"The more I practise, the luckier I get" Gary Player
With summer here and lockdown restrictions being lifted in outdoor sports, now might be a good time to head to your local golf course and play a round.Golf is good not only for your physical health but your mental and brain health too.
Heart health Any form of physical exercise helps to get the blood pumping to your heart and whilst you’re golfing and walking, carrying your bag and swinging your clubs, this activity increases your heart rate and blood flow. This in turn can mean risk of a stroke and diabetes are reduced, and there can be positive effects on reducing blood pressure and harmful cholesterol, especially if you’re able to combine this with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Fresh Air One of the biggest health benefits of golfing comes from being out in the fresh air and green spaces. Fresh air increases the flow of oxygen in your body and this improves your health in many ways, for example, giving a boost to your digestive system. Fresh air and more oxygen can also aid your auto-immune system, giving your white blood cells the energy they need to help them fight germs and bacteria.
Vitamin D One of the most important vitamins in the body, vitamin D is produced by your skin when is exposed to strong sunlight. More vitamin D means helps regulate calcium, which in turn leads to healthier and stronger bones.
Live longer A Swedish study by the Karolinska Institutet and headed up by Professor Anders Ahlbom, found that people who play golf have a 40% lower death rate, which corresponds to a 5-year increase in life expectancy.
Brain stimulation Regular daily walks strengthens the brain’s memory circuits and by keeping active you make sure your brain has a good, strong blood supply, which is essential to help it function better now and in future.
Weight loss An 18-hole round easily exceeds 10 000 steps, especially when you walk and don't use a golf cart, so helpful in managing weight loss when coupled with a healthy diet.
Reduces stress The feel good pleasure of walking in the fresh air, socialising with fellow golfers, with the added mental challenge of playing this kind of sport ensures the release of endorphins, the natural mood-enhancing chemicals in your brain, which make can make you feel happy and relaxed.
Improved sleep Exercise and fresh air are a powerful combination for improved sleep. Walking the course will give you a good workout. Regular exercise helps you sleep faster and remain in a deep sleep for longer. Sleep helps your muscles rest and repair
Keep well, Dr Clara Russell