Disc golf is a lot of things, but bad for your health is not one of them. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been playing disc golf weekly and have experienced the tremendous health benefits associated with the game. As I’ve progressed and developed as a player, I’ve become healthier, stronger, more creative, and happier with life in general.
Though life has thrown me some serious curveballs, having the stability of disc golf in my life has helped me become the person I am today. And I want to share the game and all of the health benefits of disc golf here with you today.
Disc golf is great for a lot of things, but what are the benefits?
The benefits of disc golf are as follows:
2. Heart health
3. You can lose weight
4. Better sleep
5. Boosted energy and mood
6. Fresh air and vitamin D
7. You can get in touch with nature
8. Relief of stress
9. Good for the brain
10. Great for connecting with family and friends
11. Make new friends
12. More fun and less money spent
13. Part of the community
16. Strategy and thinking skills
17. Fairness and integrity
The 17 Health Benefits of disc golf
1. Disc golf gets you some good exercise
Disc golf is awesome in that it allows you to get some great exercise on the course. Starting with walking, I’ve researched and experimented now for multiple months on this subject. It’s not surprising for an average person to walk a mile or more per round. That’s excellent and doesn’t even factor in the terrain of the course. This exercise helps to strengthen your lower body muscles, like your legs, which are key components of every throw on the course.
The throwing motions really help you to exercise all parts of your body. So at the end of your first round, you’ll probably feel pretty tired. Instead of walking, though, try jogging the course. This will get you even more of a cardiovascular workout. If you mix this type of workout with a couple of gym workouts per week, you’ll be in peak physical shape in no time. For a great disc golf workout, check out our post, “The 12 Best Disc Golf Exercises to to Keep You Fit.”
2. Provides your heart the much needed work
Okay, so the heart is really important. I’m sure you know that already, but are you taking care of your heart? Even if you think you are, you might not realize the damage that is done to your heart everyday. Most people don’t play any kind of sport, don’t workout at all, are not active in any way, eat poorly, and do many other things that will eventually kill them. Disc golf helps you to get that much needed exercise to get the blood flowing and help the heart get pumping. The heart is a muscle that needs to be worked out, too! Even a little bit of exercise can be beneficial. Learn more about heart health and the different types of exercise here on Hopkinsmedicine.org.
3. Lose weight
All the exercise you will be getting out on the disc golf course can help you lose some weight. Because you are burning off calories, your body starts slimming down. Essentially you’re just burning off any fat that you have. You don’t need a whole lot of exercise for this, but you need at least three workout sessions per week. If you can hit the disc golf course three times that would be awesome!
For some motivation, check out this post called, “How to Lose 70 lbs. with Playing Disc Golf.” Really awesome stuff here, and if you want even more, here’s a forum feed on dgcoursereview.com with lots of stories from real people who have lost weight with disc golf. Those are awesome to see.
Remember, though: it’s not just about disc golf. During the length of time that you play, you also have to eat right, take care of your body, and do everything else that you can to help yourself lose the weight. That may mean cutting out bad habits like eating a lot of fast food.
4. Better sleep
It’s long been known that exercise can help you get some shuteye. This is actually one of the reasons why I try to work out a lot. Once you vigorously exercise, like a full round or two of disc golf, you will understand the feeling (if you haven’t already). Although how exactly exercise helps sleep is still unknown, a few sources and studies believe one of the reasons to be body heat. As you exercise, your body heats up. As your body cools down, this drop in temperature promotes falling asleep and sleeping better. Playing a round of disc golf or working out always helps me sleep better at night.
5. Boosts energy and mood
The more exercise you do, the better your mood is going to be. As you work out, exercise helps boost serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the body that helps to regulate mood and other body functions. As serotonin levels increase, your mood will as well. Exercise on the disc golf course can also increase energy levels because three things happen in your body.
• Better sleep: remember how we talked about exercise and better sleep? Getting better quality sleep can help your overall daily energy because you’re better rested.
• Endorphins: along with serotonin that regulates mood, the body produces natural hormones called endorphins that get released during exercise. These endorphins provide bursts of natural energy for your body.
