Striving to lead an active and healthy lifestyle should not stop being a priority just because you’re getting older. In fact, the National Institute for Aging not only recommends exercise for all ages but encourages it for seniors. Keeping active as you get older does more for your health than just relieve symptoms of chronic conditions, reduce stress, and increase exercise. It can also stimulate your mind and increase your lifespan.
For those wanting to improve their health through an active lifestyle, golf is one of the best ways to do it. Both stimulating and challenging, senior women can improve their lives through the game of golf.
Just like other types of exercise, golf can help you increase blood pumping and improve heart health. Due to the increase in heart disease in the elderly, the need for heart-healthy activities is even more prevalent. The presence of cardiovascular disease, including stroke and hypertension, increases from approximately 40% in women from ages 40-59 years to 70-75% in ages 60-79 years, and then to 79-86% to those 80 years of age and older. Through carrying your bag, swinging your clubs, and walking around the course, golf will be increasing your heart rate the entire time you play.
“You don’t have the game you played last year or last week. You only have today’s game. It may be far from your best, but that’s all you’ve got. Harden your heart and make the best of it.” –Walter Hagen
Playing a round of golf while walking the course can have a positive impact on the brain. Through walking, you can experience an increased heart rate, which leads to improved circulation. Better blood supply to the brain allows the brain to function at higher levels, reducing the risk of cognitive diseases or dementia. The mental and strategic challenges of golf can also provide a mental workout to ensure your mind stays sharp. Visualization, tracking the balls, hand-eye coordination, and concentration are just several ways golf keeps your mind focused and sharp.
Participating in social interaction is an important component of a person’s everyday life. About 42.6 million adults over 45 suffer from chronic loneliness. According to a studydone by Psychologists from Brigham Young University, loneliness and social isolation lead to premature death among populations aged less than 65 years. Golf provides a major opportunity for senior women to get out of the house and have direct contact with other people. Socializing not only encourages increased physical activity, but also helps to improve mental health.
By increasing the individuals you come into contact with, you are also widening your social circle. As an intergenerational sport, golf provides a way to socialize and build lasting connections with people of all ages. What is even greater, is the fact that there are group golf lessons tailored specifically for women. You can meet new friends while learning how to golf in a stress-free environment. Friends can provide social support, help to reduce stress, keep depression at bay, and ward off anxiety. A good amount of social support has been associated with increased oxytocin levels, which helps to decrease levels of anxiety and induce calming effects.
On average, a full round of golf can have you walking up to four miles. If you also include carrying and swinging your clubs, then a round of golf will burn around 1,400-1,500 calories. If you finish an 18-hole round of golf about 3-5 times a week, you will be receiving the optimal amount of exercise you need for the week. This increased exercise can help you manage your weight, increase the amount of blood flow to your muscles, and help your heart become more efficient. Keeping your weight down can help prevent diabetes, bad joints, high cholesterol, and hyperlipidemia, which are common with overweight seniors.
Get Better Health Now with Your Golf Game
Golf is a wonderful game with multiple health benefits. Played by millions of seniors, you can have fun while always increasing your health. Whether it is to increase exercise or to help keep your mind sharp and stimulated, playing golf can help improve the lives of senior women.
This guest post was graciously written by make-up professional, Cassie Brewer. Cassie lives in Southern California and, in her free time, enjoys writing about her passion (make-up of course!) and everything beauty related. Nothing makes her happier than helping others be the best version of themselves they can be. You can read more at cassiebrewer.weebly.com and follow her on twitter @Cassiembrewer