Fitness coach and in-house expert at Golfbidder Alex O’Brien offers up five physical and mental health reasons for hitting the course.
With courses up and down the country reopening following the easing of lockdown restrictions, golf has become one of a handful of sports which can be played safely at a community level.
It also brings with it a number of physical and mental health benefits, making it the perfect avenue for people looking to increase their activity levels and break the monotony of the current climate of social distancing.
1. Social Sport
Research suggests that dopamine, a ‘feelgood’ brain chemical, is produced during social interactions. Golf is a naturally social sport and, as such, a great trigger for dopamine release.
It’s also one of the few sports that can be played with another person from outside your household, provided you adhere to the government’s two-metre social distancing guidelines. Under the current restrictions on ‘normal’ life, a round of golf is the perfect way to safely get your sporting fix with friends and family.
2. Step Count
Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths, both nationally and worldwide. Ditching the golf cart and walking round an 18-hole course is a great way of exceeding your recommended step total and, coupled with the relatively intense motion of a golf swing, can help you burn calories and lose weight.
It has been reported that you can burn, on average, 800-900 calories per round of golf, when you walk as opposed to drive around the course. That’s the equivalent of four pints.
3. Reduced Cholesterol
It’s widely accepted that moderate activity levels can have huge health benefits, both physically and mentally. Regular exercises can help prevent or manage chronic health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and obesity.
Research taken from the British Journal of Sports Medicine also claimed that golfers enjoy improvements in cholesterol levels, body composition, wellness, self-esteem and self-worth.
4. Sunshine Body Boost
Even if it’s cloudy outside, one important process is happening when you spend time in the great outdoors: your body is producing the vital vitamin D it needs to absorb minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.
In addition to this sunshine benefit, daylight helps your body to develop its natural sleep cycle, and better sleep helps everything from weight and muscle maintenance, to reduced anxiety and stress, and quicker recovery.
5. Longer Life
According to a groundbreaking study of over 300,000 Scandinavians, by Farahmand and Co., golfers live an estimated five years longer than non-golfers, on average – regardless of ethnicity, gender and socio-economic status.
Alex O’Brien is a competitive powerlifter, qualified fitness coach and in-house expert at Europe’s largest leading used golf club retailer, Golfbidder