How golf can transform your mental health and increase life expectancy

Are you looking for a sport or hobby that positively affects your mental health? Well, it looks like golf might be one of the best options for you. Survey by Golf Travel Center conducted a study 98% of participants said golf helps them relieve stress and improve their mental health.

Sport is low-impact, social, and can also improve your confidence and self-esteem, with a 2009 Swedish study The discovery that golf may increase life expectancy by five years.

According to data compiled by the National Golf Foundation, 2020 recorded a total of 24.8 million golfers In the United States, an increase of 500,000 from 2019, marking the largest net increase in 17 years, Golf Digest Reported in April 2021.

It’s no surprise that more people are playing golf, and with the 2022 PGA Tour kicking off this weekend (September 15-18), more people will likely be interested in the sport.

A man swings on a golf course.
A man swings on a golf course.
iStock/Getty Images Plus

that April 2021 study published in peer-reviewed journal BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine It stated: “Golf can provide health-enhancing physical activity. Regular physical activity is associated with physical/mental health, immune system, and longevity benefits.”

Haydan Smith, Director of International Trade at SurprizeShopThe reputable retailer of women’s golf apparel and clothing has compiled a list of the many reasons why readers turn to the green.

1. Social nature

The The above study It found that “feeling of belonging and life satisfaction improved significantly when golf restrictions were relaxed after the first.” [COVID-19] Closed in the UK.

Smith said golf can be a great way to meet new people, adding, “If you’ve just moved to a new place and are struggling to meet new people, there’s no better place than a club to start. Whether you want to discuss the latest PGA events with someone at Bar or you need the club to make a new team for you, this place can do it all. Trying to get to know your co-workers better? Why not ask if they like a game, or if they would like to try a new course on the road?

“You can even promote healthy competition and set challenges for you and your friends. Alternatively, introverts may find that playing solo golf is a great way to get around people without any pressure to socialize—a task that is sometimes difficult to achieve!”

2. relieve stress

Golf is a great way to relieve stress. You spend time outside, listening to the birds, spending time with friends, and focusing on the game, rather than your daily interests.

“Being outdoors is naturally great for many mental health benefits, including naturally reducing anxiety and decreasing the effects of depression,” Smith said. “While you might not think golf is a good exercise — it’s a good game you’d never like it — no The endorphins released by low-impact exercise not only reduce pain, but also provide relief from emotional stress.

Plus, if you’re feeling down and want to get rid of your aggression, picking up a putter and hitting the ball as often as you can is one of the best ways to relax.”

Sean Jay, founder of Sober Golfers Association, said in a statement: “Golf is the most powerful therapy for men and women to talk about problems in an open and friendly setting. You can’t beat a 4 hour nature walk, laughter, golf with fellow club members, and just enjoying from this stressful week at work.

3. Better sleep

Exercise can play a major role in improving sleep. Dr. Charlene Gamaldomedical director of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Center at Howard County General Hospital, said that based on the available studies, “we have strong evidence that exercise, in fact, helps you fall asleep faster and improves sleep quality,” according to the Johns Hopkins Medicine Web site.

SurpizeShop’s Smith said that combining the fresh air and exercise provided by playing golf can help you sleep better at night and “the better you sleep, the better you play golf,” adding that “Studies have shown That a bad night’s rest can increase your disability.”

There are even hotels dedicated to the concept of “golf, sleep and eat” – the ultimate trio of a perfect weekend getaway.

Women playing golf on a course.
Two women hold golf clubs while watching another woman swing at a track.
iStock/Getty Images Plus

4. Vitamin D dosage

Reports indicate that an estimated one billion people worldwide, of all races and age groups, are deficient in Vitamin D, the “sunshine” vitamin that we can get from being outdoors in the sun, April 2012 study, in peer review Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics.

This shortage has been particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people have left their homes less than they had before due to illness or to reduce the risk of infection. Playing golf outdoors can naturally help replenish vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is especially important for the absorption of calcium, which is one of the building blocks for strong bones.

The US Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health states: “Vitamin D along with calcium helps protect you from osteoporosis, a disease that weakens and weakens bones and makes them more prone to fracture.

Our immune system also needs vitamin D to fight “invading bacteria and viruses,” the office said.

Low levels of vitamin D coincide with many effects on mental health, including depression, seasonal affective disorder, and schizophrenia – so be sure to plan your longer games for a sunny day! “

5. Enhance self-esteem

Playing golf regularly and following a good diet can allow you to shed pounds and increase your confidence. In conjunction with the social nature of the sport, you’ll be making new friends and looking your best in no time – just make sure not to party too hard with pints full of calories!

south korean study Published in March 2021 in the peer-reviewed journal Physical culture and sports studies and researchfound that even screen golf (playing golf on a simulated digital golf screen) can “provide people with disabilities with opportunities for positive life experiences through sporting participation.”

The The study, which looked at the effect of participation in screen golf on various psychosocial factors (including self-esteem) between people with and without disabilities.found that there was “a more positive effect on self-esteem and life satisfaction for non-disabled people with screen golf experience compared to those without any screen golf experience.”

Smith said, “The low-impact nature of golf means it is gentle on joints and muscles, which makes it great for those trying to find an exercise routine that feels easy but fun. The sport is engaging, requiring you to focus your efforts on the ball and focus on how you get on the next hole.”

The The PGA Tour’s Fortinet Championship continues this weekend at the North Court of Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, California.

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