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MAY THE COURSE BE WITH YOU

MAY THE COURSE BE WITH YOU

It’s almost time for another amazing afternoon of golf at the CAWEE Annual Golf Classic on Monday, August 15, 2016! And as the excitement builds, it seemed appropriate to direct a few minutes of consideration towards making sure that we all play without pain, have fun without fatigue, and enjoy without injury. While some of us are avid athletes, many more of us are ‘weekend warriors,’ and some of us might not have seen a course since last year’s tournament – we could all stand some reminders about how to prepare, warm-up and protect our bodies during this (or any) day of being active.

Start Right

Make sure you have fuel for your day by starting with a healthy, balanced breakfast and lunch including all the food groups (don’t forget lots of fruits and veggies!) Make sure clothing is weather appropriate and comfortable (don’t forget to protect yourself against a long day in the sun for both skin and eyes).

Stay Hydrated

Remember, we’re playing in August and hoping for a beautiful, sunny day. Don’t ignore the feeling of thirst – it’s your body’s very sensitive monitoring system telling you things are starting to get out of balance. And remember WATER is water – juices, sodas and other tasty treats are lovely but don’t fulfill the same purpose as good old plain water.

Warm Up

All the professional athletes do it, there must be something to it. A few simple stretches will let your muscles know it’s time to get to work. Try these:

Back and Shoulders

Side bends - feet shoulder width apart, slide hand down side of leg to (or past) knee without rotating hips, hold 15 seconds – should feel a stretch in side of your back

Shoulder stretch – hold the shaft of a club, upright, behind your back. Gently pull the club down with your bottom hand until you feel a mild stretch in the shoulder of the top arm. Reverse by gently pulling the club up with your top hand until you feel a stretch in the shoulder of the bottom arm – hold each stretch for 15 seconds then switch top and bottom hands and repeat

Arms

Forearm stretch – hold one arm out at shoulder height with palm facing up, use the other hand to gently bend fingers down until you feel a stretch through forearm, hold 15 seconds. Switch to palm facing down and pull fingers up, hold 15 seconds. Switch arms and repeat, making sure to not allow either shoulder to rise up

Scapula stretch – placing left hand on right shoulder, use right hand to gently pull left elbow across chest towards right shoulder, hold 15 seconds. Repeat with right hand on left shoulder and pulling across towards left shoulder – should feel stretch across the shoulder blade

Legs

Hamstring stretch (avoid if pre-existing back problems) – standing with feet shoulder width apart, reach both arms up towards sky then, bending at the waist, reach towards your toes – should feel stretch through back of legs

Quad stretch (if balance is an issue, make sure you have support) – keeping thighs together, abdominal muscles engaged and back straight, use one or both hands to bring right ankle up towards buttock, while keeping right knee pointed towards the ground, hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with left leg and then right and left a second time – should feel stretch through front of thigh

Knee to chest (be careful of balance with this one) – stand with feet shoulder width apart. Using both hands, bend leg bringing knee up to chest, hold 30 seconds. Repeat with other leg – should feel stretch through back of thigh and buttock

Post-Game Wrap Up

Take a moment as the game progresses and as the day winds down to tune into how your body is feeling. Do you need more water or a snack? Do you need to do some mid-game stretching? Is it time to check on or update a swing that may be causing some muscle twinges before they develop into aches and pains? Do you need to dial down a bit of competitive nature and be gracious to some newly-(re)used muscles? Stay in touch with the quiet voice of your body so it doesn’t have to ‘yell’ at you later.

Lastly and most importantly – HAVE FUN!!

Laughter, comradery and having fun truly are the best medicine. Positive thinking is more important to day-to-day wellness than diet, exercise or almost anything else alone. Soak up the good times as they’re happening and so that you’ll have them to look back on in days to come.