Healthy Living for Healthy Golf

Healthy living is important to good golfing and a good life. I would like to add some comments from sources around town who are involved in exercise and healthy living.

My Sunday golfing partner owns the local "Curves" at The Pebblebrooke Center-15215 Collier Blvd.- Naples, Florida and she has given me permission to print the newsletters which contain nutritional recipes and methods to stay healthy. Gail is taking a nutrition course at Edison College, and she would like to share this knowledge with all her and my friends.

Along with the nutritional and other health information, I have incorporated some necessary fitness programs for golfers, who don't want to spend hours at the gym.

The Mayo Clinic on Skin Care:

5 tips for healthy skin

Proper skin care can delay the natural aging process and prevent many skin problems.

Don't have time for intensive skin care? Pamper yourself with the basics. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay the natural aging process and prevent many skin problems. Get started with these five no-nonsense tips.

1. Protect yourself from the sun

The most important way to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, freckles, age spots and rough, dry skin. Sun exposure can also cause more-serious problems, such as skin cancer. For the most complete sun protection:

  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun's rays are the strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. You might also opt for special sun-protective clothing, which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays while keeping you cool and comfortable.
  • Use sunscreen when you're in the sun. Apply generous amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, after heavy sweating or after being in water.

2. Don't smoke

Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients, such as vitamin A, that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — may contribute to wrinkles.

If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.

3. Treat your skin gently

Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin, so keep it gentle:

  • Limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm — rather than hot — water.
  • Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild cleansers.
  • Shave carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
  • Pat dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
  • Moisturize dry skin. Find a moisturizer that fits your skin type and makes your skin look and feel soft.

4. Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between diet and acne isn't clear — but research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in fats and carbohydrates may promote younger looking skin.

5. Manage stress

Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — takes steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results may be more dramatic than you expect.

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Want to swing faster and drive farther?

An important foundation of your swing is your upper-body strength. Working on it as much as you would every other part of the game will soon have you outdriving and outplaying your competitors.

The stronger you are, the more arc width you can create in your swing, which means you can carry the ball farther and place more often where you want. A study by the National Strength & Conditioning Association tells us amateur golfers increased their mean club head speed by 5 miles per hour and their driving power by 6%.

You will see your ball striking improve, you will be able to hit down on the ball with your irons instead of using a sweeping motion, because your arms, hands and shoulders will be stronger. You will also become less injury prone. The stronger your muscles are, the less stress you will have on your shoulders, elbows and wrists.

Jodi Kraus and Cindy Reid designed a program for your key upper-body muscles. You will only have to do these exercises 2 to 3 times a week with only 8 to 12 repetitions per set. You will need 3- to 10-pound dumbbells.

  1. SHOULDER PRESS: Sit tall on a chair or bence, holding a weight in each hand. Start with the weights in front of your shoulders, palms facing in, elbows close to your ribs. In a smooth, controlled motion, straighten your arms overhead, exhaling as you push up. Slowly lower the weights and repeat.
  2. LATERAL CURL: Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one weight in your right hand by your outer thigh, palm facing back, and the other weight in your left hand by your left hip. Bend your right elbow, exhaling as you lift the weight across your torso toward your left shoulder. Hold this position briefly, then slowly lower the weight and repeat the motion. Switch sides and repeat.
  3. CHEST PRESS: Lie on your back on a bench, holding a weight in each hand, palms facing in. Bend and lower your elbows out to the sides, dropping them just below the bench. As you exhale, straighten your arms, pushing the weights directly over your chest. Lower slowly, then repeat.
  4. WRIST FLEXION; Stand holding a golf club parallel to the floor in your right hand, palm facing in, club head pointed forward. Keeping your arm straight, flex your wrist and raise the club head toward your shoulder. Return to start. Then flex your wrist in the other direction, lowering the club head toward the floor. Return to start position, and repeat. Switch sides and repeat.
  5. WRIST ROTATION: Stand holding a golf club vertically, club head up, in your right hand, palm facing in, with your right elbow bent 90 degrees and close to your ribs. Holding your elbow in this position, slowly rotate your palm clockwise. Return to start. Then rotate your palm counterclockwise. Return to start position, and repeat. Switch sides and repeat.
  6. TRICEPS KICKBACK: Stand holding a weight in each hand, with your left leg back and right leg forward, right knee bent (knee should not extend past toes). Lean forward slightly, resting your right hand on right thigh and your left hand by left hip, palm facing in. Keeping your upper arm still, extend your left arm back and turn your left palm toward the ceiling. Holf, then return to start and repeat. Switch sides and repeat.
  7. LAT PULLOVER: Lie back on a bench, knees bent, feet flat. Hold one weight with both hands and slowly lower it behind your head, elbows bent and pointing up, not out. Pull the weight over your head, bringing upper arms forward and down toward the bench, keeping your arms bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position briefly, then return to start and repeat. Do not arch your lower back at any time during the move.

