Golf may not be CrossFit, but it is a great fitness activity. Those who play the game recognize the benefits – 93% of golfers surveyed by NGF say that exercise is one of the attributes they like about game. Latent golfers, or non-golfers who are interested in playing, also see the fitness benefits of golf. 43% of them told us that exercise is the main thing they like about golf.
Recently, PHIT America spoke with various experts in fitness and health, and reiterated just how beneficial golf can be. PHIT America Founder Jim Baugh said, “When we dug into the research, it was amazing how good golf is for fitness. Not only for the body, but for your overall health.” Here’s what they found…
Golf is a Great Workout
"During a day of golf, the average golfer will walk five miles, or walk one mile if they ride in a cart," said Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. "Also, during an 18-hole round, a cart-rider will burn 1,300 calories, while a walker will burn as many as 2,000 calories. That is the equivalent of jogging on a treadmill for two hours and 10 minutes."
Another big benefit of playing golf is the increased volume of oxygen flowing through the brain and body, stimulating healthy cell function. Swinging the golf club is equivalent to doing at least 200 twists. Teeing up the ball and picking up your golf ball simulates toe touches. Virtually every muscle in the body is used during a round of golf.
Golf Fights Diseases
All major medical groups agree that many diseases are preventable and that physical exercise can help reduce the risk of disease. “Golf is a sport that can be played by virtually anyone, at any age,” said Ed Woronicz, PGA, executive director of Golf To End Cancer. “Disease fighting benefits of playing golf include reduction in blood sugar levels, weight loss, less stress, and increases in healthy exposure to vitamin D. Healthy activities will keep the immune system strong.”
Golf Exercises Your Mind & Keeps Your Brain From Shrinking
“A 2003 study showed that the brains of people with a low sense of worth were more likely to shrink than those with high self esteem,” said Erin Matlock, a lifetime Mensa member and CEO of Brain Pages.
She went on to say that the shrinkage led to poor results on memory and learning tests and that golf (no matter what your score is) gives you a sense of completion and a nice boost to your esteem, helping to keep your brain from shrinking.
Golf supports mental fitness in other ways, too, such as helping to sharpen your focus, develop cognitive skills and strategic thinking. The next time you are calculating changes in elevation, wind speed and direction, altitude, moisture on the ground and in the air, distance to the target, and swing plane, remember one more swing thought: your brain is getting a great workout!
Golf Helps Keep Relationships Strong
As the old saying goes, the family that plays together, stays together. That statement is true for family relationships, business relationships and friendships. More than the scores and the shots, you’ll remember the camaraderie, the stories, the funny moments, and the revelations of good character. There’s really no other sport where you can spend four hours in the company of your opponents and experience such a high level of personal interaction.
Golf Feeds the Soul
"For many people, golf is a spiritual experience," said A.J. Ali, wellness writer and creator of the Golf To End Cancer program. "There have been many poets, artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers and philosophers who have memorialized the spiritual aspects of golf in their works. Musical artist and admitted golf addict Alice Cooper went so far as to say that golf has saved his life by helping him to overcome his addiction to alcohol. Studies have shown that activities that stimulate the soul and help to get people emotionally centered and happy are activities that help with overall wellbeing. As golfers often say, a bad day golfing is better than a good day working."
Golf Keeps You Fit For Life!
How many sports can you play whether you are 5 or 95 years old? Golf exercises your mind, body and soul. And, you can have fun forever.
About PHIT America:
Founded in January 2013, PHIT America (www.PHITAmerica.org) is a non-profit educational, social media, and advocacy campaign focused on overcoming the inactivity and obesity crisis in America by creating a Movement for a Fit & Healthy America. More than 130 companies (including NGF), along with sports ambassadors and celebrities, are helping PHIT America to get Americans more active, fit and healthier.