How to Prepare for a Game of Golf

Golf isn’t a fast-paced sport, but it still requires a lot of focus and energy to tread through the day.

On average, a game of golf takes about four hours to complete a course consisting of 18 holes. It can be exhausting playing golf and being outside all day, so make sure you are prepared for it. There are many ways to prepare yourself before a game including packing essential items for the day and fitting in a quick stretch. Also, plan ahead and figure out how many calories you want to burn throughout the game – would you rather walk the course, or drive a golf cart?

Pack the Essentials:

  • Sunscreen – This is a necessity, especially if you plan on being outdoors for a long period of time. It is important to protect your skin from the sun, so you can avoid health conditions such as skin cancer. An SPF of 30 or higher is recommended as it will prevent about 97 percent of UV rays from hitting your skin.
  • Sunglasses – Sunglasses with UV protection are recommended when you are outside under the sun. UV rays can damage your eyes with too much exposure, so it is crucial to keep them protected. For example, UV rays can potentially cause cataracts, a growth called Pterygium and a corneal sunburn called Photokeratitis.
  • Hat – A hat is not required when you are outside, especially if you’re already wearing sunscreen, but it can still protect you from the sun. If you decide to wear a hat, choose one with a wide brim, such as a bucket hat, to protect more of your face.
  • Golf clubs – I’m guessing you can’t play golf without your lucky golf clubs, so don’t leave them at home!
  • Water – This can’t be said enough, so please don’t forget a bottle of water. It is important to stay hydrated during a long day out in the sunshine because water is key to your body functioning and maintaining its temperature.
  • Snacks – Food is crucial to keeping a high level of sustained energy. A few snacks that will keep your energy up are berries, nuts, veggies and whole grains. Make some homemade energy balls and pack them for a quick pick-me-up when you need it.
  • Umbrella – You can never be too prepared! If it starts raining in the middle of the game, then an umbrella will come in handy.

Don’t Forget to Stretch:

  • Shoulders – Pull your right arm straight across your body and hold it at the elbow to stretch your shoulder. Repeat on the opposite arm.
  • Triceps – Hold your right elbow and pull it over your head until you feel the stretch in your triceps. Repeat this on the opposite arm as well.
  • Calves – Find the closest wall or tree and push against it with both hands while you adjust your stance to stand in a lounge. Keep your toes facing the wall, with your back leg straight and front leg bent, so you feel a stretch in your back calf. Switch the placement of your feet and repeat this stretch.
  • Quadriceps – Grab your right foot/ankle and pull it close to your hamstring. For the best stretch, try and keep your knees together. Repeat this with the other leg.

How Many Calories Do You Want to Burn?

To increase the intensity of your workout during the game, walk the course instead of driving a golf cart. The following is the average amount of calories burned for someone who weighs about 175 pounds:

  • Walking 9 holes and carrying your golf bag – about 725 calories
  • Walking 9 holes and using a golf bag push cart – about 685 calories
  • Walking 9 holes and having a caddie carry your bag – about 620 calories
  • Riding in a golf cart for 9 holes – about 410 calories

It is important to be prepared when you plan on being outside for a long period of time. Be sure to keep your body healthy and protected while you are playing golf. Also, have a game plan and figure out how intense of a workout you want to obtain as you move through the course. These are just a few suggestions to help you prepare for a game out in the sun.

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Photo credit: Fancycrave.com

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