What makes golf one of the greatest games is that people of all ages can play it throughout their lifespan. The game does not discriminate as you get older because as long as you can swing a club and tee up a ball, you can become a golfer.
For seniors, golf can not only be a sign of kicking back and enjoying retirement, but it is also a great way to remain active and healthy. Below is a list of four reasons for older adults to pick up the clubs and hit the links to stay in shape and meet new people!
The Health Benefits of Golf
Benefit #1: Heart Health
Playing golf is great for your heart. Whether you choose to walk your round or grab the assistance of a cart, golf forces movement which keeps the blood circulating and the heart rate elevated for sustained exercise.
Dr. Andrew Murray of the University of Edinburgh told Reuters, “Golf can provide aerobic physical activity to persons of all ages, and strength and balance benefits to older adults.” Additionally, “Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health, decreasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, as well as dementia, depression, and anxiety.”
By increasing our activity through sports such as golf, we can ward off some truly terrible diseases and keep the heart sound for better sleep, energy, and motivation. If you are looking for maximum benefit, then skip the cart and grab a pull cart and walk your round. Even if it is nine holes (instead of 18), you’ll begin to see a tremendous difference in your muscle tone and your stamina—all contributing to a healthy heart.
Benefit #2: Flexibility Equals Mobility
If you believe the adage that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” then let's throw another one out there to encourage you to play golf—flexibility equals mobility. The game of golf helps keep muscles and joints limber as you repeat the movement of the swing. Maintaining flexibility through your back, legs, and arms assists in staying mobile and keeping the heart well through exercise.
Golf is one of several activities that is often promoted as a great activity that helps reduces the risk of early mortality while also increasing energy and productivity. The sport also boosts metabolism and increases muscle density. Taking clubs out of your golf bag and swinging requires much more energy than one would typically think.
But, most importantly, staying flexible helps ward off the desire to remain seated throughout the day. Plus if you are looking to be good at golf, then having a supple back will assure a strong swing and keep you challenged on the course.
Benefit #3: Social Benefits
Golf is a great game for getting together with friends. By remaining active with golf, you help each other stay fit through progressive movement and elevated heart rate. But playing with friends has a more significant effect on your mental outlook, perhaps than your health.
Golfandhealth.org has studied the effects of golf on older adults and found that the game contributes to a boost in self-esteem, improved confidence and a significant reduction in depression and anxiety.
Additionally, a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that the relationship between golf and good health carries a positive impact on golfers of all ages, especially when participants became active with others in regularly playing the game.
Benefit #4: Mental Approach
Finally, golf can help individuals stay mentally sharp through the strategy element of the game. Having to decide the best approach on each hole and thinking about outside factors can keep your mind engaged for several hours during a round.
While involving your mind with playing the game, golf can also reduce negative thoughts while reducing stress. Taking your driver for a golf swing fosters focus and position energy. This approach to mental wellness is also helpful if you play with others and share the experience.
Another aspect of staying mentally attuned occurs during the round when you are facing negative feedback. Say you hit your shot into the bunker, and now you must use critical thinking and problem solving to create a swing that will lift the ball out of the sand and onto the green. Golf provides problems that force us to use emotional control when finding the best solution, keeping our minds engaged and sharp.
Stay Protected While On the Golf Course
While you’re enjoying time on the golf course, whether solo or with friends, have peace of mind knowing emergency assistance is available to you—whenever and wherever you need it. Medical Guardian’s mobile medical alert devices include an unlimited range of protection, cellular connectivity, and advanced location tracking. Head out to the golf course feeling more safe and confident than ever before!