Whether you’re a casual golf enthusiast or a pro golfer like me, you know how important it is to constantly work on your game. In my experience, there is also such a thing as too much practice. Unfortunately, constant practice can cause stress and strain. The key is to find the right balance between working to improve and nurturing your body to stay in shape, mentally and physically. These are the top five ways I stay in shape during a rigorous PGA Tour season. These may work for you, too.
5 Ways I Stay in Shape on Tour
Written by James Hahn
1. Create a routine and stick to it
Golf is a mental game, requiring discipline and a healthy mindset in order to perform at the highest level. I find that creating and following a routine each day is essential.
Regardless of how busy my Tour schedule gets, I always read, stretch, and spend time with my family. Reading helps occupy my mind and relieves stress. Stretching helps me relax and recover from a long day on the golf course. Spending time with my family helps me to stay in the moment and keeps me grounded as a husband and father.
2. Listen to your body
One of the most important things I’ve learned as a pro golfer is to listen to my body. I tend to get minor aches and pains in my lower back, shoulders, and arms. The solution that works best for me is a prescription pain patch called Licart (diclofenac epolamine) topical system 1.3%. I put the patch directly on my back or other areas that hurt, and I feel better quickly.
I’ve used a lot of anti-inflammatory medications in the past, mostly pills, creams, or ointments that I bought in the local pharmacy. They didn’t always work well, required multiple daily doses, and, in some cases, were messy and smelly. Some of these options also weren’t good for my body in the long term. With Licart, all you need to do is put it on once a day on the area that hurts. It’s convenient, fast, and easy to use. For me, it was a game changer.
Licart (diclofenac epolamine) topical system 1.3% is the first and only once-a-day topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat acute pain for 24 hours due to minor strains, sprains, and contusions. For Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning, visit www.Licart.com.
Additionally, I taught myself that it’s okay to take breaks when my mind and body need them. Even though Licart is great for treating my aches and pains, taking well-needed breaks is key to allowing myself to properly heal.
3. Stretch every day
Stretching every morning and before every round of golf is key for me. Specifically, stretching in the morning helps to relieve any tension or pain from sleeping the night before.
These stretches help me add power to my drive, improve my accuracy, and allow my body to have more stamina toward the end of my rounds:
- Core twists
- Knees to the chest
- Press ups
- Hamstring stretches
- Arm circles
- The cross-body elbow shoulder stretch
4. Use food as fuel
Consistently eating three meals per day helps me stay on top of my nutritional needs without overeating or eating recklessly. I always avoid fried foods and eat lots of grilled chicken and vegetables every chance I get. Of course, sometimes while on Tour I have limited options based on where I am, when I’m playing, and other factors out of my control. If my options for a particular meal aren’t the healthiest, I try to balance it out with two healthier, gluten-free and dairy-free meals for that day.
5. Get the sleep you need
A good night’s sleep is essential to good health and enhanced athletic performance. I try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night because my body works well within those parameters. Licart helps me there, too, by making sure I’m not tossing and turning with back or muscle pain or strain.
Those 5 tips help me stay at the top of my game while on Tour. Try them out for yourself and you can be at the top of your game, too – on and off the course.
If you suffer from acute aches and pains, I recommend that you speak with your physician to see if Licart is right for you.
James Hahn is a paid spokesperson and Licart patient.