you’re getting the great workout that we’ve already talked about, which increases the blood flow to the brain and improves your nerve cell connections. In the long-run, this can help in the fight against dementia.
Your brain is also experiencing its own workout, as you try and challenge yourself in order to beat your friends. Before each turn you need to measure up your next shot; how hard to I need to hit the ball, how can I use the surface of the course to my advantage, what score do I need to achieve in this round etc. Your brain is always trying to figure out what you need to do next.
The Golf Academy of America explain that:
Every hole — especially a thoughtfully-designed one — is a puzzle. More often than not, golfers who try to use only brute force generally do not shoot the lowest scores. Just look at Jordan Spieth: he dissects golf courses and almost always misses shots in the least penal spots. Golf teaches golfers problem solving and keeps the mind sharp.”
Your eyes will also benefit from playing golf. You’re constantly using hand-eye co-ordination as you swing and hit that little white ball – you’re training your eyes every swing you take on the course.
As a golfer, you’ll also need to hone in on small targets from long distances if you’re going to be successful. You need to look into the distance from the tee, you see how the green is laid out. Once you’ve hit the ball, you’ll also need to focus on where it lands – so your brain can start figuring out the next shot.
Remember to have a medical with your doctor before starting a new sport and fitness hobby, and to take it slow and easy when you begin. It’s better to gradually improve your ability and fitness, rather than going in too hard and injuring yourself.
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