and a little heavy lifting never hurts anyone:


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Fitness for Golf


Do you fail to actually take the time to warm up-and I don’t mean hitting balls at the practice range? It is important to warm up your body before you start in any activity. We fail to stretch before we even get to the practice range. David Donatucci, associate director at IMG sports academies in Bradenton, FL, suggest some exercises for our shoulders. He reminds us to not hold any one position-”that’s not how a golf swing works, it’s a smooth back-and-through movement.”

  • SHOULDER ROTATION: Lift a club with your right hand and with your right arm in an L shape (right angle) hold the club behind your upper arm. With your left arm, reach around your front to grasp the bottom of the club. Pull the club forward with your left hand, which in turn will pull your right arm back. Your right elbow should remain in place. Return to staring position and repeat 6 to 8 times on each side. (See below).

  • SHOULDER AND CHEST STRETCH: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, grasping the opposite ends of a driver held at waist level in front of you. (The farther apart your hands on the club, the easier the exercise.) Without bending your elbows, raise the club high above your head. Continue taking the club all the way back, keeping your arms as straight as possible. Return to your starting position in the manner. Repeat 6 to 8 times.

Be ready to go out and hit some balls:

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Stina Sternberg is a former member of the Swedish PGA's teaching division and a professional clubfitter. I ran across this article in the January/February 2003 issue of Golf for Women magazine. It still is relevant today, six years later.

A reader posed this question:

I am very fit but still find it hard to keep up my energy when walking 18 holes--I start dragging around the 14th. What do you suggest I eat as a pre-round breakfast and as a snack to keep my energy up?

Golf nutrition experts may have different opinions about what to eat before and during a round, but all agree that nothing is as important to maintaining energy as drinking a lot of water. Seventy-five percent of your muscle tissue is water, and if you lose as little as 2% from dehydration, you will feel tired. So whether you are thirsty or not, make sure you drink 12 to 16 ounces of water before your round, and three to six ounces every other hole. As far as food goes, eat a balanced, energy-sustaining breakfast such as a bagel with low-fat deli meats, oatmeal or low-sugar cereal about 30 minutes to an hour before your round. During the round, stick to pretzels, energy bars with an equal amount of protein and carbs, and fruit. Stay away from energy drinks, sodas and artificially sweetened snacks--they will give you a quick boost, but then your blood sugar levels will crash. If you do this and still find yourself dragging on the 14th hole, keep in mind that riding a cart is not a crime. The important thing is to have fun and feel good on the course.

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Do you find yourself in an energy slump when you make the turn? Everyone seems to hit a wall, where your muscles go weak and your brain may get a little fuzzy.

The major reason for this occurrence is the body has run low on a key ingredient it needs to perform at its best. Muscles and cells need carbs to keep them going, but if you don’t eat, or eat the wrong things, you are not doing your body justice.

Blood sugar will fluctuate during a round of four hours, Heidi Skolnik (advisor to the New York Giants and the American Ballet) warns us. We may not be burning a load of calories, but golf is mentally tasking.

