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Golf May be More Beneficial to Elderly than Nordic Walking, Study Finds

Research has suggested that playing golf may be just as beneficial – or even better – than Nordic walking for those aged 65 and over.[0] A team of researchers from the University of Eastern Finland monitored 25 participants who completed an 18-hole round of golf, a 3.7 mile walk and the same distance of Nordic walking.[1]

The participants had their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar measured before and after the workouts.[1] It was revealed in the results that all three kinds of aerobic exercise enhanced cardiovascular well-being in elderly people, such as reducing hypertension.[2] However, golf seemed to have the biggest effect on blood fats and the metabolism of glucose, which keeps blood sugar levels stable.[3]

This study had some drawbacks, mainly the use of a small sample size and possible inaccuracies of the fitness devices. Furthermore, the study was conducted in a real-life environment, preventing the researchers from controlling all variables as they would be able to in a laboratory setting.[4]

Sindy Jodar, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Any amount of physical activity, no matter how long or short, is good for heart and circulatory health. Check with your doctor first about what exercise is right for you if you have a heart or circulatory condition.”[3]

According to NHS guidelines, it is recommended that individuals over the age of 65 engage in some form of physical activity on a daily basis.[5] This includes aiming for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week, and this can be split into short sessions that suit your lifestyle. A mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week and 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week is also recommended. Elders should also aim to include routines that improve strength, balance and flexibility.[5]

The findings of the study were published in the journal BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine.[0] It is hoped that this research will help to raise awareness of the potential benefits of golf for older adults and encourage more people to take part in physical activities like this.

0. “Golf may help seniors improve heart health” UPI News, 7 Feb. 2023,

1. “Golfers take heart: 18 holes is best way to stay healthy in later life” The Times, 7 Feb. 2023,

2. “Golf Beats Walking For Health Benefits” Newsmax, 7 Feb. 2023,

3. “Playing golf may be better than Nordic walking for health, study suggests” Jersey Evening Post, 6 Feb. 2023,

4. “Forget walking: Playing golf even healthier for older adults than trendy Nordic aerobic exercise” Study Finds, 6 Feb. 2023,

5. “The popular sport which is good for your heart and keeps your blood pressure down…” The US Sun, 6 Feb. 2023,

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