Swinging Towards Wellness: How Golf Can Improve Your Physical Health

Author - Jordan Fuller
Published - March 18, 2024


Journaling is an amazing way to ease anxiety, calm the mind, focus, and build the life you really want. But while you can journal about your health, wellness, and physical goals, you actually have to get outdoors and do something physical in order to reach them! 

There’s a multitude of sports and activities out there that can serve the purpose of building up your physical health. Here’s why I believe golf can improve your physical health beyond what others can… And it doesn’t just stop at your body. 

I’m adding journaling to my daily practices to make sure my mental and physical health stay optimal. Why not consider adding golf to yours to keep your physical wellness up? 

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From the Fairway to Fitness 

Golf might seem like a slow, relaxed sport, and in some ways, it is. But don’t assume it's a sport for unfit people… Hitting those fairways and greens has more of an impact on the body than you realize! Here’s what you’ll get from a round of golf: 

Cardiovascular Boost 

If you’re walking the course, you can end up with 10,000+ steps at the end of the day, totaling several miles! It might not seem like great exercise, but don’t be fooled—it gets your heart pumping, especially if you’re navigating ground that’s not flat. 

Building Strength and Flexibility 

Swinging a golf club isn’t quite the same as lifting weights, but you can build strength and flexibility with repetitive golf swing motions. The muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest, back, and core engage with every swing. The more you swing, the more they work! 

Along with building strength in those muscles, the motion of the swing (when done right) encourages flexibility. It’s an excellent way to strengthen the muscles and loosen them up with much less chance of injury than other muscle-building activities. 

Balance and Coordination

Getting good at a golf swing is one of the best things you can do for your balance! You’ll quickly learn how to anchor yourself through your legs and feet and keep your upper body flexible and ready for movement. 

Balance serves you well in all aspects of life, not just on the golf course. Especially as we age, it becomes an important part of staying fit and healthy—falls can be detrimental to health! 

Low-Impact Exercise 

Golf is also a superb choice of exercise for those who have knee, ankle, and other joint problems. While it does offer an opportunity to strengthen the muscles and boost your cardiovascular health, it doesn’t come at the expense of your joints! 

You spend most of your round on the forgiving ground, there are no jarring movements, and you aren’t moving at high speed, so it’s one of the safest ways to get your exercise! 

Beyond the Birdies: Mental Mastery On and Off the Course 

You won’t just get a physical boost on the golf course. It helps your mental health too, and can complement your journaling efforts! Here’s what it offers: 

  • Stress Reduction & Serenity: Spending time outdoors is proven to reduce stress levels and help you relax. The mix of movement, fresh air, and natural beauty is a potent one when it comes to boosting mental health! 
  • Mindful Meditation: Struggle to focus on journaling or meditation? Golf is an excellent form of “active meditation”, especially if you’re playing alone. Focusing on your swing, the line you want to hit, and visualizing your shot are all ways to be mindful and practice meditative thinking. 
  • Harnessing Endorphins for Happiness: Physical activity triggers an endorphin release. These happy hormones help you feel more relaxed, alleviate pain, and promote a sense of well-being and quiet happiness. Banish your bad mood on the golf course! 
  • Self-Esteem Booster: Mastering the golf swing, hitting new milestones, and beating your own PB can boost self-esteem! The accomplishment you feel doesn’t stay on the golf course—your new-found confidence will serve you well in other areas of life too. 

Journaling Reflective Insights: Learning From the Links 

How about mixing golf and journaling together? It’s an amazing way to reinforce the habit of journaling and it can also go a long way towards helping you improve your game. Track progress, analyze your swing, identify emotional triggers, and monitor your physical gains in your trusty journal. 

Track Your Swing 

Even if you’re using a swing analyzer app as a training aid, record your thoughts, emotions, physical feelings, and technical aspects of your swing in your journal too. 

Not only does writing things down reinforce the information as you take it in, but it’s an amazing chance to identify recurring struggles or issues. Noticing these things is the first step to changing them! 

Don’t forget to jot down any victories or positive changes in your swing mechanics or emotions. These happy moments need to be celebrated! 

Dial In Your Drive 

Track data like your drive distance and accuracy as well as your actual swing. You’ll be able to compare round-by-round and see if you’re improving or plateauing. 

Use this in conjunction with information about your mental and emotional state at the time, and you might just start spotting patterns. For example, you may notice that your drive suffers when you’re annoyed about sitting in traffic on the way to the golf course! Awareness is half the battle won. 

Putting for Perfection 

Putting can be the trickiest part of a golfer’s game. It needs to be precise, calculated, and well-analyzed before swinging your putter. Journal your stats here, too—things like average putts per round, notes about your green analysis, and your success from different distances. 

Going back to these notes later can be like “studying”—almost like practicing your analysis skills all over again. Oh, and if you happen to have a putting green or golf mat at home, don’t forget to treat it the same way and take note of your feelings and thoughts when practicing! 

Celebrate Every Birdie (and Bogey) 

While tracking your data is invaluable if you want to improve your golf game, ultimately, it’s about celebrating the wins and learning from the losses. 

This is where journaling allows you to go deeper. It’s not just about golf—it’s about continually improving, pushing the boundaries of what you can do, and being determined to learn, grow, and become better (as a golfer and as a person). 

Track things like birdies, pars, and those elusive hole-in-one moments! Celebrate new PBs, no matter what they are and how small of an improvement they are. Pat yourself on the back for growing and pushing forward. 

And don’t forget to learn from the tough holes, mistakes, and poor scores. They’re inevitable,... But if you can look at them objectively, reflect on what happened, and find new strategies to do better next time, then you’re on the road to self-improvement in all areas of life. 


About the Author

Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring young golfers, he writes in-depth articles for his website, Golf Influence.

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