Looking for a few great arguments to justify your constant efforts to get in a round or two? Look no further. It turns out playing 18 holes once or more per week can be of great benefit to your mental and physical health—as if you needed another reason to love the game!
Exercise and Weight Loss
Everyone needs exercise, and golf is a way to get some great exercise while also being able to enjoy fresh air, incredible views, the company of friends and family, and the thrill of making the perfect shot. You’ll walk more than 10,000 steps during an average 18-hole round (if you don’t use the golf cart), and carrying your own clubs counts as weight-bearing exercise that helps builds strong bones and muscle. Along with a diet of whole foods, your golfing hobby could help you lose excess fat and strengthen your heart!
Relaxation and Stress Relief
Golf is a great way to shake off the stress of a demanding lifestyle, and anything that keeps you active while helping to safely relieve stress is a bonus! Whether you golf by yourself or with friends, you can allow yourself to let go of other worries for just a little while.
Good for Your Brain
Golf is as much a mental game as it is a physical game. The required concentration as you set up your next shot and maintain good form, visualize yourself succeeding, and plotting out your strategy sends blood rushing to your brain just as much as the walking. Because your brain needs three times as much oxygen as your muscles, all that oxygen-rich blood will help you think more clearly while increasing your brain’s elasticity and abilities. Your next great idea could happen on the golf course!
Soaking in the Vitamin D
Sure, it’s important to get enough of all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs for optimal health, but with so many people spending their days locked inside office buildings, vitamin D deficiency has reached epic proportions. Fortunately, the sun is an excellent (and free!) source of vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to reduce your risk of cancer, help your bones maintain appropriate calcium levels, boost your immune system, boost your mood, prevent or reduce chronic diseases, and much more. When you golf, you naturally get plenty of this wonder vitamin.
Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Your cells use glucose, a form of sugar, for fuel, and your body breaks down the foods you eat into glucose. Americans, however, ingest far, far more sugar than they could ever use as fuel, and not only is this contributing to health problems such as obesity and inflammatory diseases, but consistently high blood sugar levels could be a sign that you are insulin resistant or diabetic. Along with a diet rich in whole foods, playing golf helps reduce blood sugar levels.
Boost Your Confidence
There’s nothing quite like the joy of mastering a difficult skill. Avid golfers understand the thrill of that golden approach shot that lands well and rolls up close to the cup, or that once-a-summer 50-foot putt that drops right into the middle of the cup. As Arnold Palmer put it, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated. It satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening—and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind ever invented.”
Prolong Your Life
All of the above benefits of golf (along with plenty more we didn’t have room to list) work together to prolong the length of your life as well as the quality of your life. Keeping your mind and body sharp and active into the golden years increases your chances of eking the joy out of every single day you are alive. So grab your clubs, call your golf buddies, and head out for another round, secure in the knowledge that your hobby is doing you plenty of good.