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5 Tips for Back-Healthy Golfing

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The next time you head out on the course – whether you’re a seasoned pro or a golf newbie – there are plenty of things to keep in mind. While golf is known for its ability to provide relaxation and some much needed outdoor time, if done incorrectly, it can also cause a number of back-related injuries. Such as sore muscles, a spine that’s out of whack, and more. (Especially when this “wrong” approach is used on a regular basis.) When golfing, everything from stance, to swing, to the way you hold your neck can greatly affect your game. And while it’s always great to lower your score, there are also other things that can be affected. Such as your back health.

Swinging incorrectly – or in a way that’s unnatural for the body – can not only cause an injury, but lead to continual back pain. But just by being aware of the potential dangers associated with improper stance, tight muscles, etc., you can easily work toward a game routine that keeps all of your muscles firmly in check. (And free from any sudden sport-related injuries.)

5. Talk to your doctor

Whether you have an injury that needs tending to or just want their approval before heading out on the course, talk to your doctor about your physical activities. (Yes, even golf, a seemingly low-key activity.) He or she might tell you areas (or muscles) to avoid moving too quickly, while giving pointers on stretching or trigger spots you should rest later on.

4. Stretch

Though golfing might seem like an easygoing sport – at least as far as physical exertion goes – it actually works your muscles harder than you think. The back and legs are often worked in unexpected ways, and stretching before or after your game (or both) will ensure they’re prepped and ready for any impending activities.

3. Swing smarter, not harder

One of the many misconceptions of golf is that you must hit the ball harder in order to get it to go farther. And while the theory behind this might make sense, it’s not necessarily the case. Especially when a hard swing means tense back muscles and sudden jarring movements. Instead, work on a more fluid swing that flows through the ball rather than at it. (You can also talk to a golf pro or look up YouTube videos on how to create a better swing.)

Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find a stance that feels best for your back, without hurting your game.

2. Practice!

For those who never golf, an intermittent round or two can leave you with extremely sore muscles. Because they’re rarely used, suddenly engaging these body parts for a few hours at a time leads to painful and jarring swings. However, by golfing on a regular basis (or using these same muscles in another way) you can strengthen them up and leave yourself ready for any number of impromptu golf games. No matter how far apart they may be.

1. Stay hydrated

To reduce soreness, consider drinking an extra glass (or two) of water during your golf game. Gatorade or another vitamin-rich beverage will also help your body stay healthy throughout a day of outdoor activities. (Especially if alcohol is being consumed or you’re golfing in extremely hot weather.) Water is a great way to keep your muscles hydrated both during and after the main event.

No matter your level of golfing experience, there are a number of steps that can help make you healthier both during and after each game. Remember the above each time you plan a trip out on the course. 

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