It’s official. Golf helps you live longer. Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden confirms that golfers can expect a five year increase in life expectancy compared to the non-golfers of the same age group, gender and socio-economic background. Death-rate is 40-percent lower among golfers than their non-golfing counterparts from the same background. The effect is even greater for golfers from a blue-collar background than the white-collar professionals. It does not matter in which part of the world you are playing– close to your home at the golf courses in Tampa Bay or in the other side of the Atlantic at an Ireland golf resort, if you happen to be a low-handicap golfer, you are sure to live 40 percent longer than your non-golfer friends.
Sounds too good to be true? Thankfully, it is not.
The Swedish researchers offered a number of reasons in justification of their claims. Here is a quick roundup.
Exercise: You need at least five hours to finish a round of golf in an 18-hole course. Throughout this entire span, golfers walk on and on under the sun, at a fast pace for six to seven kilometers, ending up losing a good deal of calories. Carry your own clubs and you will burn as much as 306 calories per hour. If you use a pull-cart, you can be rest assured of burning 292 calories. Even riding a golf cart, will help you burn 238 calories per hour. If this rigorous exercise on a regular basis cannot add up to a longer, healthier life, what else could?
Practice Makes You Perfect: Lower handicap golfers are exceptionally good at their games. And when someone is good at something, it implies, he or she enjoys it. When you enjoy doing something, you tend to do it more. As far as golfing is concerned, higher skills speak of a lot of practice, which definitely improves your health. “Maintaining a low handicap involves playing a lot, so this supports the idea that it is largely the game itself that is good for the health,” says Professor Anders Ahlbom, who led the study with Bahman Farahman.
Only Healthy People Pursue Golf: The study, however, gives credits to other factors as well. People with certain ailments are barred from wielding the clubs, so it is easily assumable that the golf arena doesn’t generally see people with poor health; a fact that explains the close link between the game of golf and lower death rate.
Healthy lifestyle: Golfers generally come from a specific social stratum, where the standard of living is generally very high. Comfort, high quality diet and access to the best healthcare are all part of this elite lifestyle, which quite naturally translate into a fitter body.
Proximity to Nature: Above all, golf offers great stress-relieving benefits. A proximity to nature for a good five hours at a stretch, boosts up the secretion of feel-good hormone, serotonin, making you feel stress-free. Add to this the company of your golf buddies and you will know why tee-time is the best time. And who does not know that happy souls live longer?
If the findings of this Swedish study is to be believed, you need to squeeze in more golfing sessions into your schedule. So, go ahead and grab your golf clubs. Explore the challenging courses in Tampa Bay or travel to the faraway golf destinations to test your skills in new courses. Golf is sure to add a good many years to your life. So brush up on your game and try to improve your handicap. After all, life is beautiful and golf will let you be amidst your loved ones for a longer span.