• Heart health: because exercise improves your heart health, better overall heart health can make you feel better and have more overall endurance throughout the day.
6. Fresh air and vitamin D
I used to play a lot of video games in my earlier years. That means I didn’t get a lot of fresh air or vitamin D. I needed that to change. Granted, I still play sometimes, but most of my time today is spent either working, writing on this site, spending time with family, or playing disc golf. With disc golf, I get out of the house and into the fresh air. Being inside all the time was too stale for me, so I started playing disc golf to enjoy more freshness.
As I researched and researched, I found out that fresh air is really awesome for you (albeit you don’t live in the heart of New York or in super polluted Hong Kong, China). Besides being good for your lungs to breathe in fresh oxygen, getting fresh air can boost your mood and give you a small amount of natural energy. Fresh air isn’t the only benefit of being out on the disc golf course.
You can also get some vitamin D in your body by being out in the sun. A lot of us lack vitamin D, and it is a crucial in your body for immune system regulation, strong bones and teeth, and good lung function and cardiovascular health. So stop sitting inside and get out on the disc golf course after you read this post!
7. Get in touch with nature
One thing I love about disc golf is the ability to get in touch with nature. Now I’m originally a city kid and not very tree-huggerish, but I do love going out into nature and playing disc golf. It’s very peaceful, to say the least. But getting in touch with nature has a couple of quick benefits:
• It can help with stress and anxiety (which we will talk about more in the next few paragraphs) because nature is calming.
• Reduced stress and anxiety can help with depression. No one wants to be depressed, so get out on the course to lift your mood.
• Reduced stress can help you sleep better (something we’ve already talked about a couple of times).
• Increased immune function from getting out in nature and exercising (we might have also gone over that, too). This will make you healthier.
• Nature inspires creativity as well. This has special meaning on the disc golf course. Tough shots, with insane obstacles, inspire you to creatively find a solution to your shot. If you can find your creativity, good for you. If not, better luck next time.
Just get out and experience a day on the disc golf course! Most courses are really awesome to play on, are very much detailed around the landscape of the area, and are completely free to play on! Getting out in the nature of the course has helped me tremendously from a mental health standpoint.
8. An awesome way to relieve stress
Daily life is often very stressful. Most have crappy jobs that cause extreme stress and barely any money. Some people have very good jobs that might pay well, but the stress is extremely high. I play disc golf because this is a good stress reliever for me. My full-time time job in law enforcement is very stressful. Disc golf is a fantastic way for me to get outdoors and get my mind off of things that have happened through the week.
Why does disc golf relieve stress? Well, it all comes back to exercise and the game being very fun. Getting out and exercising while playing helps to release serotonin and endorphin levels. By doing this, your body becomes less stressed because those chemicals elevate your mood and cause you to feel good. This can be great for your mental health and can help you enjoy your life in a more positive way.
9. All that exercise is good for the brain
Disc golf involves a good deal of movement, and as you get moving, you get your heart pumping and all of that blood and oxygen makes it’s way to the brain. That is good for you both physically and mentally. This exercise also increases growth factors making it easier for your brain to develop new neural connectors. All of this allows you to think and remember better. What a lot of people don’t realize is that any physical exercise is good for your brain and can help you think better, harder, and more creatively.
That is exactly what you need to crush rounds on the disc golf course. According to this study done by the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia, even 20 minutes of exercise can facilitate brain health. A leisurely round of disc golf provides about two hours of exercise!
10. A great way to connect with friends and family socially
We all love our friends and family and try to spend as much time with them as possible (well, most of us). Disc golf gives us a great way to connect with everyone in our life in an awesome way. It also barely costs money to play, making it a great sport for parents and their kids. It’s also easy to get friends to go out because it doesn’t have to cost them anything at first and it’s a new thing to do. They may have never played before. Remember when you played for the first time? I bet whoever you bring along will love it, too!
11. A great way to make friends
Having friends and spending time hanging out is really important for your mental health. If you don’t have any friends or you only have a couple, hit the disc golf course and try to make some new friends. Everyone at the course is usually super nice and will definitely be willing to add you to the party. And if you have friends that have never played disc golf before, bring them with you! There are a lot of us that try to actively #growthesport of disc golf. If you like it, show some friends that you know how awesome it is.
