Want to Live Five Years Longer? Play Golf.

I've never had much use for it (though I do admit I like watching it on TV, the calming soft voices and the beautiful landscapes).  And plenty of business deals have been solidified on the course.  But golf to me is a boring sport.

However, it may be time to rethink this.  Studies are finding that you golf, you live.  Longer, that is.  Golf has been shown to increase life expectancy

Research conducted by Scotland's University of Edinburgh suggests golf can help your cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health, according to CNN. 

"We know that the moderate physical activity that golf provides increases life expectancy," the cable TV network quotes Dr. Andrew Murray, lead researcher at the university's Golf & Health Project. "It can help prevent and treat more than 40 major chronic diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer.
 
"Given that the sport can be played by the very young to the very old, this demonstrates a wide variety of health benefits for people of all ages. One study in Sweden found regular golfers lived an average of five years longer than non-golfers."
 
 While golf may not look like much of a sport (at least to us duffers), on a regular 18-hole course, most players will walk between four and eight miles, burning at least 500 calories. Yes, this does mean forgetting the golf cart.

And as some of my son's friends have found out, golf is really intense when you caddy.  

Exposure to fresh air and sun also helps boost Vitamin-D levels, while the act of swinging a club can improve muscle endurance and balance, particularly in old age.
 
And the benefits aren't just physical. Golf could help reduce the risk of anxiety, depression and dementia, improving an individual's "wellness, self-esteem, and self-worth," according to Murray.
 
He hopes that the research, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, will help boost participation levels in golf worldwide."Only 55 million people -- about one percent of the world's population -- play golf," he says. "Anyone can play -- from the age of four to 104 -- and now there is six-hole golf and speed-golf, making it more accessible."
 
Nah.  I still don't think I'll try it.
 




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