The Benefits of Playing Golf: 12 Reasons Why You Should Play
Golf is challenging yet exhilarating. The game rewards regular players with more than just some fresh air and the elusive hole-in-one. Playing golf also benefits your cognitive and physical health.
Here are 12 benefits of playing golf—plus, learn how Aviv Clinics is helping golfers improve their game and longevity.
1. Improves and Extends Longevity
More than just “living longer,” golf improves your health span, the number of years you feel healthy, stay active, and enjoy the vitality of both your mind and body.
2. Enhances Brain Health
Golfing can have positive effects on the brain as well. A National Institutes of Health study found golf enhances focus and attention in individuals who experience “subjective memory complaints.”
Additional brain health benefits from exercise include:
- Increased blood flow to the brain
- Sharpened focus
Increased stimulation of the cerebellum—one of the areas of the brain responsible for coordination
3. Promotes Healthier Sleep
A good night’s rest is one of the key factors to physical and mental health and well-being. During deep sleep, the body and brain perform restorative and repairing processes, which can help you function at an optimal level in your waking hours.
After a day on the links, your body is ready for a well-deserved rest—and science supports this. Research shows moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of deep sleep a person gets. Exercise also helps stabilize your mood and decompress the mind, which is a process important for naturally transitioning into sleep.
4. Fosters Socialization
The social aspects of golf as a group activity also help your health. Socializing has been proven to:
- Stave off loneliness and depression
- Sharpen memory and cognitive capacity
- Increase feelings of happiness and wellbeing
- Help you live longer
Socializing triggers the nervous system to release certain neurotransmitters that regulate the body’s response to stress and anxiety. Social connections also release the “feel good” hormone dopamine.
5. Reduces Stress
One prime mental health benefit of golf is that it helps reduce stress.
A round of golf can help reduce cortisol (the “stress hormone”) and spur the release of endorphins—the chemicals that help to relieve stress and boost happiness. Spending time outdoors in nature can help you feel calmer and more clear-headed. Plus, engaging in a fun activity is always a great stress reducer.
6. Offers a Low Impact Physical Activity
Despite what many may think, golf is an excellent workout! The average 18-hole game burns between 800-2,000 calories (amounts vary depending on whether you walk or ride in a cart).
But because golf is a low-impact sport, you’ll be less likely to be injured while playing. Golf is also easier on your joints than many other sports.
7. Provides an Activity the Entire Family Can Enjoy
Why not bring along your kids or grandkids on your next golf outing? Golf is a family-friendly activity people of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy.
Golf coaches say five is a great age to teach kids to golf, but kids as young as two can learn the basics. That’s the beauty of a sport like golf. You’re never too young (or old) to learn.
8. Improve Business Relationships
The place to score your next deal may just be on the golf course—indeed, one in three golfers conducts business on the course.
Take your colleagues and prospective clients out for a round of golf. It’s not only an ideal location to network and build relationships, but also a place to talk about business opportunities.
9. Gets You Outside in the Fresh Air
The impact of COVID-19 has made some of us more accustomed to staying indoors. Golf is a great and healthy excuse to get out of the house and stay active in the fresh air.
Playing golf means spending time outdoors. And time outside can help:
- Fight seasonal depression
- Boost creativity
- Improve concentration levels
Being outside also produces additional positive effects. For example, fresh air increases the flow of oxygen in the body, leading to other benefits like healthy digestion and improved cell function.
10. Increases Vitamin D Exposure
Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins in the human body. It’s most known for promoting healthy bones, but this crucial vitamin also supports immune health, muscle function, and brain cell activity.
Sun exposure is a natural way to get the amount of vitamin D your body needs for peak performance—Just be sure to wear sunscreen.
11. Burns Calories
While not as intense as a HIIT class or kickboxing session, a round of golf does “eat up” a healthy amount of calories. In an 18-hole round, the average golfer can burn approximately 1,400 calories.
Maintaining a healthy weight leads to even more health advantages, such as reducing the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, infertility, arthritis, sleep apnea, and more.
12. Practice Anywhere
If you’re looking to improve your swing, you can easily practice golfing at home with a mat and net or launch monitor or in your backyard.
You can also practice your grip and posture in front of a mirror and do swing drills from home. Practicing putting is even easier—all you need is a club, a ball, and a carpeted floor.
Get Even More Benefits with the Aviv Golf Performance Program
The innovative new Aviv Golf Performance Program takes the natural health benefits of playing golf to the next level by helping you regain your stamina and optimize your performance.
Our program is based upon the Aviv Medical Program, which can include includes hyperbaric oxygen therapy at its core, plus cognitive and physical training, nutrition coaching, and the industry’s most comprehensive assessments.
The Aviv Golf Performance Program combines our proprietary Aviv Medical Program protocols with professional golf play assessment, technology, and access to world-class fairways at The Villages in central Florida.
Contact us to learn more about how to improve your brain health.