12. Have more fun and spend less money
Disc golf is first and foremost fun to play. It’s a very challenging, yet super enjoyable game to play. Disc golf offers a lot, but I like it because it’s what I call a high quality sport. A high quality sport is something that doesn’t cost you hardly any money to start, yet can provide both a great deal of fun and an extremely tough challenge. You need things like disc golf in your life so that you don’t have to worry about your mental health (or your wallet).
13. Disc golf allows you to be part of a community
It always feels great to be a part of something and to be apart of the disc golf community is something special. Let me just talk about the community for a minute. Disc golfers are so fortunate to have such a die hard fanbase. It’s amazing, really. The level of dedication that I’ve seen over the last couple of years is absolutely amazing. People willing to sacrifice money and time to not just teach others, but to give back in many different ways. Those are the people I’m glad to be around and that’s what disc golf offers. Being apart of this community offers tremendous mental health benefits.
Disc golf can help you learn and strengthen life principles
Because disc golf takes a long time to get good at, you need a tremendous amount of patience. Patience, or the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset, is very hard to develop. Playing disc golf can help you develop this and grow this skill. Patience is great in life because we can’t always get whatever we want right away. This makes disc golf great for patience because you have to wait a long time to get better and when you hit your goals, it makes it that much sweeter. If you can master the art of patience, especially patience in disc golf, you will excel tremendously.
15. Self confidence
Self confidence, or a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment, is a great skill to have in life and a crucial skill on the disc golf course. If you don’t have a lot of self confidence, disc golf can help you earn it. Over time, as you get better and better, you will start to notice that you’re sure of yourself and that you are able to do really awesome stuff on the course. You’ll feel great, knowing how good you’re getting and think a little bit higher of yourself. Awesome, because now you’ve got self-confidence and are developing it every time you go out. Once you have it, make sure you use it off the course to get ahead in every day life.
16. Strategy and thinking skills
Disc golf is a game that is very mentally tough, even if it doesn’t seem at first like it would be that way. It may seem like a simple game, and in some ways it is, but the sport has a lot to it that makes you think very hard. In this respect, there is a ton of thinking you must do and a lot of strategy if you want to get better. All of this thinking and strategy can help stretch your mental fortitude and is great for your mental health. Also, we spoke earlier about brain health. The mental aptitude needed for disc golf can make you an overall better thinker and can help repair any damage to your brain.
17. Your moral character – fairness and integrity
Hopefully, you’re already a fair person with a lot of integrity. Being fair is to be someone who plays in accordance with rules and standards. Having integrity means being honest and having strong moral principles. If you don’t already have this stuff ingrained into your personality, disc golf can definitely show you these things while you play with others. Disc golf also can teach you why these principles are not only great on the course, but life in general. As you learn and grow, the community around you will help reinforce good habits and good principles so you can be both a great player and a great person.
Didn’t benefit enough from your round? Try this:
• Play another round: obviously we talked about the benefits of just playing one round on the course. If you feel good but need some more disc golf or exercise, keep on playing! You don’t have to play a full round if you don’t want to. Just start again and play another nine holes or however many you want to. That extra exercise will only make you feel better!
• Hit the gym: we spoke on this a little bit as well earlier in the post. Getting to the gym off the course will help you build up much needed strength for your game on the course. You can get gym memberships for as cheap as $10 dollars per month these days, so don’t use money as an excuse. Use our post, “The 12 Best Disc Golf Exercises to Keep You Fit,” to build up your muscles for disc golf.
Ready to learn about disc golf and get out on the course?
Awesome! You can get started here and begin your disc golf career! Our post, “Disc Golf 101: A Step by Step Beginner’s Guide,” will show you exactly how to get your discs, get to the course, and start your disc golf journey!
If you would like to know a little more about disc golf, you can read about it here: What is disc golf?
If you’d like to know how much disc golf costs, check out how much disc golf actually costs here. This will give you a good idea before you go out and buy some discs and other gear.
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