Cardiovascular Health & The Golfer
Cardiovascular disease is one of the biggest killers of our time, taking the lives of over 17 million people worldwide annually . Struggling to comprehend this number? In essence, this is like wiping out nearly the entire population of New York each year. The even more tragic fact however, is that the majority of these deaths are preventable through basic lifestyle measures, one of which is being more physically active.
Are we suggesting that playing golf could reduce the risk of heart disease, and in turn reduce the total number of deaths attributable to it? Well we know that golf helps people meet or exceed the minimum recommended physical activity levels, and that it is a game suitable for people of all ages – so yes, golf should be considered as a tool in the fight against cardiovascular disease.
Need more convincing? Research has shown that golf is associated with improvements in multiple known risk-factors for cardiovascular disease, including body composition, fitness, blood lipid levels, and insulin-glucose levels – all of the things the GP would take into consideration when advising about the risk of developing disease.
But what if you’ve already been diagnosed with heart disease? Encouragingly, golf has been reported to provide suitable exercise for cardiac rehabilitation patients, meaning that golf can be considered as both a preventative tool and a treatment. It has to be stressed however, that anyone with new or unstable cardiac symptoms should consult a doctor before engaging in any new physical activity programme!
So in summary, if you’re concerned about your heart or want to minimise the risk of ending up with cardiovascular disease, there are plenty of reasons to get to your local golf club!