While it may not be the most physical of pursuits, the health and well being benefits of golf for both sexes are being increasingly promoted by doctors and health experts across the world.
Although golf is a sport rooted in history and tradition, in recent years the shift away from its stuffy past has seen more and more women take up golf, both at professional and amateur level with the accompanying positivity surrounding its health benefits one of its major draws.
Numerous studies have described the many health advantages that playing even a nine hole course can bring to someone hoping to improve their fitness levels.
It’s estimated that golf players who carry their golf bag around a nine hole course can burn on average 721 calories while even walking the course with a caddie can burn 613 calories. It’s hardly a surprise when a round of golf should see you complete a walk of about three miles and walking an 18-hole course, three to five times weekly, should be more than enough exercise for anyone hoping to foster a healthy heart.
For many women the benefits of playing golf are even more pronounced:
Like all exercise, playing golf releases endorphins which are powerful and natural mood-enhancing boosts for the brain. Add to this the pleasure of walking in an open and natural environment and you have the ideal combination to help you relax and reduce stress.
Golf is a thinking game which requires you to use your brain. Stimulating blood circulation to the brain can improve nerve cell connections and help combat the onset of dementia.
Women tend to take up golf later in life than men. Most put this down to the pressures of family life but once the kids have flown the nest, many women begin playing the game in their 40s, 50s and 60s. It’s also a great way of meeting and staying in touch with friends.
Regular daytime exercise means a person will fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper sleep for a longer period of time. Research indicates that regular walking can prevent diseases such as diabetes, strokes, and heart disease. The immediate benefits for girls are important, too, as walking helps them maintain a healthy weight, and form lasting fitness habits.
Golf is great for the bones with any weight-bearing exercise capable of creating long and lean muscle mass, which produces a strong skeleton. Strong bones are an essential way of combating various bone diseases. Carrying your own clubs is always a bonus.
The longer you learn to hold it in on the golf course, the more you strengthen the capacity of your bladder. And, as noted by some women golfers, this is also an effective way to strengthen leg muscles, especially in the thighs.
All round fitness
Studies have found that avid women golfers scored significantly better on reaction time, balance, sit and reach flexibility, shoulder flexibility, and grip strength in comparison to inactive women.