Over the past few years, the popularity of golf has increased dramatically in both men and women over the age of 50. Why? This sport provides a great way to get active, get outside and enjoy nature, and spend time with friends and family. What used to be viewed as an elitist sport is now something the whole family can enjoy regardless of skill level!
If you did not already know, May is Golf Month, and Silver Comet Village wants to celebrate by exploring and sharing the many benefits of golf!
Keeps Your Body and Mind Active
Though golf may not be as intense as running sprints or other aerobic exercises, it does get your heart rate up. In fact, “walking 18 holes equals about four miles.” If you think about it, walking the course, swinging your clubs, and carrying your golf bag all increase your heart rate and blood flow. “The Norwegian Golf Federation (NGF) found that during an 18-hole round, a player will have an average heart rate of 100 beats per minute, over a two to five hour period.” When added to a healthy diet and lifestyle, playing golf regularly can reduce your blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. Of course, these specific benefits of golf are enhanced if you forego the use of a golf cart.
Beyond burning calories, those who play golf may actually live longer! “A Swedish study found a 40% lower mortality rate amongst golfers, relative to non-golfers.” The reason for this is simple. Risks of developing health issues such as heart problems, mobility issues, and dementia can increase as we grow older. Participating in a physical activity that requires critical thinking and encourages socialization reduces these risks and can delay these problems from developing.
The game of golf requires critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and strategy. Because of this, playing golf keeps players’ minds sharp.
Furthermore, golf helps to reduce stress. Spending time in nature on a beautiful, scenic golf course is relaxing and releases endorphins, the chemical in your brain that makes you feel happy and relaxed.
According to Professor Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, “Whether it is going for a jog or walking the golf course, keeping physically active is a great way to keep your…brain healthy. By keeping active, you make sure your brain has a good, strong blood supply, which is essential to help it function better now and in [the] future.”
Stimulates Your Competitive Nature
A little friendly competition can be healthy. A study done at the University of Windsor found that seniors benefit from and like competition. From the interviews conducted at the 2009 World Masters Games in Sydney, Australia, two of the key findings were, “I’m motivated to work harder” and “Travel and Companionship.”
This study found that “the act of competing brought out their best performances and participants said it made them try harder than they would a non-competitive activity. Bill, a 61-year-old…elaborated: ‘I just find that you try that little bit harder when it’s competition. You can play social all you like, but when it’s competition, it just brings out the best in you.’”
In regards to the travel and companionship results, “this theme explains how the organized, competitive structure of Masters sport and its club system allowed for regular travel, the establishment of ongoing friendships, and social interaction. To Betty, [64-year-old Canadian], the benefit of competitive sport is that “…it motivates you to get out and socialize and have fun with other adults that enjoy keeping physically fit.”
Competition is the perfect motivation to increase effort in a game of golf, as well as motivation to stay physically fit to be able to continue playing. The game of golf allows players to explore their competitive natures while enjoying time with family, friends, and neighbors.
Encourages Your Social Life
Playing golf is a great way to combat feelings of isolation or loneliness. A large draw to golf for many is the social aspect of the game. One of the benefits of golf is that you can play with children, grandchildren, friends, or family regularly.
Celebrate Golf Month with us at Silver Comet Village by playing a round of golf! Our senior care community in Powder Springs, Georgia, is conveniently located near a variety of local golf courses. If you are new to the game, you may discover a new hobby that can benefit you in a number of ways!
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