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Golf Fitness: Health Tips to Improve Your Game

By Molly Casey

Golf Fitness: Health Tips to Improve Your Game

Golf season is upon us. I’ve found in my years of caring for athletes that golfers are usually extremely passionate about their sport. It makes no difference whether it is a hobby or professional pursuit.

Whether you are on the course a couple times a month or daily as a pro golfer, throughout the year there are things you can do off the course to improve your golf game, prevent injuries, and even reduce pain when injuries occur.

Health Tips to Improve Your Golf Game

There are plenty of things off the course that you can do in life to enhance your chances of golfing better. The better the body functions from a structural standpoint, the more golf you’ll likely be able to play -- and the better opportunity you have to improve your game.

You must pay attention to the musculoskeletal system if you are looking to improve your score on the golf course.

Every single movement that’s properly carried out begins at the core. A body with a weak core is a body that is at-risk for injury, improper muscle recruitment patterns, and all other sorts of dysfunction. Dedicating some time off the course and in the gym to properly engage, hold, and strengthen the core muscles will benefit your body and your golf game. The center of the body will be strong and stable, you will be able to produce more power from a stable base, and then minimally provide your body the opportunity to carry out the swing with proper mechanics.

The soft tissue that supports the spine must be flexible. The joints of both the spine and the extremities must have their full range of motion to maximize the quality of your play. That’s the same for any athlete.

Warming up beforehand is imperative to increase blood flow and muscle activity prior to engaging the body with its swing routine. It is quite common that patients have injured themselves and come see me after having not properly warmed up before their first golf swing. Or they simply do this time after time -- begin their game without warming up -- which slowly but surely causes the muscles to become chronically tight and dysfunctional.

Hydration is also important. Every cell of the body requires water, and electrolytes are required for proper cell function. People in the West are often dehydrated. The body needs hydration simply to exist; when exercise or hobbies that involve extra physical activity (your golf game) are added to the equation, those hydration needs rise.

One simple way to increase your body’s ability to perform in anything -- including your golf game -- is to ensure you are getting enough water and add in electrolytes (sodium, potassium and magnesium) into your daily routine. The basic rule of thumb for water consumption is half your body weight in ounces of water daily. If you weigh 180 pounds, that is 90 ounces of water daily.

What Are Some Course-Specific Tips for Golfers?

The following tips are specific to your time on the golf course. While these may seem trivial and non-sensical to some, it is important to remember that most experts, including most professional athletes, will tell you their expertise is always built on the basics. A return to basics is always wise to improve one’s performance. Even if you are at the golf course regularly and feel proficient in your game, make sure you have fit, foundations, and reviews covered.

Make sure your equipment -- from your clubs to your shoes -- are properly fitted for you. Check out this World’s Top 100 Clubfitters article, which explains what to look for in a professional fitter and where to find them worldwide.

Professional instruction, even limited to two sessions a season, can make an incredible difference in your golf game by establishing the proper foundation for your game. Golf is an expensive sport. It is worth the extra money to get a private instruction session on the basics, to have a professional golfer provide a current assessment of your stance, swing, and all things golf -- and maybe throw in a few yearly review sessions. Practice what you learn, make the adjustments, and have a re-assessment one third to halfway through the season, and then again one to two more times.

You don’t have to sign up for weekly tutelage to review your skill set. Single sessions strategically placed throughout the year with specific skills to work on can be a game changer. A less expensive way to up your game is to search local courses for group classes led by a professional golfer.

There are ways to engage with professional instruction that will assist you and keep things lively, and improve your game without breaking the bank. If you’re going to shell out hundreds of dollars for greens fees, you’re going to want to look good; an investment in yourself can help.

Can Chiropractic Help My Golf Game

Investing in your instruction to keep your golf game improving is important, but so is investing in yourself to keep your body in top condition. Keeping the brain and body communicating optimally, and the body moving well, are necessary for having the best golf game possible; it helps athletes recover, and assists in preventing injuries.

The benefits of chiropractic care for one’s health and wellness can be vast, and the benefit of chiropractic care on one’s golf game can be just as impactful. Tiger Woods has stated the importance of chiropractic care, and this strong vote of confidence is a statement to its value, to say the least.

“I’ve been going to a chiropractor for as long as I can remember,” Woods has said. “It is as important to my training as the practice of my swing.”

If regular chiropractic care works for professional golfers, you really have to ask yourself whether it can work for you.

Chiropractic care is about promoting optimal nervous system communication between the brain and the body and the body and the brain. The spine houses and protects the spinal cord. The spine is the frame of the body; when the spinal joints are moving optimally, the nervous system has the opportunity to function at its best.

When the spinal joints become restricted in their range of motion, this can interfere with the nervous system communication. As a result, your health and body function and performance can suffer. This can absolutely make your golf game -- or anything you do -- suffer and put you in a position in which injuries occur more easily.

Repetitive motions, and especially repetitive motions with poor posture or improper body mechanics, is a common way these joints lose range of motion. Golf is nothing but a game of repetitive motion: a swinging golf club. Seeing a chiropractor for regular chiropractic adjustments can help your body withstand the physical rigors of your time on the course, improve your brain/body communication for better overall body function and performance, and prevent injuries because of optimal joint motion and function.

If regular chiropractic care is being utilized by top golf professionals who say it helps improve their game, it likely can help your game too.

The goal of having the best golf game you can is a great way to engage with the journey of health in your life. It requires that you be active. It calls for you to put time, energy, and effort physically into mastering the game. It requires mental focus. The more aware and engaged you become with posture and stance on the course with your swing, the more you can transfer this awareness and improvement to your daily life with other activities to improve your overall health and wellness.

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