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Don’t Wait For The New Year: 8 Things You Can Do Now To Improve Your Game

The golf swing uses nearly every muscle in your body and is considered moderate-intensity exercise but not quite a complete workout.  It is wise to train your entire body year-round to maintain core and ankle strength, increase balance and add a bit of muscle.  You’ll play better golf as a result.

It’s even more important right now since we are now officially in the midst of the holiday season — when the New England Journal of Medicine reports the average American gains one pound.  Not a big deal unless you gain one pound you don’t lose every year, as most people do.  With more holidays coming and COVID limiting our lives, I am looking for ways to get my workouts in while avoiding my gym.  I am not going to lie.  I miss my gym.  But with life being disrupted as it is, I’ve just decided that I need to buckle down and do my own workouts, kick my own butt and fight off that weight gain.  I thought I’d pass along various workouts, apps and home equipment that I’ve come across over the past 9 months.

Years ago I read the bestseller Younger Next Year by Cris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D.  There is a general version and then they came out with a women-specific version later.  It’s a quick read with great information that’s easily applicable.  One of the key things they said that stuck with me (well they said lots of key things but one anyway) is that you need to keep finding ways (and things) that motivate you to keep working out.  As in gadgets and equipment, etc., which now translates into apps, YouTube videos, gadgets and equipment.


As you all know, apps are not free, at least not the ones I’ve found, but I have come across a few that are worth a few bucks every month and I figure I’m coming out ahead in light of not paying gym fees.

My new favorite app is the Peloton.  No, I do not have a Peloton bike.  I actually recently purchased the Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike.  Nice bike, half the price. You don’t even need a bike to use their app which I had no idea until I purchased my bike a few months ago.  What I didn’t know is that they have programs for every type of fitness you can think of, including strength, yoga, cardio, meditation, running, outdoor, cycling, stretching, tread bootcamp, bike bootcamp and walking. You can access hundreds of classes/programs all day, every day and I’ve found that it’s one of the easiest apps to use.  The first 30 days are free and then it’s $12 a month.  Pretty good deal for all encompassing fitness app.

I love Bikram yoga.  I loved going to the hot studio and practicing on non-golf days.  That said, I haven’t been back since late February. That makes me sad.  It was so therapeutic.  I felt like I could move really well after only going once or twice a week, not to mention it really helped with my head-space!  I personally like the 90-minute traditional Bikram sessions and was having issues finding anything online.  I came across this great app called Hot Yoga Timer.  While I don’t have the hot yoga studio (only three large dogs breathing on me), I still get a pretty good workout in with this app.

Not into Bikram and limited on time?  Try this 7-minute at-home Yoga routine designed specifically for golfers.  This is a quick and easy way to get your body moving pre-round or even on a non-golf day.

EQUIPMENT (Tell Santa This is What You Want)

When things were initially shut down in the spring, I was trying to purchase free weights for my house.  I wasn’t able to get any weights for a few months because they were on backorder — I guess everyone had the same idea.  I finally did receive them in May from (where else but) Amazon.  They now have an assortment in stock or a short time window to receive.  Nice thing about these is that they don’t take up much space. You can store them anywhere.  Over the last 9 months, I have added different weights and now have a good set for a pretty comprehensive strength training workout.

I’ve had four knee surgeries on the same knee (blew it out skiing when I was 26).  I’m always trying to work on strengthening my quads and hamstrings because of the weakness in my knee. One thing they used to give me in PT were the wide rubber resistance bands.  I hated using them at first but I now realize how great they are.  There are so many exercises you can do with these bands, their applications are mind-boggling.  Just Google “exercise resistance bands” or “mini exercise bands” and you’ll be amazed — you can work just about every body part with these simple bands.  They come in 5 different resistance levels and you can order from Amazon.

I went to Pauma Valley in California a few weeks ago and my girlfriend Diane turned me onto a thing called the mini tramp.  When she first told me, I had a vision of Jack Lalanne (some of you may have no idea whom I’m talking about) jumping on a trampoline.  I’m sure you’ve seen this before but did you know how good this really is for you?  They’re gaining some momentum because not only do they provide a great cardio workout (and easy on the joints), but they are relatively inexpensive and fold up when you’re not using (I just roll onto its’ side and lean against a wall).  The best part is the workout doesn’t take that long.  If you only have 10 minutes, it will be the best 10 minutes spent that day.  Research shows that some of the health benefits of using the mini tramp (or rebounding) are:

    • aids lymphatic circulation
    • improves immune system
    • burns calories and strengthens core muscles
    • tones and tightens skin
    • improves posture, balance and coordination (this is key for me!)
    • increases bone density and helps reduce risk of osteoporosis

If you just Google “mini tramp workouts”, you will see a bunch of results.  Here’s a link to a basic quick 10 minute workout or if you prefer one that’s a bit longer try this one.

Last but not least, this is one thing that keeps me motivated to keep working out.  I bought this a year ago because my old scale pooped out. FYI, I do not have any health issues surrounding my love of my scale.  But what I do love about it is that it was cheap and it has an app that you download.  The app analyzes everything about your weight including your BMI, body fat percentage, body water, bone mass, muscle mass and more.  It also connects to Apple Health and can feed data into that platform.  I now have a slightly better understanding of some things about my weight that I didn’t previously know.  Sorry, no screenshot here (lol)!

Hope you find this post keeps that sneaky holiday season pound at bay and ready to go for golf!

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