6 Health Benefits That Prove Golf Is Great Exercise for Your Body and Mind

On the surface, golf doesn’t seem like the most physically demanding sport. However, it would be a mistake to overlook the health benefits of 18 holes.

That golf is old-fashioned or boring is one of the biggest misconceptions, according to Bradley Myrick, Director of Golf Operations at TPC Dancing Bay in Loreto, Mexico, along with “the faster you swing, the farther the ball goes” that you can’t hit the court until you are good, and “the goal is to hit the ball as far as you can”. (Wait, it’s … not?)

A woman holding a baseball bat in a field: health benefits of golf

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health benefits of golf

“When you play golf, you are completely in tune with your body and how everything works together,” he says. “A common misconception about golf is that it offers no physical health benefits,” says Andrew Creighton, DO, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) physical therapist and avid golfer who played D1 golf in college. “However a Review of the scope published by Murray et al. by doing British Journal of Sports Medicine Found in 2016 that golf offers moderate intensity physical activity recommended for people of all ages for its physical and mental health benefits. “

There you have it: the health benefits of golf are both physical and mental. The experts outline them below.

What are the physical health benefits of golf?

1. Strength and endurance

“In addition to swinging a club, golf courses typically require a lot of running, which builds up quads and hamstrings,” says Myrick. In fact, according to Creighton’s scoping review mentioned above, golfers who run 18 holes will typically take between 11,245 and 16,667 steps, and golfers who drive a cart will take approximately 6,280 steps.

For perspective, cartless golfers walk a distance of four to eight miles and cart drivers just under six kilometers. “Golfers who run the course get more healthy physical activity than those who ride the course,” says Creighton.

2. Aerobic fitness

Creighton referred to the scoping review. It found that although high-intensity exercise results in greater cardiovascular improvement, golf can still provide enough stimulation to improve aerobic fitness. Bonus: Golf is a great way to incorporate a less stressful activity into your training routine (because it actually not that great for HIIT every day). Additionally, “Improvements in known risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as physical inactivity, blood lipid and insulin glucose levels, body composition, and aerobic fitness have been linked to golf,” he says. And golf has been shown to be a suitable exercise for patients in need of heart or stroke rehabilitation. “As with any physical activity, golfers with new or unstable cardiac symptoms should see a doctor,” says Creighton.

3. Balance and trunk stability

Yes, golf can be an abs exercise that gives belief to the idea anything can be an abs exercise if you try hard enough. “Focusing on a balanced swing with focus on the core helps ensure accuracy,” says Myrick.

“It has been suggested that older golfers gain improved balance, muscle function, and strength,” says Creighton.

Gallery: 20 Warning Signs You Need To Get More Exercise, Say Doctors (ETNT Health)

a woman sitting on a couch: beautiful young woman with back pain at home

4. Flexibility

“Stretching is an important part of the game, and flexibility is paramount in swinging and reducing injury,” says Creighton. (Pro golfer Tiffany Joh shares her tips on improving flexibility here.)

What are the mental health benefits of golf?

1. Stress relief

“Moderate exercise, including golf, is proven to reduce stress and anxiety“Myrick says. And” Experiences in nature provide stress relief and relaxation from mental exhaustion, “he adds (two things many of us feel these days).

“Noted with positive and negative mood swings [in the review]There is conflicting evidence regarding the effects of golf on mood and anxiety, “Creighton says to be properties that combat stress.”

2. Connectedness

“There have been a number of studies that have shown the benefits of golf in terms of self and group identity and social connectedness,” says Creighton. He says golf is a great opportunity for intergenerational networking as it can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. “It usually takes four to five hours to play 18 holes,” he says. “What other activities can you do to spend so much time with other people?”

How to prevent golf injuries

As with any sport, injuries can occur, especially with repetitive movements. According to the 2016 report, golf has very low injury rates compared to other sports. However, amateur golfers have a risk of injury of around 15 to 40 percent over the course of their life.

“The number one cause of injury for amateur and professional golfers is the amount of repetitive training, and for amateur golfers, this can sometimes be associated with poor swing biomechanics,” says Creighton. Swinging a racket is a repetitive movement that rotates your body in one direction several times over a period of several hours. It is important to properly warm up, cool down, and stretch.

Creighton recommends performing a dynamic warm up before entering the driving range or course to avoid injury. He also recommends taking the time to hone your swing with a PGA professional to avoid injuries from poor form and technique. “When you’re training golf, change what you’re working on (driving, irons, chipping, putting) to avoid overuse injuries that can result from repeating the same type of shot over and over,” he says.

Sleeping well and eating well before playing are also important to injury prevention, says Creighton. “Eat small snacks like a banana, nuts or a protein bar during the round of golf.”

Since golf is outdoors, it can also be a great option make your way back into social life easier if you are afraid of post-pandemic attacks. Last but not least, It’s a great excuse to get one new training dress.

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