Everyone knows that golf is more relaxing than other types of sports. However, this moderate-scale exercise is still healthy for the body.
The latest studies show that the older person who plays golf significantly could have health benefits, even lower the risk of death.
Researchers at the American Stroke Association’s International in Los Angeles, USA, found that playing golf about once a month was associated with a lower death risk.
However, the researchers didn’t distinguish whether a lower risk of death was seen in golfers who walked the course or those who used golf carts while playing. The people who played golf had a significantly lower mortality rate (15.1 percent) than people who didn’t play golf (24.6 percent).
“Researchers found something unique. Walking on the golf course is a great aerobic activity and adds to the benefits of regular aerobic activity,” said Dr. Guy L Mintz, director of Cardiovascular Health and Lipidology at Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital, New York.
Both Mintz and the study’s authors believe that the social factors of playing golf, such as walking with friends, talking, and relaxing, could be beneficial for older people who struggle with more strenuous exercise routines. “There is consistent data on the benefits of moderate-intensity exercise,” said Dr. Adnan Qureshi, study author and executive director of the Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Institutes.
Golf wasn’t counted from the recommended list of physical activity by the US Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines.
“Although low-intensity walking and jogging may be comparable to exercise, they lack the excitement of competitive golf,” said Qureshi.
“Regular exercise, exposure to less polluting environments, and the social interactions of playing golf are all positive for health,” he added.