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Senior golf requires golf technique adjustments in both body and mind, and good golf nutrition to overcome the effects of aging in order to optimize golf fitness for golfing success.
Golf is a game of a lifetime. The game of golf remains one of the few major sports that can be played not only when you are very young but also when you are very old -- as long as you can stand up and walk, you can play golf.
However, your physical conditions may determine not onlyhow you will have to play the game when you become advanced in your years, but also the level of your performance you wish to maintain.
You don’t like getting old; nobody does.
Whether you like it or not, you are not immune from aging, which is no more than changes in your body and mind. The good news is that you can continue to play golf for the rest of you life if you maintain a healthy mind and body.
Obviously, your mind and your body are not what they were decades ago. Your muscle’s strength and flexibility decline as you age. Unfortunately, flexibility is a major factor in creating an effortless swing, which is the key to golfing success.
For example, you may have noticed that your swing is not what it used to be. To address the issue, you need to do the following:
· Reduce your swing speed.
· Find out the rate of your swing speed so as to maintain your body’s balance, keeping you on your feet and in balance through to your finish position.
· Create a low and slow takeaway when swinging your club back.
· Adjust your body’s rhythm, tempo, timing while turning your shoulders to the target line at a less than 90-degree angle at the top of your backswing.
· Aim at producing the same distance and the same accuracy when completing your swing.
The process and the speed of aging vary with individuals. Your genetic factors and your lifestyle in the past decades play a pivotal role in how you age. (For more information, visit my other website: Longevity and Anti-Aging.)
The factors that are not in favor of senior golfer are:
· coordination, especially the eye and the hand
· stamina and physical endurance
· muscle and joints flexibility
· mental perception and visualization
However, you do not have to become enslaved to the physical consequences of aging. Senior golf can still be the game for you at any age. If you wish to continue to lower your scores, then take some positive steps so that golf can continue to be as exhilarating and thrilling as it was when you were young. There is no age limit to senior golf.
In order to cope with aging, you need to make certain golf technique adjustments to enhance your going success.
The aspects of senior golf you should focus on improving are:
First of all, you should evaluate the current level of your senior golf fitness with respect to the above. Once you have determined your limitations, then get on a program to circumvent them and improve your success in senior golf.
The Number One enemy to your golfing success isprocrastination. Finding a gym, looking for a fitness coach, buying expensive equipment are no more than excuses for your procrastination. You need only a stability ball, hand weights, and some exercise tubing and you are well on your way to improving your body, which ultimately speeds up or slows down your senior golf performance as you get older.
Therefore, to get your game into shape, you need also to get your body into shape through flexibility exercise.
As you grow older, you still want to hit the ball further. Well, who doesn’t? Most probably, you would prefer a long-distance driver to a dead-eye putter.
In golf, distance stems from your flexibility rather than from your strength, because flexibility results in a bigger shoulder turn for your swing.
Unfortunately, aging plays havoc with your flexibility, which in turn impairs your swing.
If your drives generally go where you are aiming, you don’t need golf lessons, you need only flexibility exercise to increase your distance in your senior golf.
What is flexibility?
Flexibility is specific to your individual joints and their capability to move through their full range of movement (ROM) with little or no resistance from the surrounding muscle tissue.
The importance and benefits of flexibility in senior golf:
· Improving your overall physical performance due to less energy used to extend the range of movement (ROM) of your joints
· Reduced risk of injury due to less tissue resistance
· Enhanced mobility due to increased blood flow and nutrient supply to you joints
· Improved joint strength due to greater range of movement (ROM) resulting in greater quantity of the protective lubricant not only in facilitating joint movement but also in delaying degeneration of joint structures
· Better neuromuscular coordination (shortening time for messages from the muscle to the brain)
· Improving postural balance and awareness, which are critical to the golf swing.
· Relieving muscular stress and mental tension
· Decreasing the risk of lower back pain common in golfers
The most active muscles involved in the golf swing are:
· Thigh and hip muscles (during your down swing)
· Lower back muscles (during your coil)
· Shoulder rotator cuff muscles (during your backswing)
· Muscles on both sides of your body (two-sided golf swing, both back and front). Understanding the stretch reflex
The muscle spindle is your muscle’s primary sensory organ responsible for sensing and responding to a stretch. If the stretch is fast, your muscle spindle sends a message to the stretched muscle, signaling it to contract. Accordingly, if your muscle spindle is exercised regularly, it will become less sensitive to force, thereby allowing greater movement at higher speed.
