If you want to be at your best on the golf course – both physically and mentally – you need to ensure you take care of your body and follow a healthy eating regime providing plenty of vitamins, minerals and essential omegas. It really isn’t difficult to do this and once you start, you’ll notice a difference in your energy levels and general well-being. Keeping fit (excluding your time on the golf course) is just as important as following a healthy diet. Being clear -headed and fit will ensure your golfing skills are the best that they can be.
1. Stay hydrated.
Water is the safest and healthiest option of all fluids. It has no calories or sugars which can damage teeth. Buying a water bottle and keeping it close by will ensure you keep your fluids topped up. It’s amazing how the more water you drink, the more you crave it. Honestly! Try it. (remember drinking coffee, alcohol does not count towards the 8×8 rule – 8 ounces of water 8 times a day).
2. Eat 5 a day – Fruit or Veg.
We all know this. It’s better to eat more veg than fruit if you can, purely down to the sugar (natural levels), but don’t get too hung up on that. There are loads of great healthy recipe books to choose from these days, providing nutritional contents per recipe. If you’re not keen on cooking or you’re simply not a fan or fruit and vegetables why not try making your own juice or smoothie. To be honest, these are the perfect solution for me, as I know I’m getting everything I need in a drink – quick and easy. I have a Ninja and I love it. There are numerous different brands to choose from and you don’t have to spend a fortune. As always, you do tend to get what you pay for, so if you want a faster speed -to break up any bits to provide a smooth drink – you may have to increase your budget slightly. You can mix fruit and veg to create great drinks that don’t taste bitter or too sweet. Buying your own super-speed blender is definitely a great investment. Get in the habit of making them most mornings or throughout the day. You can also add protein powder and super-greens in powdered form to ensure you are getting those vital anti-oxidants. Lots of people believe in the power of the probiotic, so you could always add one of these as well.
We need protein in our diet. It is vital to ensure your body can repair itself and it also provides vitamins and minerals essential to our health. Meat is the obvious choice for protein and is a great source of vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc and vitamin B’s. When buying red meat, always opt for lean cuts and cut any fat off before cooking. Turkey is often cheaper and has a higher protein/lower fat content than chicken. Fish is a very important source of protein and you should opt for at least two portions a week. Oily fish, such as salmon are particularly rich in omega-3 acids – great for the brain!. If you prefer not to eat meat, eggs and pulses (including beans, nuts and seeds) are a great alternative. You can add seeds to any smoothies you may make, breads, cereals and salads.
4. Eat less saturated fat and sugar.
Firstly, cut out all fizzy drinks with sugar in and reduce the amount of unhealthy snacks you eat. Eating refined sugar gives you and instant energy rush, but that energy soon drops leaving you feeling empty and sometimes a bit grumpy! It’s also very bad for your teeth. It’s better to eat food that will leave you feeling more satisfied after eating. As you know, saturated fat is not good for cholesterol levels and can increase the risk of heart disease. Full fat cheese, lard, cream and butter should be eaten in moderation and lower fat alternatives adopted.
5. Starchy Foods
These are a very important part of your diet, providing huge energy levels, fibre and vitamins. Rice and pasta are great sources of this. Aim for brown basmati rice, if you can, as it has a lower GI level and wholewheat pasta contains more fibre and vitamins than it’s white counterpart. In fact, always eat “whole” over white or brown, rice/pasta/bread. Seeded bread is a great choice for your toast or accompaniment to a meal. You should be eating starchy food every day.
6. Milk and Dairy Foods
Such as cheese and yoghurts have a high calcium content, which keeps your bones healthy. They are also good sources of protein. Use semi-skimmed, 1% or skimmed milk as well as lower fat hard cheeses or cottage cheese. If you don’t eat dairy, soya milks, yoghurts and cheeses are a great alternative. Aim to consumer one form from this food group at least once a day.
7. Vitamins and Minerals
Although you should be able to obtain all the vitamins and minerals required from a healthy diet, there are times when you may feel you need a pick-me-up, especially if you have be ill or have been excluding particular food group. Nutritionist tend to recommend any diet excluding a particular food group should include some sort of vitamins and mineral supplement.
You should be exercising at least 3 times a week, for 20 minutes to get your heart rate up. This could be by swimming, running, taking an exercise class or going for a brief walk. Aerobic exercise is what you should be aiming for. You could invest in your own running machine or rowing machine as an encouragement to get that heart rate up!
We all live such busy lives these days, it’s hard to take time our to rest and relax during the day. Taking time out for your self, either by reading, meditating, doing yoga or even having a long bath is very important for your general well-being. Relaxing during the day helps us to decrease any stress levels we may have and therefore clear our minds. A clear mind acts like sponge when given new information.
10. More Play
Being the best that you can be with your game play will only come about if you include the above 9 points of information. Now you need to play more golf. More golf means more practise. If your body and mind are healthy then you’ll find you can and focus better on improving your skills. Your energy levels will be high and your mind clear. Without the latter your simply will not reach your full potential.
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