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7 Reasons Golf is Incredible for Your Brain and Body Health


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Golf is more than just an enjoyable pastime—it can also be good for your health. Here are seven reasons to keep practicing your swing.

1) Improves and Extends Longevity

Golfers, on average, live five years longer than their non-golfing counterparts, according to a study by the Swedish medical university, Karolinska Institute. Another long-term study that focused on cardiovascular disease revealed that golfers experienced a 15.1 percent lower death rate compared to non-golfers at 24.6 percent, when compared with overall mortality statistics.

More than just “living longer,” golf improves your health span, which is the number of years you feel healthy, stay active, and enjoy the vitality of both your mind and body.

2) Enhances Brain Health

Golfing has been shown to have positive effects on the brain as well. A National Institutes of Health studyfound that golf contributes to improved focus and attention in individuals who experienced “subjective memory complaints.” Additional brain benefits include increased blood flow to the brain, sharpened focus, and stimulation of the cerebellum—one of the areas of the brain responsible for coordination.

3) Promotes Healthier Sleep

A good night’s rest is one of the key factors in health and wellbeing. During deep sleep, the body and brain performs restorative and repairing processes that allow you to function at an optimal level in your waking hours. After a day on the links, your body is ready for a well-deserved rest—and science supports this.

Research has shown that moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of deep sleep a person gets. Exercise also helps stabilize your mood and decompress the mind, which is a process important for naturally transitioning into sleep.

4) Fosters Socialization

The social aspects of golf as a group activity also helps your health. Socializing has been proven to stave off loneliness and depression, sharpen memory and cognitive capacity, increase feelings of happiness and wellbeing, and help you live longer. Why? Socializing triggers the nervous system to release certain neurotransmitters that regulate the body’s response to stress and anxiety. Social connections also release the “feel good” hormone dopamine.

5) Reduces Stress

Compounding the effects of socialization in respect to stress and mental health, playing golf can have an overall impact on a person’s stress levels. Being outdoors in nature, exercising, and socializing have all been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. This is due to a reduction in cortisol (the “stress hormone”) and release of endorphins, which are chemicals that help to relieve stress and boost happiness.

6) Increases Vitamin D Exposure

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins in the human body. It’s most known for promoting healthy bones, but this crucial vitamin also supports immune health, muscle function, and brain cell activity. Sun exposure, when incorporated safely with appropriate sun protection, is a natural way to get the vitamin D your body needs for peak performance.

Being outside—under the sun and in the fresh air—also produces additional positive effects. For example, fresh air increases the flow of oxygen in the body, which leads to other benefits like healthy digestion and overall improved cell function.

7) Burns Calories

While not as intense as a HIIT class or kickboxing session, a round of golf does “eat up” a healthy number of calories. In an 18-hole round, the average golfer can burn approximately 1,500 calories. Maintaining a healthy weight leads to even more health advantages, such as reducing the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, infertility, arthritis, sleep apnea, and more.

Looking to take your game to the next left? Check out the innovative new Aviv Golf Performance Program, which takes the natural health benefits of playing golf and your playing abilities to the next level by helping you regain your stamina and optimize your golf game for more years of play. The program is based upon the Aviv Medical Program, which includes hyperbaric oxygen therapy at its core, plus cognitive and physical training, nutrition coaching, and the industry’s most comprehensive assessments.

The Aviv Golf Performance Program combines the company’s proprietary Aviv Medical Program protocols with professional golf play assessment, technology, and access to world-class fairways at The Villages in central Florida.

About The Author
Aaron Tribby

Aaron is head of physiology for Aviv Clinics, where he is responsible for managing a team of physiologists, physical therapists, dietitians, and stress technicians. Aviv Clinics is the first hyperbaric medical treatment center of its kind in North America dedicated to improving brain performance. Aaron oversees the cardiopulmonary exercise tests and CPET in the clinic and is responsible for analyzing each test. His clinical experience is focused on health and wellness, strength and conditioning, and nutrition within both the non-profits and private sectors, including Mercy Hospital and MusclePharm, respectively. 

Throughout the past decade Aaron’s scientific research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed medical journals such as GeroScienceJournal of Dietary SupplementsInternational Society of Sports NutritionMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise; and Nutrition Research

His previous speaking engagements include The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) National Conference, where he presented published studies on psychophysiological fatigue.