Per recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), face masks are still required in health care settings. You must wear a mask while at a Middlesex Health facility regardless of whether you've been vaccinated.
“Golf requires a degree of flexibility and strength in a manner that is different from typical daily functioning,” says Brian Taber, a physical therapist and director of physical rehabilitation at Middlesex Health.
If you did not have the opportunity to play golf during the winter season, or if you do not already have a regular strength and flexibility routine, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start a strength or stretching program.
Stretching can improve your flexibility, which is important to maintain year-round. Flexibility is essential in golf and can help improve your golf swing and reduce injury.
Developing a strength program can also improve your game. Your strength when playing golf comes from all over your body, including your core.
“You may think of golf as an upper body sport, but the truth is your core and lower body strength is just as important as your upper body strength,” Taber says. “Core strength can often be what helps to push your game to the next level.”
The core is responsible for much of your body’s stability. Even with strong arms and legs, Taber says you still need a strong core.
With any sport, including golf, strengthening your muscles in the way that they are used when you play the sport will have greater benefits than general strength training. That being said, Taber says the importance of overall fitness should not be overlooked. For golf, overall fitness does not mean the same thing as it does for a runner or even a tennis player.
What to do to improve overall fitness
When it comes to overall fitness, you should prepare for a long duration golf game. Since the cardiovascular demands of golf are lower than some other sports, taking regular brisk walks will help get — and keep — you in shape.
Since golf courses vary in terrain — from flat ground to rolling hills, your walk should include the same. Start at a comfortable pace and increase your intensity and duration when you feel able.
What to do to improve strength
A full body strength program will impact your golf game the most. A routine like this does not have to be overly extensive or time consuming, and you can often develop a routine that you can do right in your own home with little or no equipment.
Remember to allow time for rest in between strength workouts. Consider having non-workout days, or alternate what exercises you do each day. For example, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, focus on strengthening your core. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, focus on your upper and lower body exercises.
If you are new to exercising, you may experience some muscle soreness as you begin, or increase, your workout. If you are starting an exercise program, it is important to talk with your medical provider, or a physical or occupational therapist.
Also, please note that exercising should not cause any lasting pain or discomfort. If you do experience pain, especially pain that remains after you’ve stopped exercising, you should stop exercising until you can talk to your medical provider or physical therapist.
Exercises to try
Bird Dog Targets your shoulder, hip and core
Start kneeling on all fours.
Reach your opposite arm and leg away from your body while keeping your core muscles engaged.
Make sure to reach rather than lift, working to keep your back straight and level.
Plank + Side Plank Targets your core
Position yourself on the floor so that you are balancing your body on your forearms and your toes.
Tighten your abdominal muscles and bring your body off the floor so your back is straight.
Hold this position while maintaining tight abdominal muscles.
Repeat facing both to the left and right.
Bird Dip (otherwise known as Hip Hinge)
Targets your core, hip and balance
Balance on one foot with your knee slightly bent.
Slowly lower yourself forward bending at the hips.
Keep your abdominal muscles tight and your back straight.
Once you reach forward to knee height, slowly return to the standing position.
Outdoor activities, such as golf, can increase your risk of exposure to deer tick bites, and those bites could result in Lyme disease. This is especially true in Connecticut, an area where there is a high risk of contracting Lyme disease.