Along with eating the right foods you have to eat them at the right times.

Here is a good routine to follow:

  • Holes 1-3: Pre-Round-Eat a nutrient rich breakfast an hour before you tee off. Leave out the bacon and go with complex carbs and protein. You could cook up two egg whites with some whole wheat toast or have some oatmeal with wheat germ and chopped walnuts. Remember to take lots of water.
  • Holes 4-7: Snack #1-You may want a fig bar or a small apple and a handful of nuts. A half a banana or crackers with peanut butter, will do. At the 5th drink a half cup of a sports drink boost your electrolytes. My pharmacist suggested Pedicare, and I found some strips of it that dissolve on your tongue. When I feel a low coming I just pop a couple onto my tongue.
  • Holes 8-11: At the turn-If you had a good pre-round meal and had your snack and consumed enough water, you won’t be tempt
  • Holes 16-18: Post Round-Have a sensible meal with a little salt to restore your sodium levels. Your foods should be rich in vitamins A, C and E to help repair muscles and fight inflammation.
  • Holes 12-15: Snack #2-You might like some frozen grapes: They get crunchy as they defrost and taste cool. Some trail mix with Wheat Chex, peanuts and air-popped pop corn would keep you going. Another half up of sports drink will keep your pump going.

Stay away from processed sugars, they may give you a quick boost, but you will crash just as quickly. Bananas are high in potassium and even though they may have a high sugar content, you will be safer eating on them than a candy bar.

Your body needs protein, but be careful where you get it. Meats will sit in your stomach and actually drain you of energy because they pull blood from the rest of your body to digest those meats. Nuts are an excellent source of protein. ed to snack with a hot dog or something else that will just bring your energy level down.

You might want to try this: (especially if you are in Naples, FL during the summer)

Try to conserve energy on the golf course with taking fewer practice swings. If you take more than 2 practice swings, and you shoot in the 80s or 90s, you are adding 100’s of extra swings per an 18 hole round. You can try walking to your ball and hitting it without taking a single practice shot. You will find yourself conserving energy and playing faster as an additional benefit. On your short-game it is a good idea to take a practice swing to get a feel for the you may need, they are much more trickier than a long club would be.


"To Detox or not to Detox"

Many people have read or heard information about the “importance of detoxing or completely cleaning out the GI system” on a regular basis. The colon is the last portion of the intestine, also called the large bowel or the large intestine. It’s a muscular organ, designed to collect all the solid waste matter of digestion that hasn’t been absorbed and assimilated by the body and excrete it. It also reabsorbs water, part of the natural conservation system. As a muscular organ, the colon has “motility” or movement. It is designed to propel the increasingly solid waste or “stool” from the cecum (which is where the small intestine meets the large), to the rectum where the now formed waste is excreted. There are natural bacteria in the colon which help further breakdown the “stool”, but also “good” bacteria that protect the lining of the colon; these are kept in a natural balance by a good diet and regular elimination. A diet rich in fiber, whole wheat, oats, barley grains and fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water (6-8 glasses daily), keep most people regular. Some antibiotics can kill off natural colonic bacteria which van cause diarrhea. There are some people who have constipation. These people need to add a daily fiber supplement like Citrucel or Benefiber plus additional water to their diets. The idea of everyone “having” to have a bowel movement “every day” is a fallacy.

Now we get to the old and now-recurring fad of detoxing. When someone frequently uses laxatives or detox teas or daily enemas or any other method of bowel stimulant, the colon wall and muscle is affected. This can lead to a “lazy” colon which then looses the ability to contract and propel waste on its own; this is called laxative dependency and its also true of most so-called detox products. If you can’t move your bowels at least 3 times a week on your own with a fiber-rich diet, plenty of water, and daily exercise then you need to consult a doctor. Totally emptying your colon may feel great; make you loose some temporary weight, and decrease bloating, but over a period of time can permanently ruin your body’s ability to empty on its own. If you insist on detoxing read all the ingredients listed on the preparation to decide if it may interfere with drugs you already are taking and beware of Senna. Senna is a “natural” laxative, which over a long period of use can permanently color the normally pink lining of the colon, turning it dark brown or black. This condition, melanosis coli, can prevent a doctor from seeing abnormal growths during a colonoscopy.

