Mind, Body, Soul...and Golf!
Everyone knows that golf is a relaxing sport. Nothing proves more enjoyable than a day on the green under the sun with a couple of friends, golfing the day away. That being said, it is not as physically demanding as other sports. You don’t have to run kilometers chasing a ball for 90 minutes as footballers do, nor do you need the muscles of a weightlifter. That’s why, it is only natural to assume that since it doesn’t have the qualities of a workout, it does not offer the advantages of one either. However, did you know that this sport has benefits for not only your physical but mental health? Read along to find out why playing 18 holes of golf regularly is good for you and how you can become a healthier golfer!
You Cover a Lot of (Green) GroundNext time you’re out on the green, pay attention to the distance that you cover walking. Of course, this may differ based on whether or not you use a golf cart and how often you use it. Not only are golf fields themselves large, forcing you to walk a lot, but your ball might also force you to run long distances while going after it. Walking naturally boosts your heart rate, improves your metabolism, and makes you more fit in general. Swinging, carrying a heavy golf bag, and having to move your whole body adds to these effects even further. The fact that you don’t have to run intensively as you might during other sports also means you won’t burn out as fast, are able to last longer and therefore able to cover even larger areas. So, while golfing may not be an intensive workout, you’re still working your body out without realizing it!
You’re in the Open Air
Golf courses usually require large acres of land and are therefore usually outdoors. Despite whatever it is that you’re doing, just being outside in itself is considered healthy. When you play golf, you spend hours at a time out in the open, enjoying many health benefits. It is obvious that being outdoors means you are exposed to more sunlight, leading to an increase in your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D helps improve bones, as well as combat pain and fatigue. Moreover, being outside also boosts your immune system. A healthy immune system is an active one, and the more time you spend indoors lazing around, the lazier you’re making your immune system as well. So, before you start binge-watching your third Netflix show in a row, do your body a favour, and spend some time out on the green.
Mental Wellbeing = Physical Wellbeing
While many people have a brief idea on what they can do to stay physically healthy, fewer know how to improve their mental health, and what activities really are effective in maintaining it. Arguably the most overlooked yet most important health benefit of golfing as a sport is what it can do for your mental health. To begin with, golf is a sport that requires a lot of focus and concentration. Focusing on one task for long hours is an exercise of mindfulness. Maintaining a mindful state of being has a long list of well-known benefits, including improving sleep, relieving anxiety, and improving life quality altogether. In addition, golf is a very social sport. Most people play golf with a group of people, whether it’s a group of friends, family members, or even business partners. The social aspect of the sport not only contributes to the golfers’ wellbeing by releasing endorphins, but it also helps people form closer bonds and enhances their interpersonal skills. Spending long amounts of time practicing this sport outdoors improves one’s mood and is a great way to relieve stress and relax. That’s why, the next time you think life is getting a bit too much to handle, take a break, take out your clubs, and let loose.
Happy Body, Happy GolferAfter having learned of all the health benefits that golfing can have, you probably want to start golfing regularly, and we want to help you get started - by offering you some of the best tips to keep in mind as to what kind of lifestyle you should maintain to stay a healthy golfer:
- Stretch as well as you can before a game! Your warm-up routine is very important and should be completed anytime you want to play a round. When you golf, you move your whole body, and injuries to the lower back, wrists, and elbows are especially common. The better you stretch, the less likely you are to hurt yourself.
- Drink plenty of water. There is no doubt that water is good for you, regardless of whether you do the bare minimum when it comes to exercise of if you’re training for the Olympics. When you’re a golfer, however, drinking water is especially important because you’re more likely to spend longer hours under the sun. More sun exposure means you’re at a higher risk for dehydration, so the more you can keep reminding yourself to drink water, the better. (And don’t forget that sunscreen bottle, either!)
- Eat and maintain a healthy diet. Golfers need a lot of energy, so at least half of a golfer’s diet should contain carbohydrates, especially healthy whole grain carbs. Lots of protein is also important for a golfer’s metabolism, and the intake of beans and nuts is highly recommended. The rest of the diet should contain unsaturated fats, including “healthy fats” coming from avocados, nuts, and fish.
- Enjoy the sport that you’re dedicating a lot of time and energy to. At the end of the day, your enjoyment of this development process is of utmost importance. While you’re taking care of your mind and your body, don’t forget your soul!