A leading psychologist has championed the role golf can play in reducing stress and supporting good mental health.
And when some of the most spectacular golf courses around are just minutes away from the heart of Singapore - where better to play than the likes of the glorious Ria Bintan. Professor Jenny Roe, environmental psychologist and Director of the Centre for Design & Health, University of Virginia, says golf is one way of benefiting from a regular ‘dose’ of green space to boost psychological wellbeing and physical health.
“There’s a wealth of evidence, using robust, scientific methods, to show the benefits of ‘green exercise’ – exercise in the natural outdoors – compared to exercise indoors, including the gym,” says Prof. Roe.
It's no secret that in Singapore everyone is busy and stressed - but you don't have to be. Grab the 08:10am ferry to Bintan and just 75 mins later you're stepping onto one of the most intensely beautiful golf courses to bless South East Asia. You breathe in the fresh air and soak up the sunshine. Your body immediately begins to produce endorphins, the feel-good hormones that boost your mood naturally in a way no anti-depressant ever could. Guaranteed!
“When you step into a green space, there’s a number of things that happen with both your physiology and your psychology. Your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in – the system that’s associated with relaxation – and your stress physiology actually changes. You literally manage stress more efficiently when you are in a green space.”
And what a green space it is!
A beautiful award-winning 18-hole Ocean Course unfolds next to the South China Sea, offering tantalising ocean views, while the 9-hole Forest Course set amidst mature woodlands tests your mettle with its various bunkers and fairways. Make sure to keep your bags zipped up - when you're this close to nature you may encounter some mischievous monkeys!
Prof. Jenny Roe adds: “Contact with nature allows us to recover from brain fatigue, reduces our stress levels and improves our mood. In turn, improved mood is linked to what’s called the ‘broaden and build’ hypothesis, with an increased capacity for creative thought and cognitive flexibility that can – potentially – lead to new thought-action repertoires on and off the golf course, and improved performance.”
With proven health benefits there's no better excuse to get down to beautiful Ria Bintan for the day, reduce stress while taking in the breath-taking ocean views.
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