Golf Gets a High Five!


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — More than 23 million Americans play golf. While it can be fun and social, golf also offers serious health benefits.

Golf is a favorite sport for many. But did you know it might also help you live longer?

A Swedish study found golfers live about five-years longer than non-golfers. One big reason: the walking!

“What people don’t think about is the fact that on a given day of playing golf, let’s say an 18-hole golf course, the amount of walking required can be up to two to three miles,” said Daniel Munoz, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

All that activity can keep your heart and waistline in shape, too! Experts say you can burn about 15 hundred calories during a four-hour round of golf. But make sure you skip the cart. A study done by Reebok found golfers who walk and carry their own equipment burn about 55 percent more calories than those who ride.

Another benefit: golf is also a mental game that calls for strategy and problem-solving. Studies show these types of activities may ward off dementia. Being outdoors can boost your levels of vitamin d, which gives you more energy and generates cell growth. And …

“Golf is a good example of an activity that my patients enjoy at any age really,” Dr. Munoz continued.

So, you might want to pick up that club and give it a swing.

Other benefits of golf: it reduces stress, helps you stay social, and may improve sleep. It’s also a relatively “low-injury” sport.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Field Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT #2592

BACKGROUND: About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. If you’re not sure about becoming active or boosting your level of physical activity, the good news is that moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, is generally safe for most people. Cardiac events, such as a heart attack, are rare during physical activity. But the risk does go up when you suddenly become much more active than usual. That’s why it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase your level of activity. If you have a chronic health condition such as arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease, talk with your doctor to find out if your condition limits, in any way, your ability to be active. What’s important is that you avoid being inactive. Even 60 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity is good. The bottom line is the health benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks of getting hurt or becoming ill.

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GOLF: GOOD FOR BODY AND MIND:  Any form of physical exercise helps get the blood pumping to your heart. Walking, carrying your golf bag and swinging all increase your heart rate and blood flow. Your risk of a stroke and diabetes are reduced, and there can be positive effects on reducing blood pressure and harmful cholesterol, especially if combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle. The Norwegian Golf Federation (NGF) found that during an 18-hole round of golf, a player will have an average heart rate of 100 beats per minute over a two to five hour period. “The health benefits of golf are far greater than most of us seem to believe, and may have a much greater and broader impact on our well-being than we may have realized. Considering how well a good golf facility can appeal to people of all age groups, golf is a wonderful way to encourage exercise,” says Edwin Roald, EIGCA Council member. The reported health benefits of golf will undoubtedly remain or perhaps become one of the game’s most valuable assets in coming decades. Greater emphasis on walkability could pave golf‘s way into the future.


HEART HEALTH BREAKTHROUGH: Medications fight heart disease from new angles and less-invasive procedures challenge established open-heart surgery. Women’s heart conditions gain greater attention and streamlined devices boost quality of life for people with heart failure. Evidence continues to build on what truly prevents heart disease (like exercise) and what doesn’t. For instance, if super-high cholesterol runs in your family, a class of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors may help protect you from cardiac events. This new generation of cholesterol-lowering medication is used for people with familial hypercholesterolemia, explains Dr. Richard Becker, director of the University of Cincinnati Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute. Other patients with high LDL or “bad” cholesterol who don’t respond well to their current medications may benefit as well. These injectable drugs, such as evolocumab (brand name Repatha) and alirocumab (Praulent) work differently than statins. A large randomized study found treatment with evolocumab, combined with statins, reduced LDL levels and lowered the risk of heart attack and stroke.


* For More Information, Contact:

Craig Boerner – Media Director, Vanderbilt University Medical Center