Flexion is bending and decreasing the angle at a joint, while extension is straightening or increasing the angle at a joint. Your hips, knees, shoulders, wrists, and elbows can be flexed and extended for greater flexibility.
Over your lifetime, your flexibility diminishes much more quickly than your muscular strength. To compensate for the rapid decline of flexibility, your golfing success fitness should always include a weight program with regular stretching. (Go to Golf Fitness.)
The pre-game warm-up
Pre-game warm up, particularly in senior golf, not only prevents injury during the game but also promotes flexibility throughout the game.
Stand with your feet wide apart, extending your arms such that they are parallel to the ground, but no higher than your shoulders. In a very small circle, slowly rotate your arms in a clockwise direction, keeping your shoulders as still as possible. After 10 repetitions, reverse the circles in an anti-clockwise direction.
Place a 5-iron in front of you. Extend your arms, resting your hands on the grip. Bend and squat, and then rise to the original position. Repeat as many times on the golf course as possible.
Place a club behind your shoulders, with your arms looping over the shaft. Simulate a golf swing in very slow motion, with a backswing and followthrough to stretch your torso. Repeat ten times.
Remember: flexibility not only improves senior golf, but also prevents falls, which are often debilitating in a senior.
Muscular Strength and Weight Training
Advancing age brings with it hormonal, neurological, metabolic and behavioral changes. Any of these may affect muscle mass. Loss of muscle mass, in particular, has long-term effects on your muscular strength and flexibility in senior golf.
The stronger your muscles are, the greater the pulling force in your swing, and hence the faster and harder your golf swing becomes.
In senior golf, the more you exercise your muscles, the stronger they become. After a workout, with proper time to repair themselves, you muscles grow bigger and thicker, giving you more strength needed in your golf swings. Stronger muscles improve not only your balance but also your body’s equilibrium, conducive to flexibility in joints and muscles, which is vital to success in senior golf.
Golf strength is a combination of muscular strength and flexibility, as well as other factors, such as the fit of your golf equipment, your visual perception, and your overall physical fitness. The right combination enables you to control your club with efficiency, thereby producing distance with accuracy. Strength training uses weights of some kind -- machines, dumbbells, ankle or wrist weights -- to create resistance, which helps build muscle mass, thereby improving your muscular strength for enhanced performance in senior golf.
Use weights (at least 12 repetitions in each set, starting with three sets, and gradually increasing with increased endurance). Remember, cut down the number of weight, not the number of sets or repetitions.
Work out regularly. After reaching your level of fitness, you may reduce the frequency but not the intensity of your workout, if you wish to maintain your strength.
Go to my web page Physical Exercise to find out how your can exercise at any age in any physical condition. If you stop your physical exercise, you may find yourself forced to stop your game of golf.
Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscle to continue to perform without fatigue. This is a critical factor in senior golf.
Fatigue is common among the aging population; it is, in fact, the 7th most common complaint. Fatigue generally includes exhaustion, tiredness, and decreased strength in activities involving the use of muscles. Do not let fatigue be a stumbling block in your senior golf.
To improve your muscle endurance, try cardio-respiratory activities such as walking, jogging, bicycling, or even dancing.
Your eyes are controlled by eye muscles. Therefore, the proper functioning of your eyes depend on their correct posture and their neural impulses.
The optic nerve in your eyes transmits your visual image to your brain, forming a single three-dimensional image (fusion). Weak ocular muscles often lead to their poor coordination, resulting in poor fusion.
The good news is that strong eye muscles not only prevent fatigue but also enhance your visual skills, including depth perception, which plays a critical role in your success in senior golf. Visit my web page: Vision Health.
Visual depth perception
According to the American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary, visual depth perception is the ability to perceive spatial relationships, especially distances between objects, in three dimensions.
In everyday life, practice sighting of objects at a distance, such as reading car license numbers, road signs, billboards; on the fairway, practice locating flagstick, reading what is on the flag. Regular visual practice enhances your visual depth perception, which is critical to your accurately locating the target at a distance. Your spatial perception is particularly important in senior golf.
Eye fatigue can create tension in your facial muscles, which may have a rippling effect on the rest of your body, resulting in overall fatigue late in the final holes.
· Exercising your facial muscles, such as opening your mouth wide
· Breathing deeply through your mouth
· Practicing some eye exercises on the fairway.
