Golfers live five years longer
Heart Research UK is urging everyone in the UK to take up golf – as regular golfers live, on average, five years longer than non-golfers, according to Swedish research.
The national charity is calling for all Britons to book a tee time at their local pay and play venue, and is citing Scandinavian research into the health benefits of golf as motivation for the move.
The Karolinska Institutet in Sweden studied more than 300,000 golfers and concluded that the death rate for regular golfers is 40 percent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status. This equates to a five-year increase in life expectancy.
“Get the golfing bug and work on that handicap to enjoy the many benefits a healthy golfer’s lifestyle can bring,” said Heart Research UK in an official statement. “Suss out your local pay and play courses and driving ranges and tee-off to a healthy heart.
“Playing golf regularly could be adding years five extra years to your life compared with those not participating in regular activity. A similar study [to the one by the Karolinska Institutet] in Finland found that inactive middle-aged men who took up golf two to three times a week improved their aerobic fitness, reduced their weight and waist size and had higher levels of protective HDL cholesterol in their blood – all good news for preventing heart disease.
“Walking is one of the best ways to get your dose of heart-healthy activity and, with the average round of golf involving walking anything between three and seven miles, golfing is an excellent work out.
“Depending on the size of the course, the terrain, and your pace, golfers can burn as many calories as a 45 minute intense workout, especially if carrying their own clubs or pulling a trolley.
“Golf is a low-injury risk sport to be enjoyed with friends, and playing outdoors throughout the year will give your body plenty of opportunity to top up on vitamin D. Regular golfing may also help to reduce stress, so focus on taking the perfect shot and blow your worries and those cobwebs away.”
However, the charity warned that golfers can undo the good work carried out on the course immediately afterwards.
“Golfers need to get the balance right – a full English breakfast, heavy lunch or several drinks at the clubhouse could undo all the benefits gained from your round,” added the statement.