Golf might not be the first sport you’d consider when looking for ways to become more active, but it has a surprising number of benefits for your physical and mental health.

Here’s just 7 reasons why golf is so good for you:

1.      Combat a Sedentary Lifestyle

It’s common for older people and office workers to spend long periods of time sitting down, but according to recent studies, a sedentary lifestyle can have serious consequences for your long-term health.

With links to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, researchers at Queen’s University in Belfast have now described “sitting as the new smoking”, but the good news is that it’s damaging effects can be counteracted by something as simple as walking and for that, golf is perfect.

2. Cardiovascular Exercise

Looking after your cardiovascular health that means getting the heart rate up and the blood pumping, but it doesn’t have to involve gruelling trips to the gym.

Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise you can do and the NHS recommend taking 10,000 steps a day to improve your overall health. Researchers in the States found that on average, any golfer playing the full 18 will take more than 11,000 steps!

To increase the benefits, walk briskly between holes and invest in a pedometer; seeing just how far you’ve walked can be a real motivator (and excuse!) to get to the green more often.

3. Low Impact Exercise

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Walking, especially on the soft, course surface is a low-impact form of exercise that won’t jolt, strain or put pressure on your hips, knees and ankles and better yet, because the pace of a round is relatively gentle, you can enjoy a workout without realising you’re getting one!

If weight loss is your aim, you could increase the amount of calories burnt during a round by carrying your clubs or pushing your cart.

4. Better Sleep

All that fresh air and exercise will increase the amount of oxygen circulating in your system and naturally reduce levels of the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for sleep cycles, to help you regulate sleep patterns.

As a result, you could improve your health and your game. Good sleeping habits can lead to less fatigue and more daytime energy, improved memory, concentration and sporting performance, and a reduction in inflammation associated with arthritis, heart disease and stroke.

5. Reduced Stress

Exercise increases the production of endorphins, the hormone responsible for making you feel happy and reducing your perception of pain, so a peaceful round of golf which takes you away from day-to-day hassles and responsibilities, is the ideal way to reduce stress and improve your mood.

6. Stronger Bones

With age, bones naturally lose mass and density and this makes you vulnerable to stiffness, reduced range of motion and osteoporosis, but when playing golf, the gentle pressure applied by walking can stimulate the growth of new bone tissue in the hips and lower body.

If you already suffer from osteoarthritis or stiff and aching joints, you may find that a powerful, magnetic TrionZ Bracelet offers some relief. Many successful tour and pro golfers have been spotted wearing them including Andy Sullivan, Rory McIlroy and Thomas Bjorn.

As an added bonus, by getting to the course on bright sunny days, you’ll get a good dose of vitamin D which is necessary for overall bone health, but remember, vitamin D is good, UV rays are not, so take care to protect your skin with sunscreen every time you play.

7. Social Time with Friends

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Golf can be a solitary sport, but opting to play with friends or joining a club means that you can enjoy some banter, companionship and friendly competition while you play. Declan Donnelly one half of Ant and Dec says “You can play golf from when you are six years old to when you’re 86 years old. It’s a sport you can play for your whole life.” Golf isn’t just good for your health, it’s good for the soul.

For all the golfwear and accessories you need to feel comfortable, play well and look after your health, visit the online golf apparel specialists at Function 18.

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