Eye exercises for healthy vision
If you can spend hours on the fairway, there is no reason why you should not take a two-to-three minute break each hour to perform some eye exercises to enhance your vision, which is an important aspect of the sport.
Dobasic eye exercise everyday, if not on the fairway, between rounds:
· Consciously breathe in through your nose, and breathe out through your mouth to bring more oxygen to your eyes, as well as to reduce stress on your vision.
· As you breathe in through your nose, let your shoulders remain down and loose to allow as much oxygen as possible to fill up your lungs.
· As you breathe out through your mouth, push out as much as possible the carbon dioxide from the bottom of your lungs, feeling your stomach and chest flatten out gradually.
It is important that you do not force yourself to inhale; instead, wait for your natural impulse to breathe in again.
Repeat the process until your breathing becomes a natural rhythm. Concentrate your mind on only breathing and nothing else.
· Meanwhile, let your eyelids droop until they gently close. Your eyes should be unfocused and your eye muscles relaxed. Slightly open your mouth, while dropping your jaw.
· Continue breathing for a few minutes with your eyes closed.
· When you re-open your eyes, do not immediately focus on anything in particular.
· Blink your eyes repeatedly to soothe and moisturize your eyes.
· Smile broadly and hold for five seconds to remove any tension you might be holding in your eyes.
Do palming exercise everyday:
This exercise, done without your eyeglasses or contact lenses, aims at reducing stress around your eyes through increased circulation.
· Consciously breathe in through your nose and breath out through you mouth until you attain a natural rhythm.
· Lean forward with your elbows resting on a table.
· Close your eyes gently.
· Now, place the palm of your left hand over your left eye, with fingers on your forehead, and the heel of your hand resting on your cheek-bones, but without letting your palm actually touch your eye.
· Then, place your right hand over your right eye with your right fingers crossing over the left fingers from your left hand.
· Now, place the palms over your eyes but without touching them, thereby enabling you to focus on relaxing your mind and eyes simultaneously.
Do figure “8”exercise as often as required: This exercise aims at increasing the flexibility of your eye muscles in a relaxed way.
· Consciously breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth until you attain a natural rhythm.
· Sit in a relaxed posture.
· Imagine a figure “8” in the distance.
· Let your eyes trace along the imaginary figure without moving your head. First, trace it in one direction, and then in the opposite direction.
Eye massage for healthy vision
Massage is beneficial in its effects upon all parts of the body. The nerves are stimulated, the blood stirred into greater and more active circulation, and the muscles and tissues generally stimulated into more vigorous life.
“Rub the eye”
· Apply and press the heel of your left palm against your left eye.
· With gentle pressure, massage with a twisting movement your eye with your palm.
· Meanwhile, contract and relax your eyelid muscles.
· Repeat with your right palm against your right eye.
· Place the thumb and forefinger upon the upper and lower left eyelids of your eye.
· Massage the eye by gently pressing the thumb and forefinger against each other.
· Repeat with the other eye.
“Upward and downward massage”
· Place two fingers, one on each side of the eyeball.
· Make a gentle upward movement with one hand, and a downward movement with the other.
· Massage without using any pressure.
· Repeat with the other eye.
Eye exercises play an important role in improving your vision, which directly affects how you aim at your target. Eye exercises compensate for the loss of vision due to aging, and thus improving your performance in senior golf.
As you age, golf nutrition becomes more significant in that it affects your strength, endurance, and concentration.
In senior golf, if you desire the same measure of strength, flexibility, concentration, and mental astuteness throughout all 18 holes with consistency, you must focus on your diet. After all, you are what you eat, and most golfers are habitually bad eaters.
Bad diet means bad scores.
Most golfers start off with their donuts and coffees, or egg and sausage biscuits, interspersed with candy bars, crackers, and a bottle of beer. Then at the 19th hole, they go for burgers, chips and fries.
For more information on nutrition, go to Golf Nutrition.
Nutrition should play a more critical role in senior golf. Learn to control and maintain a healthy diet for success in senior golf. Don't let age let you down.
If you still have food cravings, maybe you have an eating disorder -- which is not too uncommon.
Take care of your memory and take care of your game too.
As you continue to age, use your mind to make up for your physical weakness. How would you like to lower your golf score, without practicing, by at least 5 strokesin less than 30 minutes?
The Amazing Golf Mind system uses the latest technology in subliminal affirmations combined with brain wave states and relaxation techniques. It's a combination of the most powerful mental techniques that Tiger and the top tour players use. Tiger is said to use subliminal affirmation ever since he was 13.