By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder

Why Golf May Be The Perfect Sport For Boomers

 



As a golf lover, I love hearing stories such as the following one.

This news story from 2018 discusses a man by the name of Ronald Brockwell who was celebrating his 100th birthday at the time. 

Brockwell’s daughter attributed his longevity to golf. She said that Brockwell did not start playing golf until his 50s. But once he started, he was hooked and played quite regularly.

“Dad liked to play golf and actually had two holes in one during his time playing golf, including one when he was 82 years old,” she said.

“He was a smoker until his late 50s and then packed up smoking and took up golf; I think that’s attributed to his longevity.”

I think she's right, but don't take my word for it.

A recent study found evidence which suggested that adults 65 and older who played golf at least once a month had a significantly lower rate of death compared to non-golfers in the same age group.

I’ve talked about the potential benefits of golf before, but the study, which I will discuss in further detail soon, really explores the effects of golf in boomers.

"Our study is perhaps the first of its kind to evaluate the long-term health benefits of golf, particularly one of the most popular sports among older people in many countries," said the lead author, in one report discussing the study.

This is very important because as we get older, it is important to remain active. Moving our bodies may help delay age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia) and help keep us mobile.

But for some, it may be challenging to be active in older age.

Strenuous activities like running and playing sports such as basketball may cause too much stress on the joints, body and heart (for example). However, golfing provides great exercise without the stress. It is a lower impact workout.  

Less stress does not mean boring.

"While walking and low intensity jogging may be comparable exercise, they lack the competitive excitement of golf," said one of the lead authors of the study, in this report.

"Regular exercise, exposure to a less polluted environment and social interactions provided by golf are all positive for health.”

Playing golf may also provide stress relief and more relaxation.

Researchers of the study looked at data from the Cardiovascular Health Study, which is a population-based observational study of risk factors for heart disease and stroke in adults who are 65 and older. 

“Starting in 1989 and continuing through 1999, participants had extensive annual clinical exams and clinic visits every six months for the 10-year period,” according to the study report.

“Once clinic visits ended, patients were contacted by phone to determine any occurrences of heart attack and stroke events.”

The participants who played golf at least once a month were considered to be regular golfers.

The results?

  • Out of nearly 5,900 participants (average age 72), the researchers found that there were 384 regular golfers (almost 42 percent of these golfers were men).
  • At the follow-up, 8.1 percent of the golfers had strokes, 9.8 percent of the golfers had heart attacks.
  • Comparing death rates of golfers to non-golfers, the researchers found a lower death rate for golfers - 15.1 percent versus 24.6 percent, respectively. 

What’s particularly great about golf is that people who have already suffered a heart attack or stroke can usually still play golf without having any issues after they recover. 

I love golf. If you’re a boomer or recently retired and looking for an extra hobby, I highly recommend picking up the sport in which which more than 20 million Americans currently participate.

Golf right. Fuel right.

But before you head out to the golf course, don't overlook the need for sunscreen and protective clothing.

It is also extremely important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

In addition, we all need the proper “fuelto be physically fit and perform well at whatever activity we choose. 

So, don’t forget to check whether you have a balanced amount of the macronutrients and micronutrients that will give you the energy and stamina to play 18 holes of golf. Some of these nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, water (as mentioned), iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.

And keep in mind that if you are older, you may need more protein than the average person.

Finally, if you have a back or other injury which prevents you from taking up the sport or participating more, consider a very effective therapeutic massage which usually work wonders on old injuries as well as reduce inflammation and pain. Medical professionals suggest alternating between cold and heat therapy as a very effective way to be proactive about and manage your pain. We discuss this technology here. 

So you really have no excuses to not participate in this wonderful game where success depends "less on strength of body than strength of mind and character."  

 

Enjoy your healthy life!

 

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here. 

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