Golf could make you live longer and become a great ally for your health, as it has been observed to help reduce the risk of heart problems and strokes, such as stroke. This has been confirmed in an International Consensus on Golf and Health which, in the days leading up to the Ryder Cup, has brought together a large number of experts in the field to address the impact of this type of sport on the welfare of people who practice it.
The statement is based on a review of 342 studies and discussions by a group of 25 experts in health and health policy. From all this 79 statements were drawn in three areas, those relating to golfers, clubs or industry and policy makers, all of whom were given advice on how to make the sport more accessible and inclusive.
Golf can improve the strength and balance of the elderly and the mental and general well-being of people with disabilities.
Golf, a low-risk sport with great benefits
Golf is a sport with a low injury rate, although experts recommend warming up before practicing it, applying sunscreen to all exposed areas (one of the biggest problems that can develop is skin cancer) or wearing clothes with necks. In addition, they point out that it is preferable and more beneficial to move around the course instead of using the traditional golf cart.
In order to obtain the benefits of playing golf mentioned above, in addition to others such as increased strength and balance, especially in the elderly, and the mental and general wellbeing of individuals with disabilities, at least 150 minutes a week should be devoted to it, or something less if combined with other types of exercises.
However, there are many who see this sport as one of the most expensive and elitist, typical of middle-aged men and difficult to learn. Therefore, it has been proposed to develop initiatives to promote the practice of golf in women and girls, equality and diversity, as well as more attractive prices that allow greater accessibility to people regardless of their purchasing power.
In addition, clubs are urged to take care of nature by avoiding wastage of water, energy or limiting pesticides used. Among other proposals, this panel of experts suggests that it would be beneficial for their facilities to include a gym, defibrillators, nurseries, walking routes, sale of healthy food or a speed limit for golf carts.
In terms of advice for policy makers, it is insisted that work be done to include this sport in the Paralympic Games.