It's not easy working out, eating healthy and finding the nutrition that can help you be not only healthier in life, but also healthier doing your sport. When you're committed to playing a sport well, it means being committed to doing more positive things for optimal performance.
Golf is a sport that's tough on your back and your joints, requires you to be in the sun A LOT and wears you down quite quickly. Some may argue that even some of the best golfers aren't the fittest or most healthy (ahem - John Daly). But, the reality is that the fitter you are and the more you concentrate on eating the right foods, the better you feel on the golf course and the more likely you are to play better.
In the summer in Arizona, getting through a round can be exhausting and tough on my skin. That's why my skincare routine and my workout and eating routines are so important to me. You may be thinking, "What does skincare have to do with being fit for golf?" Well, a lot actually!
The skin is your largest organ in, on rather, your body. It takes in moisture, it lets out toxins and it protects your internal organs from a lot of external stress. It's how you feel touch, temperature and much more. When you aren't taking care of your skin, you are causing harm to a lot of other body systems. So, maybe it's time to think about things in a new way.
Here are my three keys (thanks DJ Khaled) for Getting Fit for Golf:
1. Put the Best in your Body
Whether it's adding some needed nutritional supplements to your routine or downloading an app that can help remind you when you haven't had enough water for the day, there are hundreds of things you can do to improve your nutrition. The best way to focus on that is by creating small habits that can make a big impact on your life.
About three years ago, I made a conscious decision to stop drinking sodas and start drinking more water. I did this by buying water cups and thermoses that I thought were fun to have around and by making a decision every time I went out to eat or shopped at the grocery store to avoid soda. These weren't easy choices at first. But now, I can't tell you the last time I craved one. It's usually an occasional treat that I give myself once every few months. But, I haven't once looked back and thought about how much I miss them. More so, they surely aren't part of my daily diet.
This is the same thing you must do when reinventing your diet or eliminating sugars. After you make those conscious decisions to add something or eliminate something from your routine for at least 30 days, it just starts to become a habit. My daily habits now include taking supplements to aid in my nutrition, eating less processed carbs and eating more vegetables, drinking at least 60 ounces of water and eating three balanced meals and some snacks when I'm hungry.
Make a habit of putting only the best in your body and you will be surprised how much better you feel daily and while golfing.
2. Put the Best on your Body
Staying and being fit for me also means taking care of my skin. As an avid summer golfer, I know the importance of wearing UV protection clothing and sunscreen. I even lather sunscreen on in the morning before driving to work and in the afternoon before leaving work on my hands, arms and face to block those rays while driving. It's important to me to protect my skin from the harmful damage the sun can do and to protect myself from skin cancer.
But, sun protection isn't all you can do to take care of your precious skin. As they say, your outward appearance is the doorway to how you're treating your body. Are you taking the right supplements to care for your skin, hair and nails? Are you drinking enough water? Eating enough vegetables? Your skin can tell all of these things. That's why my number one key to getting fit is "putting the best in my body."
Finally, putting the best on my body also means taking care of my face. I use a skincare regime that fights the signs of aging and helps keep my skin hydrated. As we age, our skin loses moisture more easily and can be a cause for wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of skin damage. I try to do as much as I can now to maintain healthy skin as I age.
(To learn more about the products I use, shoot me an email or click "Shop Forever Products")
3. Sweat More, Physically and Mentally
Putting your body and your brain through challenges everyday is the only way to get fit for golf. In fact, one of my favorite things about the game is how much mental agility it takes to get around a course. Up the ante. Read more and play brain games. These small daily changes can help you form memories better, analyze the greens better and even reach back into your past experiences to make decisions.
There is a blog I've enjoyed reading recently that you may like called Golf State of Mind. David Mackenzie is a performance coach and the author of this blog. He goes into some really interesting mental aspects of the game. When you have some down time read through it, subscribe to his blog and make it a point to learn how improving your mental health can help with your game.
And of course, exercise is a big aspect of my daily routine. After all, going to the gym daily can help increase happiness, stimulate the brain and especially improve cardiovascular health. A round of golf is fatiguing in the summer, so imagine being out of shape and trying to get through it. Having muscle tone and a better capacity for endurance can make a lot of difference, especially toward the end of a round when being tired means taking really terrible swings and making mental blunders.
