Golf and Wellness: Exploring the Health Benefits of the Game
As with all athletic endeavors, golf is inherently connected to physical and mental wellness. Golf is a great way to enjoy regular exercise, develop social connections, and manage stress. It also calls on cognitive skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and gross motor skills.
Moreover, this much-loved sport can foster your competitive nature. If you're someone who thrives on competition, golf can be played against others as well as oneself. With so many benefits, it's no wonder golf is so popular. It's estimated that one in seven people played golf last year.
Read on to find out how you can become one of the many who improve your overall wellness through the game of golf.
Golfing for Fitness
One of the most obvious benefits of playing golf is that it can help you stay physically active. Regular physical activity is beneficial to your overall fitness. The long hours spent at the driving range, putting green, and on the golf course will improve your endurance. Walking sprawling golf courses, up and over grassy knolls, is a great way to boost your physical stamina.
Likewise, golf fires up many muscle groups throughout the course of a game. The key muscles used in a good golf swing include the pectorals, obliques, glutes, and quadriceps. Limber hamstrings and good core strength are also key to an optimal swing.
A strong core is what allows you to power through your drives and give your stroke distance off the tee. If you'd like to ensure your best swing, working these muscle groups on and off the course will help you do so. While golf in and of itself works out these muscle groups, many golfers find that a fitness routine focusing on these muscles is also beneficial.
You can easily clock up to four miles per round when walking a golf course. Doing so provides you with a built-in cardiovascular workout connected to weight loss. Carrying your clubs instead of carting them, frequently practicing your swing, and weight training for an improved swing will all burn additional calories. With routine training and gameplay, golfing away unwanted weight is completely feasible.
Golfing for Mental Health
Playing golf has many facets that are good for your mental health. Honing your game can easily improve your confidence and self-esteem, while physical activity is connected to reduced anxiety, stress, and depression. Management of your mental health is also linked to a lowered risk for dementia. Furthermore, spending time outdoors in the sun and fresh air is good for mental health. Natural light, vitamin D from the sun, salt air, and the like improve mood, induce relaxation, and release serotonin. The beautiful landscapes of golf courses can also enhance your mood.
Another important mental health benefit of playing golf is socialization. While you can play golf solo, it's historically a social sport that can help you make friends, partake in friendly competition, bond with loved ones, and entertain business associates. Besides the hours spent on the course, a day of golf often ends with drinks and meals shared with friends, furthering the game's social aspect. Socialization is linked to improved mood, happiness, and a sense of belonging. On so many levels, golf is great for your mental health.
Golfing for Your Brain
In many ways, golf is a good way to exercise your brain. Golf calls upon cognitive functions such as focus and strategic thinking. Besides engaging your body, you'll engage your brain with every stroke you take. Research shows that golf can improve your memory, problem-solving abilities, and overall cognitive function.
One of the ways golf exercises your brain is that it uses both sides; the left side of the brain is used for analytical gameplay, and the right side of the brain is used for spatial perception. Both sides of a golfer's brain are employed to plan shots, execute swings, and analyze the course. Taken together, these processes are all great exercises for your brain.
Golfing to Lower Risk for Disease
Not only can golf improve your wellness, but it can also help you to maintain it. As a sport, golf exercises your heart, inherently lowering your cardiovascular disease risk. Likewise, optimal cardiovascular health can lower your bad cholesterol levels. Similarly, the aerobic elements of golf, namely all that walking, exercise your lungs. This can strengthen lung function and capacity and, in turn, reduce your risk for some lung diseases.
Regular golf play may contribute to improved cardiovascular and lung health as well as reduced instances of associated diseases.
Golf's Lower Risk for Injury
When compared to other sports, golf has a low risk for injury. While the game can be physically taxing, your body isn't typically over-exerted in golf. As such, you're less likely to suffer a physical injury in golf than in other, more physical sports. Some common injuries in golf include simple muscle strains, muscle/joint soreness, and lower back injuries. However, these can all be avoided by proper stretching and good form.
While there is some chance of injury in golf, it's much less than in other sports; even though this reduced risk for injury won't improve your physical wellness, it will help you maintain it.
Golfing for Improved Sleep
Just like a baby lulled by fresh air, natural light, and movement, playing golf can improve your quality of sleep. As with any exercise, golf provides you with a significant workout. Even though golf is a low-impact sport, you can count on walking long distances during a game, which may lead to muscle and overall fatigue. As such, you can expect a better night's sleep after a day of golf than on the days you don't play.
Improved sleep quality allows your brain and muscles to recover, which can also improve your golf game.
Where to Golf for Improved Wellness
If you're in the greater Orlando area and looking for the best golf course to reap all of these wellness benefits, check out Bella Collina. This stunning Sir Nick Faldo-designed course is a challenging course set amid a luxury gated community in Monteverde, Florida. Setting roots in this magnificent community or indulging in a membership to this course provides you with regular opportunities to hone your game, master your swing, compete among the best, and improve your wellness.
Contact us today to find out more.