About 5.3 million American seniors over the age of 65 play golf and most of them play for the love of the game or the thrill of a new hobby sport. Golf is far more than just a leisurely way to spend time with friends, and family, or to pass time. It’s also a surprisingly effective way to enhance your heart health, strengthen your core, and even stretch your muscles.
Despite what you may think about golf, it’s been found that the average round of golf can help you to burn around the same number of calories that your average 30-minute gym session will allow you to burn which is going to be between 1,400 and 1,500 calories. Not to mention the vitamin D exposure you’ll get from playing in the sun along with a boost in your mood and a regulated immune system is impressive, to say the least. Even if you play indoors or within the shade, golfing will give you a lot of benefits while giving you something fun to do.
We’re going to dive into the hidden health benefits of golfing and uncover what you might not have known about the sport in terms of your wellness so, keep reading.
Laying Out the Health Benefits Of Golfing
When it comes to golf, you have to think about more than just playing the sport itself. Consider the fact that you don’t necessarily have to rent a golf cart or take out your own when you play. Instead, play an 18-hole game and walk it. You can get a significant amount of endurance training from walking 18 holes at a minimum of three times a week but if you decide to do this, consider going in the early mornings or when the weather is milder to decrease your chances of sunburn, heat exhaustion, and being overly exposed to the sun in general.
When you head out on the course, especially for 18-holes, consider taking someone with you, having plenty of water, sun protection such as sunglasses and a sun visor, and don’t forget to use sunscreen.
Additionally, the physical aspect of the game isn’t the only thing to look forward to. Golf can help with other aspects of your health and wellness such as;
- Enhancing and maintaining your ability to stay mentally alert
- Reducing levels of anxiety and stress
- Stimulating your mind in a unique way
- Releasing endorphins
- Helping to improve sleep
That’s just the start of things really. Many seniors may wonder if golf is too strenuous of a sport for them to play and the thing is, it just depends. This will mainly depend on your current level of motor skill and if you have any current conditions or injuries where the sport will either put you at a higher risk of causing further harm to yourself such as if you’re suffering from a hip, rotator cuff, or even a wrist injury and there are certain health conditions where you need to use additional caution when playing as well. A good example would be heart-related conditions such as coronary heart disease.
What About Other Physical Health Benefits?
Seniors that live in Florida, have a great situation given location and access to space to play. The surprise from the physical benefits of the game alone is enough to make many Florida seniors go out and take advantage of their nearest golf course.
The sport is a good way to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, and become comfortable with a high level of physical activity while still staying social when you want to be. It’s also quite versatile. As we know, golf is a good way to add walking into your daily schedule but have you thought about the fact that it’s a great strength and endurance exercise while also offering aerobic fitness solutions and it’s even a great source of balance exercise?
The sport consists of a variety of exercises all in one and it can be made even more fun by either taking score or simply not taking score. You can expect an improvement in your flexibility which could lead us to consider that our overall range of motion will be positively affected as well. Not only that but golf can help to strengthen your social connections while engaging your brain meaning that your brain will be getting a workout as well. There’s not too much that this sport doesn’t offer.
Trying Something New or Revisiting An Old Passion
Whether you’ve played golf before and you now want to rekindle your love for the game, you just want an excuse to dust off some old clubs, or you’re completely new to the sport and want to take advantage of its benefits, golfing can do you some good. The good thing is that as a senior in Florida, you’re not short of golf courses, country clubs, and indoor facilities to start playing and you’re definitely not short of good weather to get started.
If you’re a senior in Florida, consider giving golf a try or if you already play, consider playing a bit more. Something that might be surprising to hear is that a Swedish study actually found that there is a 40% lower mortality rate associated with those who golf.
What exactly does that mean? In plain terms, it means that regardless of your age, you could potentially add an additional 5 years to your life, and overall, it shows that those who golf actually live longer than those that don’t golf.
So, why not pick up a set of clubs today? Your health will thank you later.