How do you improve your golf fitness? Submit a comment or tweet at @TheGolferBabe!
There are analytical, methodical people in the world and then there are creative, imaginative people. I'd say that I sway more to the latter. My passion for reading and learning is really quite overwhelming, as my husband would probably say, but it's something that makes me tick. It is that desire to learn that makes me yearn to be better with numbers and more systematic in my thinking. Unfortunately, I know I have to work much harder at that than I do at writing a blog, for instance.
Preparing for my recent travel to Dubai (which is approximately 48 hours of time to sleep/read/journal/etc.), I picked up a book called Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer. It's all about the practice of memorization and remembering, which is something I've been a bit fascinated with since watching the last season of Sherlock. You know that "memory palace" that Sherlock Holmes often reaches into to uncover one of his cases? This book dives into that magic art and science of our brains, and more interestingly divulges that it doesn't take a special person with a certain IQ to remember everything, or even memorize the order of a deck of cards, or 24 decks of cards for that matter. Anyone can remember by simply learning how to use a "memory palace."
This fascinates me because there are really endless ways to apply a great memory to everything we do in life. Whether it's being able to quickly make decisions based off past strategies and outcomes at work or it's being able to master a round of golf by remembering shots you've taken before and applying them to your current situation. Heck, this could even help with remembering more about the people and experiences you encounter every day. My mind has really been reeling around this topic for quite some time, but alas, just reading this book won't do much for my improvement.
So, I found it interesting that one chapter in this book is called the Ok Plateau. What Foer describes as the OK Plateau is a third stage in the process of learning a skill called the "autonomous stage." It is in this stage that where someone finds they don't improve anymore at a skill, be that an athletic endeavor, learning a new language or even becoming an expert in their field. Foer says the Ok Plateau is "the point at which you decide you're OK with how good you are at something, turn on autopilot, and stop improving."
The only way then to get over this plateau and continue improving, is to challenge yourself. He actually uses a golf example to explain this concept. His father has golfed for years, decades even. After just a few of those years, he stopped improving. His scores never lowered and yet he continued to play golf and even continued practicing. But, it was what he was doing while practicing that really mattered. Every time he picked up a golf club, he just did what he was comfortable with. He would putt into the same tin cup in his basement without ever giving himself new challenges to conquer. It was a plateau both mentally and physically, but very much so a plateau caused by one's own actions.
Sometimes, it can feel like outside forces are causing us to never get better at anything we do. It can feel like the world is against us in some way. Foer decidedly takes this concept, with some helpful advice from a researcher on expertise, and uses it in favor of getting faster at memorizing strings of numbers and decks of cards. Using a metronome to time each card he memorizes, he pushes himself to points of failure. Then, he tries again, and again, until at last he sees improvement. We can use this same principle to improve our golf games. Strategies we choose may differ, but if we can find ways to push ourselves beyond the norm and be OK with failing rather than staying stagnant, we could see dramatic improvement.
Whether it's for the art of memory or the game of golf, pushing oneself to higher standards takes a lot of work. In reality, this book is a wake up call to those who believe that learning something new and actually mastering it can be easy. I've certainly learned that while it's easy to pick up this book, learn about creating my own memory palaces to store ideas and concepts and even to-do lists, the practice of becoming better at it takes a lot of effort. But, it is the best things in life that are worth working for.
Imagine remembering every vacation you've taken with your family. Imagine remembering every movie or book quote that has stood out to you and being able to reference those in every day life. If you're reading this blog, you're probably crazy passionate about golf, so imagine remembering every shot you've ever taken on a golf course, the course conditions, the lie, the approach you took. How can accessing so many more memories change your life? Personally, the art of memory is an endeavor that holds a lot of power and is incredibly important to my career and my fulfillment in life. But, perhaps, if you take anything from the lesson Joshua Foer has learned during his journey of becoming a memory champion, it is to challenge yourself in ways you haven't before because you are capable of so much more than you could possibly even fathom.
THE LESSONS BLOG FROM AMY, THE GOLFER BABE
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