“The modern game of golf originated in 15th century Scotland,” and its first major, The Open Championship, or British Open, is considered “the world’s oldest tournament in existence (Wikipedia).”
While it is a sport many associate with retirement due to its slower pace, it is actually a sport that provides a variety of physical and mental benefits. It gets players outdoors, keeps players engaged and active, and stimulates the mind through strategy and trajectory.
Physical Health Benefits of Golf
As we previously mentioned, many consider golf a slow pace, leisurely activity. So, it may surprise you to know that the average regulation 18-hole course can have a golfer walking anywhere from three to six miles.
Of course, most golfers use a golf cart to get around on the course, but they are still gaining valuable exercise when walking through each hole played. Brisk walking is considered a moderate cardiovascular exercise that can help improve your heart’s health. These exercises can also help:
- Improve lung capacity
- Prevent heart disease
- Improve blood pressure levels
- Manage diseases like arthritis and diabetes
Aside from being a great form of cardiovascular exercise, golf can also be a form of strength training. When you swing a golf club, you use a variety of different muscles, including your abs, chest muscles, and arms. Strength exercises are important because they help to:
One of the lesser-known benefits of golf is that it also promotes balance. Balance is a key component to being a successful golfer. “At the foundation of every good golf swing is good balance. Maintain your balance, and you can deliver the clubhead to the ball with both speed and accuracy (golf.com).” The more golf you play, the better your balance will become over time as you improve your skills!
Mental Health Benefits of Golf
While golf has physical aspects to it, the game is also very focused on the mental aspects. Golf is about strategy and planning and keeps players’ minds active and engaged throughout the course.
In addition to keeping the mind active, golf is a social sport. While it can be played alone, it is often played with friends, neighbors, or colleagues, providing ample socialization opportunities. The benefits that socialization has on your mental and overall well-being are key to leading a healthy and active lifestyle.
For some, golf can also be used as a means of therapy as it relaxes the mind and keeps you focused on the game at hand.
Experience the Benefits of Nature
One of the unique benefits of golf is that it is primarily played outdoors. According to Professor Jenny Roe, an environmental psychologist and Director of the Center for Design & Health at the University of Virginia, “Contact with nature allows us to recover from brain fatigue, reduces our stress levels and improves our mood. In turn, improved mood is linked to what’s called the ‘broaden and build’ hypothesis, with an increased capacity for creative thought and cognitive flexibility that can – potentially – lead to new thought-action repertoires on and off the golf course, and improved performance.”
The benefits of golf are extensive and various and can improve health at any age. It can help place you in a better frame of mind, get you outdoors, and connect you with family and friends.
With retirement communities in San Antonio, Texas, and the surrounding areas, Franklin Park® Senior Living loves the game of golf! We even have a putting green on-site at Franklin Park® Sonterra to allow our residents to practice before hitting the course. All of our communities are conveniently located near golf courses, shopping, and entertainment. We invite you to contact our team and see what Franklin Park® Senior Living can add to your retirement!