I am not a golfer. Not yet. This is something I admit to you now as I hang my head in shame. Though the allure of golf has not been lost on me. Nor is the feeling of satisfaction from a beautifully played hole, or striking the ball for the very first time.
It’s just that in recent years I haven’t had the patience to try to hit that tiny white ball with an oddly shaped stick. Just thinking about it gave me butterflies. It is quite likely that instead of accomplishing anything, I would end up the butt of a Youtube video documenting my tantrum of whacking away at the ball several hundred times before picking it up with my hands and throwing it down the green while simultaneously breaking the club over my knee.
My sister, brother-in-law, and nephews are golfers. We have friends who are golfers. I have relatives who are golfers. My son is interested in golf. I will admit that the health benefits of golf are making me curious. So maybe, just maybe, it’s time to give it a shot. I won’t be alone, either. According to the PGA, there are currently 2.5 million non-golfers who are interested in playing the game.
The Health Benefits of Playing Golf
While golf can be both fun and relaxing, it is not at all sedentary. In fact, the health benefits of playing golf are many. Research has found that walking 18-holes can me the daily recommendation of 10,000 steps a day. That alone is a great workout, but doing it with clubs burns even more calories.
When you play a round of golf, you can:
– Exceed 10,000 steps.
– Burn up to 2,000 calories if walking while carrying clubs. (Up to 1,300 if riding in a cart.)
– Walk approximately 5 miles.
– Improve your body’s balance control.
– Increase the volume of oxygen flowing through the body.
– Decrease blood glucose levels.
– Sharpen focus and concentration.
Research shows that when walking 18 holes during a round of golf, blood glucose levels fall by up to 20% for younger players, 10% for middle ages players, and 30% for elderly players. All groups showed a slight reduction in body weight as well.
Let’s also not forget that swinging a club for 18 holes is the equivalent of doing about 200 twists. Likely many more if you are new to the game!
As if that weren’t reason enough to pick up a club, the death rate for golfers is 40% lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status, according to a Scandinavian study. That corresponds to a 5-year increase in life expectancy!
Golf is also a sport that can be played for a lifetime, so perhaps if I do get out there soon, getting my son involved too isn’t a bad idea. It will make for a day of exercise, family time, and (dare I say) fun!
If you see me out there, just promise not to take any videos, okay??
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