Column: Golf fore health and wellness

Pinch-hitting for Jennifer Greggain, Cody Stewart talks about the benefits of hitting the links.

Golf has a reputation for being an activity that requires fairly minimal physical demands, but did you know golf is one of the best ways to fulfill your daily dose of health benefits?

There are many different dimensions of health and with this comes different personal views on what health is to an individual.

For some, health is about being active and eating well. For others, it may be about keeping the mind at ease or maintaining a balance of life at work and life at home.

Getting out for a round of golf is a great source of benefits to all dimensions of health and it is easy to start.

Golf serves the dimensions of health in a wide spread of ways from achieving the recommended 150 minutes of exercise each week, to maintaining social relationships and everything in between. Golf is an activity that in fact benefits areas of health beyond those that first come to mind.

Getting outside for a round of golf is a fantastic way to expose our bodies to nature’s benefits. Spending time outside allows the mind to forget about daily stress and alleviate anxiety.

Even the calmest of souls can get frustrated by the challenges of golf, but don’t sweat it. Research suggests that the challenge of golf is healthy for the brain. Golf brings out a combination of strategy, hand-eye coordination and physical activity that constantly keeps the brain active.

Golf also benefits our social dimension of health as it is an activity that offers the opportunity to create new relationships and connect with old friends, business associates and of course family. Children love the challenge of hitting a golf ball. Introducing children to golf is an effective way to begin developing skills that stretch beyond the sport.

Golf develops spatial awareness, balance, weight shift throughout the swing as well as developing the cognitive abilities through strategy and concepts such as green reading for example. These skills are not golf specific but are used in almost all sports and promote physical activity for a lifetime.

Golf is an inclusive activity that provides those of all ages and skill levels the opportunity to enjoy the game.

Getting started in golf is really quite simple.

All you need is comfortable clothing including a pair of athletic shoes, a golf glove to prevent blisters, sunscreen and a hat for sun protection and a golf course or driving range.

Most golf courses offer rental golf clubs making it easy to start without having to invest in a new set of golf clubs.

Any activity becomes more fun when you are good at it, luckily Chilliwack offers golf facilities with certified teaching professionals to help improve your game through camps and lessons for all skill levels.

Whether you enjoy the challenge, the exercise or even the beautiful scenery Chilliwack has to offer, golf is a great way to keep you healthy.

Cody is the Director of Athletics at the Chilliwack Golf Academy. He is a certified Titleist Performance Institute fitness professional, and a former University of the Fraser Valley Golf Team member. Contact Cody at cody@chilliwackgolf.com or visit csperformance.com.

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