Five benefits of ‘Green Exercise’

Everyone likes to feel healthy – and fresh air and light exercise can make our feel-good hormones ‘endorphins’ skyrocket. That’s not the only benefit of golf, attests Peter Smith, Director of Golf.

The health benefits of golf are numerous
The many health benefits of golf

Golf is not only a great sport to play and one in which different abilities can play against each other fairly due to the handicap system, but it is also a great benefit for health and well-being. Although some say I might be biased (!), whether you’re in retirement or a young person starting their golf career, the benefits are numerous.

The sport itself is played outdoors, so instantly you are improving your health by being outside in the fresh air, and exposure to the elements (the air throughout the year can be wet, cold, frosty and windy!) can also be health-promoting.

It gets your active: golf burns at least 900 calories
Golf burns more calories than you’d think: playing an 18-hole game of golf burns at least 900 calories. Golf also combines all the known weight-loss benefits of walking, combined with the toning and muscle strengthening benefits of swinging the clubs and carrying or pulling your golf bag (that is, unless you have a caddy!). During the average game of golf you can walk around five to six miles.

It brings people closer together
I’m constantly pleased at the amount of friendships fostered over the years on the gof courses that I’ve worked on. Golf a great way to meet new people – especially if you have recently moved into a new area or town or are travelling abroad. Wherever there’s a golf course, a host of rewarding new friendships await, not only due to the ready-made social life at the clubhouse afterwards.

It helps combat stress
“Golf really does tick all the boxes for things you need for optimal wellbeing,” says psychologist and coach Miriam Akhtar from positivepsychologytraining. “It offers some important feel-good factors, such as an active social life and regular physical activity of the best kind – what we call ‘green exercise’ outside in nature.”

It’s good for your heart
Not only due to that five mile walk, but the powerful combination of stress-busting exercise, fresh air and camaraderie can help reduce blood pressure and raised cholesterol, cutting your risk of stroke and diabetes – especially if combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

It can help you live longer
Golf’s unique combination of outdoor exercise and social interaction can help you live longer (by up to five years) – and make those extra years healthier. Regular walking, such as the four hours it typically takes to play a round of golf, can also help ward off dementia.

Need we say more? It is never too late to start!