10 Health Benefits of Playing More Golf in 2022
As you continue battling away in pursuit of your next golfing milestone, you can do so safe in the knowledge that the more you play, the better it is for your health.
While our primary motivation for playing golf may be our love of the game, walking the course, swinging our clubs, and carrying those same clubs in the great outdoors all help maintain and improve our fitness and general wellbeing.
Here are 10 separate ways playing more golf this year will help keep you fighting fit.
Greater life expectancy
Let's start with the headline positive news: golfers tend to live longer. Evidence taken from a Swedish study shows that golfers live over five years longer than non-golfers.
The study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, shows that golf has beneficial health effects. The death rate amongst golfers is 40 per cent lower than the rest of the population, which equates to an increased life expectancy of five years.
Keeps your heart healthy
Drilling down into the core reasons for this increased life expectancy, pounding the fairways is a great way to get your heart pumping and maintain and build cardiac muscles.
Your exertions on the golf course are also a great way of lowering your chances of heart disease. Of course, more high-intensity sports have more significant cardiovascular benefits, but improvements in a golfer's general physical activity levels and aerobic fitness can help reduce the likelihood of a heart attack.
Burns more calories
The average person burns between 350-475 calories per hour playing golf. Even during your session at the driving range, you'll burn between 200-300 calories per hour.
You'll likely already know that 10,000 is a magic number in pedometry. Given that a round of 18 holes will easily see you exceed that number of steps, all things remaining equal, you'll lose weight if you can play golf a few times per week.
Of course, if you can carry your clubs, the results will be far more noticeable, so ditch the golf cart where possible to really burn away those calories!
Regular outdoor exercise and fresh air can combine to set you up for a perfect night's sleep. Studies also show that you will fall asleep faster and remain in a deep sleep for longer if you have been active during the day.
During the week, if you can squeeze nine holes in after work, or even a session or two at the range, you'll improve your sleep just as much as your chances of winning your weekend medal.
As you go about your 18 holes, you will need to zoom in on - and follow - that little white ball as it disappears into the distance. This improves our ability to hone in on small targets from long distances. A separate benefit linked to vision is our general hand-eye coordination improvement as we develop our golfing skill level.
Reduce stress and improve your mental health
Golf is an excellent way to while away the stresses of modern life, and it can massively help us when it comes to looking after our own mental health.
Had a bad day at work? No problem; nine holes on the way home should straighten you out. Argument with your partner? Don't sweat it. Grab your sticks (unless it was about playing too much golf).
In all seriousness, though, golf is an ideal way to combat anxiety, confidence issues, self-esteem and depression. The golf course can be the perfect sanctuary for many of us when we're finding things tough.
Get more Vitamin D
Following on from the point above, another thing that can affect your mood is a lack of Vitamin D, as it's closely associated with, among other things, a more significant occurrence rate of both depression and anxiety.
Your body can create all the Vitamin D it needs as long as it is exposed to enough sunlight. If you can get to the golf course a couple of times a week, you'll boost your mood and avoid other ailments, including fatigue, bone pain and muscle weakness.
Low chance of serious injury
Golf is generally considered a low-risk sport with a limited chance of severe injury. Although it's a low-impact pursuit, you'll still be engaging the key muscles, and when done correctly, that can only be good for your overall health.
The most common injuries can be avoided through sufficient pre-round warm-up and knowing when not to tackle a 'hero' shot you've no business taking on.
In the main, though, our chances of any long-term injury are pretty low compared to other sports.
Golf is a social game
One of the most appealing aspects of golf is the social element. Playing a round with your buddies is a great way to catch up and stay connected as you each go about your busy lives.
Later, the sanctuary of the 19th hole awaits for a well-earned post-round drink and a chance to put the world to rights.
Golf is also a great way to meet new people from varied walks of life. You'll strike up a conversation with someone you would otherwise never meet while making the most of your shared interest in golf.
From a health perspective, playing sports with other people helps boost your self-esteem, social skills and overall mental wellbeing.
Solitary golf can be just as beneficial
Golf can be enjoyed just as much when playing alone as during a four-ball with your pals. There's true beauty in the image of a solitary golfer walking down a fairway bathed in the fading light of sunset.
If you're a golfer who particularly likes to play golf alone, you'll be glad to hear that studies have shown that people who spend time alone - including while engaged in sport - tend to be happier overall.