|PSYCHIC - PLAYING GOLF KEEPS PEOPLE HEALTHY|
By R.J. SmileyThe Psychic moves the shower control further into the red. He relaxes with his chin resting on his chest as he allows the, almost-too-hot, water to massage his neck, his upper back, his shoulders. The therapeutic feeling of hot water relaxing every muscle is the part of his daily shower he enjoys most.
With the hot water supply exhausted, the Psychic, with his eyes still tightly shut, turns the shower handle to the off position as he grabs for his oversized towel.
Standing in front of the mirror as he dries, the Psychic takes inventory of his aging body. His once athletic body is showing it's age. He secures the towel at his waist as he flexes his biceps in a weight lifter's position. "Not bad for a retired man approaching 70," he mutters out loud.
As he grasped the small spare tire around his mid-section with both hands, the Psychic recalled the shopping trip a day earlier. Traveling from place to place checking items off his to-do list, the Psychic had observed a shocking number of severely obese people, many much younger than himself. He noticed their difficulty dealing with even simple every-day movements. The Psychic's thoughts jumps to his golf group, the 10 or 12 guys who regularly play golf together on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. None of his golf buddies were severely obese. Yes, some of them could loose a few pounds, but for the most part they could still move and walk well. Even on days where the golf cart riders were forced to keep their carts on the path they were able to move across the fairway and back with little or no trouble.
The Psychic wrapped his full-length terry cloth bathrobe around his body, still reddened from the hot water, and moved into his study. With the turban on his still damp head, he removed the chamois cloth from his tell-all sphere. He is looking for the answer: Do golfers live longer than non-golfers?
As the glow within the clear marble becomes more intense, the Psychic sees the birth of a child. In the blink of an eye that same child is in kindergarten. The Psychic sees a college freshman attempting to navigate the unknown geography of a college campus. Then he sees that same student graduating with a Masters degree. These images are followed by a sign "FIVE YEARS." Then the sign is expanded "GOLFERS LIVE FIVE YEARS LONGER THAN NON-GOLFERS."
As his mind asked the question why, the orb again went into action, transporting the Psychic at warp speed across the Atlantic Ocean to Sweden. The Psychic sees 600,000 golfers scattered across Swedish golf courses. Then he sees 600,00 membership cards with the Swedish Golf Federation as the header (All Swedish golfers must join the SGF). The Swedish golfer IDs were then matched with death certificates of Swedish citizens. A bright FLASH - the same sign appears, "GOLFERS LIVE FIVE YEARS LONGER THAN NON-GOLFERS."
The Psychic understands, the crystal ball is showing him in graphic terms how long five years is. He thought of all the memories of his grand daughter from the time of her birth until she completed kindergarten. He remembered, with a smile, his college years. His first love! And his second! He remembered agonizing over whether to take the job he was offered or spend one more year to earn his Masters. Five years is a long time. Over 1,500 sunrises and sunsets. At least one more presidential election. Two more Ryder Cup Matches.
The Psychic is happy he is a golfer!
B. Farahmand, G. Broman, U. de Faire, D. Vågerö, A. Ahlbom (2008) Golf: a game of life and death - reduced mortality in Swedish golf players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.
Researchers were able to pull information from both databases to study the impact golf may or may not have on mortality. They compared golfers and non-golfers and found that golfers were 40 percent less likely to have died than non-golfers of the same age. Not only is golf, in general, good for your life expectancy, but also the more a person plays golf, the greater the increase in their overall health. When golfers' handicaps were added to the equation, golfers with the lowest handicaps - indicating a better golfer who, in theory, plays more - had greater reductions in their risk of death.
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