Remember that healthy diet, water and daily exercise are the best and most natural way to keep your intestines healthy.

Member Tip, from Julie:

A Holistic Method to Preventing Swine Flu (H1N1 virus)

It is almost impossible not to come into contact with H1N1. The flu will enter through the nostrils and mouth/throat. To prevent from getting the flu try the following:

  1. Practice frequent hand washing.
  2. Resist all temptation to touch your face
  3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water, use Listerine if you don’t salt. H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate. Simple gargling prevents proliferation.
  4. Clean nostrils once a day with salt water. Blow your nose and swab both nostrils with Q-tips dipped in salt water.
  5. Boost your immune systems with food rich in vitamin C. Eat lots of citrus fruits, if you have a supplement, make sure it also has zinc to boost absorption
  6. Drink as much warm liquids, like tea and coffee, as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do can do no harm.

My goodness Gail, this was a very informative month. Please keep up the good work.

Gail's August Newsletter:

What you do after your workout is as important as the workout. Cool down for a few minutes getting your heart rate down and stretch, then stretch again. Sway committed to stretching after your workouts and walking. After a workout, muscles contract, stretching prevents them from shrinking. It allows your muscles to rebuild and grow stronger. Stretching relaxes your muscles, and helps speed circulation to joints and tissues reducing muscle soreness and stiffness. Drink water after a work out and walking, this is critical to replenish your fluid levels. It is recommended to drink a least 3 cups of water within 2 hours of your workout. Even if you are not thirsty, drinking water will keep you hydrated and keep those wrinkles away. Next is eating after a workout, you have not only burned calories but you have lost carbs (yeah!, my insert) you have actually torn your muscles. You need to repair muscles and boost your energy level and you need to do it fast. It is recommended you eat within 90 minutes of your workout, the sooner the better. Look for foods that are packed with complex carbs and high in protein. A good example would be a tuna sandwich on a whole grain bread. The carbs will reenergize you while slowly turning into calories, but you have plenty of time to burn them before they turn into fat. The protein helps repair your muscles so they grow stronger while your body rests until your next workout.

Wake up naturally to a more energized day. Afternoon energy levels can be predicted by what you did when you first woke up. A frantic start can zap your energy levels later in the day. Low energy zaps creativity, spontaneity, concentration and motivation, not to mention the irritability and stress it creates.

According to researchers at Duke, both sudden activity and caffeine kick-up your blood pressure and stress hormones, giving you a feeling of alertness and energy, but they are short lived and lead to a crash.

Instead of waking up to an infuriating alarm, try to wake up to music. Take deep breaths while stretching out your limbs from your fingers to your toes. Think of a positive activity . If dark out, turn on lots of lights. If sunny, go outside for a few minutes. The sun will wake you up and energize you. Do 5 minutes of easy activity. Eat a breakfast high in protein, fiber and good carbs. It may be tough at first, but getting up at the same time every morning makes it easier to set a sleep cycle that won’t make you feel tired in the afternoon.

To keep your bones healthy, reduce your sodium intake. Increased sodium in the blood can cause your body to compensate by pulling more calcium from your bones to maintain balance. Eat your veggies. In addition to calcium, many fruits and veggies contain potassium. This mineral helps decrease calcium excretion. Too much protein can weaken bones, so be careful. Getting 10 minutes of sun, a few times a week without sunscreen can boost vitamin D.

