Golf is more than just a sport. For those who love the links, golf can be a way of life. It provides opportunities to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the day, enjoy picturesque scenery and socialize with friends old and new. Plus, golf is good for your health and well-being. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of golf and how everyone from beginners to experienced players can stay active and keep fit with the game.
Health Benefits of Golf
Scientists have explored the connection between golf, health and fitness in numerous studies. One review of studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine* concluded that golf is good for health and well-being and recommended that medical providers suggest the pastime as a fitness option for people of all ages. Another study showed that golf can lower the risk of developing and lessen the severity of symptoms of more than 40 chronic diseases. For men's health, golf may offer the following benefits.
Support for Heart Health
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-impact aerobic exercise every week to support heart health. Simply playing just one weekly round of golf can help you make big strides toward following that guideline, provided you ditch the cart and travel on your own two feet. The World Golf Foundation estimates that golfers who choose to walk the course for a full 18-hole round take more than 10,000 steps and walk the equivalent of 5 miles.
Improvements in Muscle Tone
Improving muscle tone throughout the body is another key health benefit of playing golf. Maintaining the proper form to swing a golf club involves the whole body. Rotating your hips, shifting your weight and flexing your knees tone the lower body, and the back and abdominal muscles stay engaged from the backswing all the way to the follow-through. The movement also works the arms, shoulders and chest. As a result, golf is a simple, yet effective method for full-body conditioning.
Assistance with Weight Management
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar levels and lower the likelihood of you developing several chronic conditions. Weight loss occurs when you use more calories than you consume to power your body, and golf can help you achieve a calorie deficit to encourage your body to burn stored fat. Walking the course and playing 18 holes may burn as much as 2,000 calories, making the hobby a great form of exercise to add to your weight loss plan.
Time in the Sun
Not all golf health benefits involve the movements you make on the course. Simply being in the sun can help you stay healthy. When you spend time in the sun wearing a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen, the ultraviolet energy encourages your body to produce vitamin D. This nutrient is necessary for the absorption of calcium to build strong bones and muscles and plays a role in both nervous and immune system functioning.
Golf's Other Benefits
Research into golf and health benefits has also revealed that the hobby can positively impact mental health by:
- Providing opportunities for socialization: playing with friends and family gives you plenty of time to catch up and enjoy conversation. Joining leagues and participating in tournaments also allows you to meet new people.
- Reducing stress: both enjoying hobbies and exercising regularly can help you de-stress.
- Improving mood: all the sunshine, socialization and stress relief benefits of golf may give your mood a boost, putting you in a better frame of mind for the rest of your week.
- Enhancing self-image: studies indicate that success on the course can boost self-esteem and self-worth. Plus, the weight management and muscle toning health benefits of golf can help you look and feel your best.
Preventing Injuries While Golfing
To get the most out of the connection between golf and health benefits, you need to be able to stay active with the sport. That means taking steps to prevent injuries while you play. The following men's health golf tips can help you reduce your risk of injury whether you're a beginner, a casual sportsman or an avid player:
- Protect yourself from the sun: applying sunscreen from head to toe and reapplying it every two hours can help prevent sunburn and long-term UV-related damage that can contribute to some forms of skin cancer. A Devereux golf hat and a pair of sunglasses can also shield your eyes and face from the sun's rays.
- Stay hydrated: drink plenty of water before, during and after you play to replenish liquids lost when you sweat. Dehydration can put you at risk for heatstroke and cause urinary and kidney problems.
- Stretch before you start: stretching prepares your muscles for the game, improving flexibility so that your muscles and connective tissues can stretch and flex more easily with less risk of injury.
- Invest in quality clothing: well-made clothes designed specifically for golf like Devereux apparel can expand your range of motion for safety and better performance on the course.
- Use the right equipment: using high-quality, properly fitted equipment enables you to better maintain your form to lower the likelihood of injury.
- Choose morning tee times: fatigue can get in the way of your golf game and make you more susceptible to injury, so play early when you're most alert.
- Be aware of your surroundings: pay attention to where you are in relation to other golfers and keep your eye on the ball to avoid collisions.
Stay Healthy and Start Golfing!
Now that you're familiar with the health benefits of golf, it's time to get out and play. Golfing can be an enjoyable and healthy pastime or sport when you keep the tips outlined in this guide in mind. If you do suffer an injury during a round, stop playing immediately and seek help from a professional as soon as possible. Doing so can help to put you on the path to recovery and get you back on the course more quickly. If you need clothing for your next game or a trip to the driving range, shop the selection of apparel and accessories available here at Devereux.
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