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  • Writer's pictureGregory D. Hamilton

Improve Your Game

Workouts Improve Outdoor Sports Performance

Golfing, tennis, running and other outdoor sports are just as important later in life as they were in our 20s, 30s, and 40s.

You still want a strong drive on the golf course, a good serve in tennis, and the stamina to enjoy a run.

Golfers Are Looking Stronger

Have you noticed how fit PGA golfers tend to be these days? It’s true even for one legend in his 60s, Greg Norman.

“I don’t work out to be ego-fit. I work out to be life-fit,” says Norman, who refers to his fitness as a “15th club in my bag.”

Focus on core, mobility, and flexibility, says current star Justin Thomas. He works to stabilize muscles in his abdomen, back, hips, and glutes – key for powerful swings and proper alignment.

That’s right: Gym time adds yard to your drives.

‘Changes in My Body Were Starting’

Millions of people around the world play tennis regularly, of all ages. They even like to call it “The Sport of a Lifetime.”

It can add a decade to your life, says a study reported by the Mayo Clinic. That’s a greater gain than from cycling, swimming, or running. “Once I hit 50, I could tell changes in my body were starting to happen – and that made me more determined to make sure I stay active,” says Brooke Kline, 53, an educator. So, Brooke altered his gym workouts to focus on strength, mobility, and speed. Tennis is also fun and social, and it offers these benefits, according to Tennis Canada:

  • Better balance, coordination, and agility

  • Increased brain power

  • Weight control

  • Better stamina

Runners Need Strength, Too

Resistance training has been gaining traction among elite runners partly because humans lose muscle mass starting in midlife.

“My runners that are around 60 might only run three to four days a week and spend the rest of their training time in the gym,” Masters running coach and former Olympian John Henwood told Outside magazine.

He also says mature runners should use cardio equipment at the gym, like elliptical machines and stair climbers.

A running-only focus can leave you lacking flexibility and functional diversity that keeps you better able to handle daily life.

“The more different things you do, the more of an athlete you inherently are,” says physical therapist and author Jay Dicharry.

That’s true for newer activities, like Nordic walking and pickleball.

Nordic walking is basically just walking with ski poles in your hands, which makes it a good upper-body workout. It’s low impact and easy on the joints.

And pickleball is taking over the world. It’s like a cross between tennis and ping pong, and it’s particularly popular among people over 50.

Outdoor sports are fun, social, and good exercise. And working out right helps you enjoy them even more!

There’s a lot you can do to improve your game out there. Let me help you make sure you’re in top shape to enjoy any outdoor activity.

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