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Resolve to Improve Your Health through Golf
Author: TGA Staff
January 23rd 2018 -

It’s that time of year again. The holiday season brings with it cherished opportunities to celebrate with family and reflect on all our blessings. It also means it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions.
This year we hope you add “playing more golf” to your list of 2018 resolutions. It should be an easy one to stay committed to since you already love the game. It’s also a resolution you can justify as personal improvement, as there are myriad health benefits to teeing it up on a regular basis.
It’s true! Golf is a heart-healthy exercise that enriches your overall vigor and state of mind in numerous ways.
For starters, playing golf fights obesity and can help you lose weight. Studies have shown golfers can burn 500 calories or more in a one round. In fact, in terms of calories burned, a golfer who walks a single, 18-hole loop will burn as many calories as someone who cycles for four hours at about six mph or completes a 2.5-mile cross-country ski trail, according to a 2017 study on the relationship between golf and health.  
Want to see the numbers for yourself? No problem. A website called calorielab.com has a clever Calorie Burn Calculator that lets you plug in your weight and activity (i.e., “golf”), and with one click it tells you how many calories you can burn over the course of an hour. A golfer who weighs 165 pounds, for example, can burn 263 calories per hour by walking and carrying a bag.
Other research shows people who play golf regularly have a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. The key is walking. The healthiest way to play golf is to walk and carry your bag or use a push cart. The average total distance a walking golfer covers over 18 holes is between six and nine miles, depending on the length of the course. A 2008 study by University College London that included more than 450,000 people concluded that walking at least five and half miles a week reduced the likelihood of cardiovascular events by 31 percent.
The same study showed walking at least 30 minutes a day decreases the risk of coronary artery disease by 18 percent. Hurrah for golf!
As if those health benefits aren’t enough to make you reserve a tee time at your next earliest opportunity, further research exists that proves how good golf is for your soul and headspace, too.
The average American spends almost 90 percent of his or her life indoors, a percentage that grows as we age. “Green exercise,” meaning activities in the sunlight such as golf produce Vitamin D in the body, which helps protect us against a host of health problems like cancer, heart attacks and stroke. Of course, all golfers should be mindful of getting too much sun; always remember to use sunscreen!
Other health benefits of golf include decreased stress levels and reduced risks of depression. Golf makes us happy, so it makes sense to do more of it, if possible. Give yourself time to stop fretting about bills and that unfinished work project and instead take a healthy break to enjoy the outdoors and challenges golf provides.
Setting – and especially keeping – New Year’s resolutions can be tricky business. Playing more golf in an effort to improve your health and well-being should be one promise you’re able to keep in 2018. As for other goals like finally organizing your office, learning to speak French or watching less TV, well, you’re on your own for those.
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