Golf is not typically a sport that comes to mind when we visualize "strong athletes."
However, as both professional and competitive amateur golfers know - losing weight and gaining core strength, mobility, joint stability and overall cardiovascular fitness can play large in the success of your game, while protecting you from injury.
Today, longer and more precise shots are being smashed by golfers that look, and perform, like athletes. Time once spent "hanging out" in the clubhouse is now being devoted to "working out" in the weight room.
A well-rounded conditioning regimen can improve your game, but where do you start? What type of exercise should you do? Where can you go for help? It all starts with getting physically active and eating a better-quality diet to build a good foundation for proper golf conditioning.
Lose the Cart - and Get Moving
Increasing your activity level is a great way to improve both your health and your golf game.
Cardiovascular activity conditions your heart and lungs, while burning excess calories - a bonus if you need to lose weight. The endurance you gain also helps you maintain energy, increasing your ability to hit long and strong from the first hole to the 18th.
Get in the habit of taking part in cardiovascular training for 20-45 minutes, 3-5 days per week. Some great low-impact options are walking outdoors or on a treadmill, cycling and swimming.
In the beginning, don't concern yourself too much about heart rate or intensity level, just get up and get moving. Start at a level where you feel comfortable and progress gradually and systematically. The important thing is to move more and move more often.
Start watching your diet more closely. Replace foods high in saturated fat with lean proteins and complex carbohydrates, especially vegetables. Limit junk foods that contain empty calories and go for natural, high-quality options.
Staying well hydrated is very important when you're trying to lose weight. Drink fluids throughout the day (pure water is the best choice), and limit your consumption of dehydrating beverages, such as alcohol and sugar-loaded soft drinks.
When starting a new diet regimen, it is a good idea to discuss intervention strategies with your physician. He or she may recommend that you consult with a registered dietitian to develop a nutritionally sound, safe and individualized plan of action.
A Winning Combination
Combining increased activity with a more nutritious diet will help you lose weight, increase energy and create better overall health. This is the place to start in getting more fit for golf, helping you improve your game and your enjoyment on the green.
Read Part 2 of this article to learn how core strength, mobility and stability can help you reach peak function and protect you from golfing injuries. In Part 3, you'll learn how a customized movement evaluation can help you design the best golf strength program.