Recipe of the Month:

Crunchy Zucchini Rounds with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Prep time: 15 min.Servings: 8

2 zucchini

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp fresh ground pepper

2 oz sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) (about 24)

3 oz goat cheese

2 tbs chopped fresh chives

2 tbs evoo (extra virgin olive oil)

Slice zucchini into ¼ inch thick rounds (24 slices)Lay zucchini on platter, season with salt and pepperPlace sun-dried tomato on each slice, top with goat cheeseSprinkle tops with chives and drizzle with evoo

Calories 86; Fat 7g; carbs 4g; protein 3g; sugar 1g; fiber 1g; sodium 103mg; calcium 27mg

When in Naples, Fl don’t forget to stop by Curves and say hello to Gail @ 15215 Collier Blvd. @ the Pebblebrook Shopping Center

Second Quarter Newsletter 2009 – Pebblebrooke Center - Naples, Florida
Message from Gail-

I know all of you know the Curves workout is good for your heart, your bones and your joints. But did you know, it can also lessen dementia associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It can prevent diabetes, and its’ common complications like kidney and eye damage. It can also reduce the risk for some cancers, including breast, colon and pancreas. It can also reduce menstrual cramps.

Exercise works by improving blood flow, reducing inflammation and promoting weight loss. Just reducing body fat hinders the production of hormones like estrogen that feed cancerous tumors.

The American College of Sports Medicine has taken the exercise/wellness connection literally, and recently launched an initiative called “Exercise is Medicine.” The goal is to get all doctors to prescribe exercise for their patients.

To reap the benefits, you should exercise at least 30 minutes, four days a week. Besides your Curves workout, walk and breathe in the fresh air. You’ll be adding Vitamin D to your diet as well.

To sum up, exercise improves memory, self-esteem, eases depression and elevates your mood. It clears artery-clogging plaque to strengthen your heart. It increases lung capacity and improves breathing. It relieves back pain, arthritis and improves posture. It builds muscle strength and wards off osteoporosis. My personal favorite it increases oxygen and blood flow to the skin for younger looking skin, and IT INCREASES YOUR SEX DRIVE.

Many times our Curves conversations lead to a food discussion or a recipe exchange.  Some of our creative gourmet members have shared wonderful recipes which have been printed in our newsletter. 

In the past, I have endorsed some foods that I feel are very important to our health and well being.  I'll list them again to refresh your shopping list:  spinach, yogurt, tomato, carrots, blueberries, black beans, walnuts and oats.  If you want a full explanation of all these foods, check out the Eat This Not That (club copy) book.

Now get ready girls!  Some new additions from Fitness Magazine make my: EAT WELL, FEEL SWELL list:

  1. I know Maggie won't like the first one: a good cut of BEEF.  Look for cuts that are labeled "round" or "loin" and make sure it is 100% grass-fed.
  3. Next is CURRY, the spice of life.  Researchers say that curry has been known to stop the growth of some breast and colon cancers and destroy their cells.
  5. Also consider using pure turmeric powder.  It's supposed to break up plaque that causes Alzheimer's disease.
  7. PISTACHIOS may reduce the risk of diabetes by slowing the effect of carbs on your blood sugar level.  Get the salt-free kind still in the shell and really work for your snack!
  9. We offer the best COFFEE in town, and it is said to increase antioxidants in your blood.  So, join us for some joe, and lower your risk for diabetes, Alzheimer's, cancer (liver&colon), and Parkinson's.
  11. No more associating SHRIMP with high cholesterol.  It's trans fat (in other foods) that can spike those levels.  One cup of shrimp can raise your good cholesterol, with a veggie.
  13. OK, muscle pain?  Try some tart CHERRIES.  Drink them, eat them fresh, dried or frozen.  You can also dip those cherries in some DARK CHOCOLATE to prevent heart disease and clogged arteries.  The recommended dose is 3.6 oz daily, making sure it is at least 60% cocoa.  Try a calcium supplement made with the stuff.  Brilliant!!!!
  15. FYI, tomatoes and oats were repeated on this new list.
  So, maybe we should start there.  The challenge is to bring in your best recipe containing foods on the Eat Well, Feel Swell list.  Share and enjoy.  Share and enjoy your love for Curves with a friend. Do your workout, drink your water.  Keep it real.  Ellen 












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