Why Playing Golf Is Good for Your Health

Although golf is often seen as a leisurely sport and one enjoyed by those who aren't into hardcore sports, it's actually a great form of exercise. Studies prove that people who get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3 to 4 days a week reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke, bone disease, and arthritis. For golfers who carry their own clubs, golf offers both cardio and weight bearing exercise. Since many golf games take between two and four hours, you can get the recommended amount of exercise with just one golf game.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Golfing requires a lot of walking. With 18 holes, the average golf course is between 5 and 8 miles. If you keep a brisk pace while walking from hole to hole, you can definitely get in a good cardio workout. The walk from the last hole back to the clubhouse is usually at least a mile, so between the walk between holes and the walk back to the clubhouse you can burn upwards of 250 calories. Although golf isn't an intense cardio workout, if you play a few times a week you can start seeing weight loss if you adjust your diet.

Many golfers use a golf cart, and some golf clubs require it, but you can still get in a cardio workout by carrying your own clubs and walking briskly when possible. Carrying your own clubs counts as a weight bearing exercise and when used in conjunction with walking you will cause your heart to beat faster and increase calorie burn. Weight bearing exercises have been shown to improve bone health and increase metabolism, making a game of golf a great way to improve your health.

Improved Sleep

Since golf is an outdoor sport, golfers soak up a considerable amount of sun. While UV rays are supposedly harmful in large amounts, the sun does provide one very important nutrient - vitamin D. The sun is one of the best ways to soak up vitamin D, a vitamin that many lack in their regular diet. Vitamin D is needed for a number of reasons, as it can raise energy levels, improve attitude, aids calcium absorption, and generates cell growth. Overall, it's a vitamin that just makes us feel good.

Because golfers absorb vitamin D from the sun, their overall well-being improves and helps them sleep better. Studies show that people who engage in regular physical activity and have proper nutrition sleep with less interruptions and report sleeping soundly. Getting sound sleep helps a person's health in a number of ways, and golfing is one activity that can help you obtain a better night's sleep.

Mental Health

Golfing is a social activity and studies show that interaction with others who enjoy what we enjoy increases our self-esteem and happiness. Golfing can help to lift depression, improve someone's outlook on life, and widen a person's social group. All of these attributes help improve our mental health by leaving us with a feeling of satisfaction. This proves that while not the most hardcore sport, golfing is beneficial to your health in a number of ways.