From time to time golfgurls.com invites guest authors to contribute to its posts. Golf fitness expert, Kathy Ekdahl shares some great ideas on keeping yourself in top shape for golf.
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Guest Author: Kathleen Ekdahl, ACE CPT, CSCS
There is one area of golf conditioning that is often overlooked and under appreciated: proper nutrition and hydration while on the course. Golf is a game of endurance interspersed with bouts of power and strength. Your body needs proper nutrition and fluid intake to have the energy to play just as well on the 4th hole as the 14th. Unlike other aspects of golf fitness, proper hydration and nutrition can and will produce immediate improvements in energy and endurance during your golf game THIS weekend!
Here are a few easy tips to enhance energy and endurance:
- Eat a well balanced meal of protein and whole grain carbohydrates within two hours of your game. If you are unable to eat a full meal, at least have a snack within one hour of golfing to provide your body with some initial energy. Your snack should be 200 calories or so to last at least for the first few holes. Avoid sugary snacks which will produce an energy crash within an hour or two of eating.
- Bring a snack of 200-300 calories to take in two to three hours into your game. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much your energy and strength, not to mention your mental focus, will improve with a small snack. Examples of good snacks might be a protein/sports bar (watch sugar content), a peanut butter sandwich or nuts and a piece of fruit. You need some good carbohydrates and protein for long lasting energy
- Drink plenty of water before and during your golf game. During the summer months, dehydration can have a great impact on your game, zapping energy and focus, and it can be quite dangerous as well. If you are sweating profusely during your game, you may need more than just water. Diluted fruit juices or Gatorade are excellent choices to keep electrolytes in balance with water intake and to avoid a dangerous condition known as Hyponutremia, or over hydration. Hyponutremia, has become more and more common as people take the advice to “drink water” to it’s extremes. It is often mistaken as dehydration, since this condition has the same symptoms as dehydration.
- Avoid alcohol while golfing as alcohol is dehydrating, and a systemic depressant, slowing down muscle contractions and mental acuity and will eventually produce excess fatigue.
All athletes rely on good hydration and nutrition to support their workouts and game play. Golf is no different. And, the long duration of the golf game compared to other recreational endeavors makes proper nutrition and hydration even more important. Start with these tips today, and watch your game immediately improve!
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Kathy Ekdahl, CSCS, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, is the owner of Personal Best Personal Training in Hudson, Massachusetts. She is a former health club owner and has been teaching Yoga since 1997. Kathy is a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor and is the Staff Personal Trainer at The International Golf Club, Bolton, MA. Kathy also coaches Women’s Varsity Lacrosse at Hudson High School.