Just as amateur golfers find that using the same equipment as the pros doesn't translate into playing as well as they do, it is difficult for most of us to keep up with our golfing heroes' commitment to physical fitness. But you don't need to spend 5 nights a week in the gym to make noticeable improvements in your physical conditioning. An easy place to start: go for a walk.
We think we hit the ball with our arms and hands, so it might be tempting to build up the big muscles in the back and shoulders through weight training, but actually the legs supply the power to a golf swing. Just watch the fast leg and knee action of a pro golfer in the downswing. There's almost like a "snap" as they strike the ball. Going for walks on a regular basis is a great way to build up your legs. Notice we said walk, not run. You don't have to take up jogging, which can be stressful on your joints. After 6 months or so or regular walks, you will notice that you don't get nearly as fatigued when you hit a few buckets of balls on the practice range.
You can start with a short walk, say 20 minutes or so, and build up to longer distances. If you build up to brisk walk, you will get some cardio benefit from the exercise as well, which your doctor will appreciate. Which reminds us, before you start any exercise program, including walking, be sure to consult with your doctor.
The key is to go for a walk as often as you can. If you have a dog, you have a built-in personal trainer. Your dog would be happy going on walks 3 times a day if he could. And he'll nag you to go. Who can resist those imploring eyes when he brings you his leash and gently nudges you towards the door?
Of course, walking was one of the original benefits of a round of golf. But the advent of golf carts eliminated that (along with valuable summer employment for young people as caddies). Going for walks will help improve your golf game. Establish a regular walking program will improve your golf fitness and you might even lose a few pounds.
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Article Added on Saturday, September 20, 2008
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