While golf is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, it packs some mighty health benefits too. The team behind National Golf Month tell us more.
Swing into Action
It’s always advisable to speak to your GP before starting a new exercise but it is unlikely you will be discouraged from trying golf as it is a gentle but effective way of being active. Let’s face it, when did you last see an overweight golfer or one complaining about sport-related injuries?
The key thing about playing a round of golf is that you will enjoy a walk of around 4.5 miles – which can mean you burn up to 400 calories – more if you carry your own clubs.
Most golf courses are set in beautiful grounds which means that whilst a round of golf may take a little longer than covering 4 miles on a treadmill, it gets you into the fresh air and is a more pleasant way to exercise – and there is always the promise of some well-deserved refreshment at the club house by way of added incentive.
People often think of golf as being a whole round of 18 holes – but it needn’t be. You can do nine holes, pitch and putt, visit a driving range – the options are numerous and even these can have a positive impact on your health. One of the best ways to de-stress and clear the mind is to concentrate on doing something relatively undemanding and quite repetitive. Going to a driving range and hitting a basket of balls will improve your mood no end; it costs about the same as a glass of wine, but is of course much better for you.
Whilst golf is not pretending to be yoga, it will help you loosen up. Swinging a club is a great way to keep your upper body limber so this, combined with walking, means that a round of golf is a whole body workout. The other benefit of golf over so many other forms of work outs is that huge levels of strength or speed aren’t needed; anyone can pick up a club and get out and have fun.
Golf, like any exercise, will release endorphins, the body’s naturally occurring ‘happy chemical’ but as well as that, golfers have the added bonus of a bigger social circle. The clubhouse (or ‘19th hole’) is full of other people interested in playing and socializing with other golfers. Forget the myth about clubs being snooty places full of aging men swigging scotch, golf clubs want more members and often offer them a range of social activities that go beyond just playing.
This month is National Golf Month so there are hundreds of ways to #getgolfing at a course near you, many of which are free or very low cost – and any equipment needed will be provided. Simply visit www.nationalgolfmonth.com for more details.