- Brian Tully, MS
Swinging Into Spring
Preparing Your Body for the Round
(As seen in Leland Magazine)
Spring is just around the corner, which means beautiful weather and rounds of golf are also on the way. Below are a few things to help you be better prepared to hit the links for your upcoming round and each round after that one.
A good warm-up is probably one of your most important steps before playing a round of golf. A good warm-up will decrease your chance of injury and improve performance. It does this by increasing the elasticity of the muscles, moving synovial fluid to the joints (think lubrication), brings blood (fuel and energy) to the muscles, and prepares the body to move more smoothly through the needed range of motion of a swing.
Think of the elasticity of a rubber band coming out of a freezer…not very elastic right? Your muscles are in a similar state prior to warm-up. Not the best state to be in before you wind up and swing for the green with your driver. When warming up focus on increasing your overall body temperature, warm muscles are more pliable and ready for action. Gentle movement of the joints is also key to a good warm-up; focus on neck, shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles…even if you are short on time, this practice will help your game tremendously, as well as limit injury.
Hydration (Before, During, & After)
Even mild dehydration can impair distance, accuracy, and distance judgment during your round of golf. Proper hydration is a daily requirement and if you stay with in the proper guidelines each day you are more likely to prevent the ill effects from it on the course. Your goal (ballpark) should be about half your bodyweight in ounces each day. For example, a 200 lbs male should aim for 100 ounces of water per day. This is your baseline.
However, you will want to consume additional ounces to account for any alcohol or caffeinated drinks you consume; as well as for sweat lost during hot weather or physical activity. And it is also important to spread the intake out over the course of the day. Which means start your round hydrated, replenish during the round as you are sweating out fluids, and continue after the round to insure recovery. A good indicator of proper hydration is your urine color, it should be light yellow.
Fuel (Before, During, & After)
During a typical round of 18 holes the average male golfer will burn approximately 600-700 calories. To keep body fueled for maximum power and control, it is best to consume a balanced meal about 1 hour prior to your round. It should be a balanced meal, meaning it includes protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fats. A good example would be eggs, and a slice of whole grain toast with smashed avocado. To keep your fuel steady during the round, you will want a snack or two. Nothing huge, just enough to keep your blood sugar stable and your muscles primed. Here would be a good spot for a piece of fruit (banana or apple…which are easy to transport) and a handful of almonds or a small meal replacement bar. Post round is the perfect time to reload the body with another balanced meal. This will help your muscles be ready to repair and re-energize for whatever the rest of your day has in store…and of course make sure you are ready for your next round.
Enjoy the time bonding with your fellow golfers, appreciate being outdoors in the fresh air surrounded by nature, embrace the amazing abilities of a properly warmed up, hydrated, and fueled human body as you smack that little white ball long and straight at the pin.
As always, if you have additional questions regarding this month's article or have a topic you would like to see covered in future articles; please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email.
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