Move over cricket and football: 10 reasons why you should play golf | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Move over cricket and football: 10 reasons why you should play golf

health and fitness Updated: Oct 12, 2016 13:54 IST
AFP
AFP
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Golf has a host of benefits for players’ physical and mental well-being.(AFP)

Are you tired of the regular cricket-football-tennis drill and want to try your hand at a different sport? We say give golf a chance. Why, you ask? Here we give you 10 reasons to get outside this fall and start practising your swing. Because why not?

1. Burn calories and stay in shape

As golf provides moderate intensity workout golfers can benefit from many health benefits just by playing their favourite sport. After reviewing over 5,000 papers for their study as part of the Golf & Health Project, researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland found that golfers who play a round of 18 holes can typically expect to walk 11 to 17,000 steps, 4 to 8 miles and burn 1,200 calories. Even using the golf cart has its benefits, as you’ll still walk 6,000 steps over 4 miles and burn 600 calories over 18 holes.

2. Prevent disease

Golf also has the health benefits associated with other moderately intense workouts, including preventing and treating more than 40 major chronic diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer, and a lower risk of hip fractures.

3. Improve balance and strength

Although it still needs some more research, the findings from this latest study show that balance and muscle endurance in older people are improved by playing the sport.

4. Respiratory benefits

Regular participation in the sport leads to improved and maintained lung function in older adults.

5. Boost mental health

Although more studies are needed in this area, it seems the benefits of golf aren’t just physical. The research from the Golf & Health project suggests that golf can increase sense of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence, and a reduced risk of anxiety, depression and dementia.

6. Live longer

And if the physical and mental benefits aren’t enough, when compared to non-golfers, lead author of the study Dr. Andrew Murray notes that golfers also live around five years longer than non-golfers.

7. Get some fresh air

Getting out into nature and soaking up some vitamin D also bring additional health benefits. However make sure to also wear sunscreen, seek the shade where possible, and cover appropriately to avoid a risk of sunburn, and possibly skin cancer.

8. Low risk of injury

Pay attention to your back, wrists and elbow as they are susceptible to injury when golfing, but overall golfers enjoy a low risk of injury.

9. It’s a social sport

A game of golf is a great way to spend time with friends and make new ones, which in turn has health benefits of its own as well as making sport more fun.

10. Golf is for everyone

These health benefits and the game can also be enjoyed by everyone, with the study also finding that the physical benefits of golf increase with age, with the sport’s physical and mental health benefits seen in people of all ages, genders and backgrounds.

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