What Are the Health Benefits of Golf?

By Steve Silverman

Popular wisdom says that golf is a game for the old and infirm, and that even if your waistline is 40-plus or higher, you can play the game well. Nobody is going to make the case that golf provides the same benefits as 2 hours of full-court basketball, but it is an outstanding health-related activity for those who are willing to walk 18 holes.

Cardiovascular Stimulation

Walk a 6,500-yard course to get your heart rate up and to work up a sweat. Walking a course on a sunny day will lower harmful cholesterol and speed up your metabolism. A full round of golf can help a 200-pound man burn 350 calories or more.

Building Strength

Carry your own bag as you walk the course. Your golf bag may weigh 30 pounds or more. If you carry your bag, you will help create muscle mass and also make your bones stronger. Switch shoulders every other hole so you don't create too much of a strain on your neck and upper torso.

Improved Sleep

Exercise will help your body get more from sleeping than it would otherwise. Walking a course means that you are going 3 to 5 miles in a given round, which will help tire you out so you can get to sleep easier. That means you will get into a deep sleep and stay there longer than if you were not exercising. This will help you wake up more refreshed the next day.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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