7 Tips to Healthier Golf

Golf is a game enjoyed by young and old…  to have that illusive chance at shooting your age or better some day, you may want to consider abiding by these seven tips.

healthy living golf tips

1) Walk the course as often as you can, carry your clubs while you’re at it. Playing an 18 hole round while carrying your clubs burns almost 2,000 calories, this is the equivalent of almost two Big Mac meals from McDonalds, or nearly 9 beers – your body will thank you (just avoid eating crappy food on the course as well). In comparison, pulling your clubs kills over 1,500 calories and riding about 1,300. So really no matter how you play golf, you’re still getting some decent exercise.

2) What’s the most important thing in your golf bag? It’s not your $500 driver… it’s your bottle of sunscreen. Spending 4+ hours in the sun is quite risky on a sunny day. Statistics say 90 percent of skin cancer cases are caused by the sun. Of that, over 20 percent are golfers. This is a rather skewed statistic as many factors can attribute to cancer, regardless; it’s not worth the risk. As an add-on, don’t forget your hat out there either.

3) Warm up before each round. Stretch and swing with a weighted club (or two clubs) for a good 5-10 minutes to warm your body up before hitting the first tee, not only will it get you in the golfing mood, it will also give your muscles and joints time to prepare for the physical activity to come. Common golf injuries occur in areas that respond well to stretching and warming up – elbows, back, shoulders, hands, wrists and hips – so be sure to take advantage of this.

4) Stop smoking, cigarettes and cigars. No matter how cool you may look, it’s not good for your body, your lungs and your stamina will also suffer. Not to mention, your playing partners, clothes and even the beer cart girl will thank you for not reeking up your general vicinity. I’m sure you all know the risks of smoking, so I’m not going to repeat them here.

5) Take some lessons, repeating a bad golf move or technique can lead to one of the common golf injuries listed above. Taking a couple of lessons from a professional can get your swing into better positions and help reduce the strain on your hands, wrists, spine, hips and shoulders throughout your swing.

6) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – drink plenty of water and fluids on the golf course… and this doesn’t mean alcohol. Alcohol actually dehydrates you, hence the wicked hangover on those nights when you’ve had one too many. Stick to water or Powerade / Gatorade (diet if possible) on the course, juice is the next best thing – it will help rehydrate you, while not adding too many unnecessary calories. Furthermore, if you can, eat healthily on the course, stay away from hot dogs, burgers and fries and stick to sandwiches and granola bars.

7) When the weather looks dangerous, get off or the course or seek shelter, asap. Lightning is not something forth flirting with, especially with 14 metal lightning rods in your golf bag. Statistics say lightning strikes 400 people in the US per year. The most common time to get struck by lightning on the golf course is Sundays in the afternoon.

 I hope you take these tips to heart!

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