Research suggests golfing could help you live longer

PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images

NEW YORK — Nick Bush hits the greens at least once a week.

“It’s something that I enjoy playing, but also I feel better after playing.”

Nick said golf is his primary form of exercise. Now a new report suggests playing more often could help extend your life.

A review of more than 300 studies on the sport found golfing regularly reduces risk factors of heart disease and stroke. Playing can also improve the strength and balance for older players.

“Strengthen not only the shoulders but the core, their back, the glutes, their legs, all the way down to the floor.”

Dr. Dominic King of the Cleveland Clinic says there are ways for players to maximize health benefits. The study recommends playing two-and-a-half hours a week and ditching the cart.

“Take your bag, or carry it with you or get one of the push carts — that’s really the best way to burn the most calories but get the most fitness and honestly get the most fun out of golf.”

The study also found golf contributes to better mental health and can improve the overall health of people with disabilities.

While the study says there isn’t a high risk of injury with golf, players are more at risk of developing skin cancer.

That’s why Bush takes precautions.

“Sunscreen, a hat. I do always lather up and I always try to play with some kind of sleeve on my arms.”

He hopes the game helps him stay healthy so he can keep playing for years to come.