When you think of a sport you might want to try out as part of your 2020 decision to live a healthier life, golf will most likely not be at the top of your list.
However, you’ll be surprised to learn that golf can benefit both your physical and your mental health in more ways than one, and it might quickly climb right up that list.
Let’s explore some of these benefits and how they will impact your daily life.
Getting a Workout
You may think that golf is just about the swing and that it provides some very limited physical activity.
On the contrary, a game of golf also requires you to walk from hole to hole (that is, if you forgo the golf buggy), carry your bag with you (if you forgo the caddy) and swing, activating a lot of your upper body muscles.
The walk itself is all you need in terms of a workout: as you can take up to 10.000 steps in a single game, and that’s more than enough for your daily dose of steps.
Golf courses are amazing green expanses of land that are both serene and pleasant to be in, so just leave the transportation behind and choose to take a nice, calming walk. You won’t even feel it, as the time you spend hitting the ball will be more than enough rest between walks.
Losing Some Weight
The 10.000+ steps you will need to take while playing an 18-hole round is enough to kickstart a weight loss journey as well. As you already know, one of the pillars of a healthy life is losing any excess pounds you may have on you — and walking is one of the most low-impact yet effective ways to do it.
Provided you don’t eat excessive calories when off the course, you can get back in shape rather quickly simply by taking on golf.
The combination of the steps you are taking, the focus on the game, and the excitement of hitting a hole in one, paired with the hours you spend outside in the fresh air, will provide for a much better night’s sleep.
Considering that sleep is the most underrated factor of a healthy lifestyle, just improving that will boost your immune system, improve your focus and productivity overall, and help you be much more positive, day in and day out.
A Mental Health Boost
The combination of light exercise and spending time in green surroundings is an excellent way to boost your production of serotonin and endorphin, both of which are known as “the happy hormones.”
The color green and nature itself are the main culprits behind this phenomenon, and exercise just adds the cherry on top. Altogether, that means you’ll benefit from reduced stress and anxiety, improved mental clarity, and a boost in your mood, as well as your outlook on life in general.
Anywhere and at Any Time
If you are now thinking of the colder months when you might not be able to play outdoors, there is an easy way to keep working on your skills even during the winter.
There are simulator packages, like this one from SkyTrak, that you can set up in your home and retreat to a relaxing practice session whenever you need to.
As you’ll already be associating a game of golf with a boost in your mood and a positive experience overall, these feelings will naturally translate to your practice sessions as well.
A Workout for Your Brain
Another positive aspect of golf is that it also works out your mind. Firstly, you will need to work on your focus and learn how to tune out sounds and distractions when putting those precise shots. Secondly, there is also a lot of logic and physics involved — especially when trying to get out of a sand hole.
All of this mental work will have a positive effect on your cognitive functions, and it can also help prevent degenerative brain disease, such as Alzheimer’s.
Improved Quality of Life
Finally, when you add all of the above together, you’ll get a recipe for a longer, more enjoyable, and healthier life. When you feel better physically (as you will), and when you’ve had enough time to yourself (which a golf course can certainly provide), and have destressed a while, you will bring all of those positive aspects with you and let them spill into every other aspect of your life. Not bad for a simple game of golf, is it?
As you can see, golf is an excellent way to live a healthier and happier life. All that’s left to do now is pick a course and a club, and you’ll be all set to experience all the benefits of golf.