The excellent benefits of playing golf
It will not be as popular as football, but for those who can play it, Golf is an excellent health ally. Suitable for all ages, older children can reduce stress and stay fit with low-impact activity, and younger children increase tolerance for frustration.
Studies carried out in recent years have highlighted the benefits of playing golf. Specialists from the Rose Medical Center (Denver, United States) measured the energy expenditure involved and concluded that a total of 721 calories is burned on a 9-hole course, covered entirely on foot and carrying the bag itself; using a manual cart, about 718 calories; accompanied by a caddy -who carries the bag- 613 calories and those golfers who use a car (Buggy), for the entire round, would burn 411 calories.
Other research by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute revealed that Golf could be a good investment for health. The study (carried out by experts from that medical center, and which is one of the most prestigious in Europe) found that the mortality rate for golfers is 40% lower than that of other people of the same sex, age, and socioeconomic level, which translates into an increase in life expectancy of five years. Incredible but true.
One of Golf’s main advantages is its low physical demand, where beyond concentration and aim, only the will to walk and socialize is necessary. It has a low rate of injuries, which, if they occur, is due to sudden movements or lack of heating. Therefore, say the professionals consulted, it is recommended for all ages, especially those over 65 or patients who need recovery from neurodegenerative diseases.
Walking and helping the body
Being a sport “of low intensity, dynamic and at the same time static, and which is also practiced outdoors, it is usually ideal for patients with cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological and musculoskeletal system diseases “, describes Dolores Masiá Mondéjar, Cardiologist in charge of the Sports Cardiology Service IMED Levante.
As specified, each day that this sport has practiced, a distance of seven to ten kilometers is traveled. With proper cardiovascular training, “you can walk the long course of the field and stay in optimal physical condition for four to five-hour days, without losing the level of coordination necessary to play a good game,” adds this professional, a member of the Foundation.
Dr. Andrew Murray, from the University of Edinburgh, published several studies in which he emphasizes that playing Golf can extend life by five years and explains that the risks of fractures are reduced by 68%, of diabetes by up to 40 % of cardiovascular diseases 35% and suffering from depression or senile dementia 30%.
This Golf and health expert calculated that playing an 18-hole course and walking 11,000 to 17,000 steps involves an energy expenditure of 1,200 calories. Those just looking to hit the ball and choose to switch greens using an electric car will also burn 600 calories.
Benefits for the heart and muscles
Among the benefits, Dr. Masiá cites “the control of body weight, the increase in good cholesterol, improves blood pressure figures and prevents osteoporosis.” By oxygenating the blood, the synthesis of vitamin D is also enhanced, helping by practicing outdoors.
Each stroke performed is an exercise for the legs and arms’ muscles, helping to tone the limbs and improve the flexibility of these limbs and the chest and abdominals. However, especially in people over 65, you must be careful with sudden or poorly executed movements.
“Golf is a technical sport, with a long learning process. If you learn without a teacher, you can have injuries derived from two factors: a bad grip (way of grasping the club) and swing (movement when hitting the ball), which can cause lumbar spinal problems”, warns Ignacio Guerras, traumatologist, and president of the Madrid Golf Federation.
Social and concentration sport
Golf’s practice also has an essential component of socialization: it is a sport where you compete more against yourself than against other rivals, which encourages the conversation to flow for several hours.
Many businesses tend to close on the greens, where each party observes chivalry, honesty, and patience in the game.
Focusing on each shot is a mental health benefit because all attention is focused on one task: knowing how to hit the ball with the ideal shot.
These factors are recommended for retired people. “Golf is great for mental balance, and it will be more important in the future. We go to a society with many retirees with free time, and that time must be filled. That’s where Golf comes in as a recommended activity.
Against mental illnesses
This sport’s practice also helps fight and slow down neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The latter has been suffered by Jacinto Garba josa, a player with a handicap 8, who in one of the meetings of the Royal Spanish Federation said “for diseases like mine, a sport of sensations like golf is the perfect activity”, since He helped him escape from this disorder with the physical exercises and concentration that something as simple and complex requires of him as making a small white ball fall into a hole.
Golf and its benefits for the heart
Few people know it, but Golf is a sport that is recommended for patients with cardiovascular diseases due to its low intensity. It has many advantages, it is dynamic, static and you can practice it outdoors. Besides benefiting people with heart disease, it considerably helps patients with metabolic, neurological, and musculoskeletal system abnormalities.
What are the benefits of golf on the heart?
It helps maintain a stable weight and controls blood pressure, reduces anxiety, and prevents the appearance of possible depression. According to the Spanish Heart Foundation: “It increases insulin sensitivity and reduces postprandial plasma insulin concentrations, which helps normalize glucose metabolism, preventing diabetes or helping to control it better.”
Before practicing this sport, we recommend that you consult your cardiologist, as specific medical check-ups must be carried out, which vary depending on the age, type of cardiovascular disease you suffer from, and the patient’s physical level. After the doctor gives you the green light to start this sport, we suggest the following tips:
- Do not demand more of yourself than you are capable of by your experience.
- Protect yourself from the sun, avoid solar radiation.
- Use special footwear for this sport.
- Stay in continuous hydration before, during, and after the game.