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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Golfing is more than just a fun pastime, the sport also offers health benefits for its players. Now new research suggests the game can even help you live longer.

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

“Strengthen not only the shoulders but the core, the back, the glutes, the legs, all the way down to the floor,” said sports medicine Dr. Dominic King.

King said there are ways for players to maximize the 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 pushcarts, 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,” said King.

While the study says there isn’t a high risk of injury with golf, players are more at risk of developing skin cancer. Players should wear sunscreen, a hat, and a shirt with sleeves.

The study also found golf contributes to better mental health and can improve the overall health of people with disabilities. Researchers say the golfing industry should strive to be more inclusive and welcoming to players of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and genders.

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