Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

Junior Golf: This Cripples In Cool Weather

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take a look at 1 hidden hazard of playing golf in cool weather. This situation can show up with little or no warning and your daughter’s health and golf game will suffer.

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Dubai Golf

 

There are few things as pleasant as being on the golf course on a cool day. Temperatures in the 50’s warming into the 70’s make being outdoors feel like a million dollars. These pleasant temperatures are sneaky because in your enjoyment of the beautiful conditions you might tend to get out of your regular and hopefully, disciplined routine.

Living in South Texas we realize the effects of heat on an athlete and know what steps to take to keep our young golfers in proper condition to continue to play. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate are some of the most important words you can ever say to your girl/boy. In fact the last few sentences we would say to S3 as he was preparing to tee off would be something like, “Drink plenty of water, play well, we love you!” And we emphasized the water whether it was 35-degrees or 105-degrees.

Dehydration is more common than you would think in cool or cold weather because your daughter thinks she’s OK since she doesn’t feel hot. The air temperature is so very comfortable. Her body is losing water in a number of ways, but again, she’s just not noticing. This is not helpful for playing competitive golf. And if there’s any wind, are you kidding it’s always windy on the golf course, it’s just a question of how windy, she will lose moisture even faster.

While there are a number of symptoms of dehydration, today we will mention the 3 that are most likely to impact your girl during a round of golf. Being thirsty, feeling weak or being confused can certainly appear in any type of weather, but it sneaks up on your youngster when it’s cool or cold.

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How many times did we see S3 give us the thumbs up when we knew he wasn’t drinking enough water. Well, you can’t coach your kiddo during a tournament, so it is imperative that you repeat 1 million times for her to drink water continuously during a round of golf. Say it all the time, not just during golf-oriented activities. Say it until you see her checking, on her own, that she has a full water bottle in her bag before the start of her round. Parents please stay after this until it sinks in!

Meltdowns over the last few holes of a tournament are caused by many things and 2 of them are mental confusion and physical weakness, neither of which may your girl be aware of because they have not progressed to an extreme state. Nevertheless, it happens, it’s real. Please encourage her to believe that these thing may well be happening even though she believes she is feeling just fine. Sneaky and crippling, that’s what dehydration is!

Make drinking enough water a family mission. Everyone will benefit!

See you on #1 tee with a bottle of water… Sam

Junior Golf: 5 Tips For Better Sleep

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will continue our look at the serious importance of quality sleep and how to set your daughter and the rest of the family up with the best possibility of having a restful night’s sleep.img_0102

We’re offering 5 tips today and while there are more steps that can help with good sleep, these will get you off to a great start. Oh, and we’re not even talking about diet and food today! (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Cooler room equals better sleep. This has been known for many years and we put high importance on the temperature in our house. A solid rule of thumb is the best sleep occurs when the bedroom is 70-degrees F or below. Please, before you mention your utility bill, understand that we live in Texas and it’s hot more often than not. We consciously budget the increase in our electric bill to have our thermostat at 70 degrees several hours before bedtime and keep it there overnight. When we do need our heater, it’s set at 65-degrees so we wear more clothes. For many folks this is a budgeting issue. Please consider that good sleep, which means better health, is not cheap, but is doable with proper planning.

The bedroom should be dark, dark and dark. Ambient light of any kind can be detected by the subconscious and disrupt sleep. Also NO blue light numbers on clocks or electronic devices. Only red numerals are allowed.

No electronic devices within 3 feet of your/your daughter’s head. This includes everything, cell phones, iPads, radios, TVs, clocks, etc. The emissions from these items are not conducive to quality sleep. Do NOT let anyone fall asleep with the radio or TV on. The mind locks into the songs or programming and does not allow a good night’s sleep.

No adrenaline-producing activities within 2 hours of bedtime. This would include playing video games, watching/reading exciting shows or books, no office work/homework, and so on. You get my point. Winding down before going to bed is what we are striving for.

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Engage in regular exercise. This is likely not an issue with your junior golfer, but it may be with the rest of the family. Be certain to end all exercise, particularly strenuous exercise, at least 3 hours prior to bedtime. Make exercise a habit. Get into the structure of regular exercise and you will start seeing some sleep benefits in a month or so. And outside exercise where you can get some vitamin D is exceptionally good! Exercise is extremely important for everyone! (photo Omni Hotels)

The overriding principle here is that the bedroom should be a sanctuary, a place of peace and rest. Treat it as such. Help your daughter and the whole family incorporate habits that will help lead to a wonderful night’s sleep.

See you on #1 tee looking very well rested… Sam

Junior Golf: Better Sleep/Better Golf

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at how lack of enough quality sleep negatively impacts your son. Sleep deprivation and poor quality of sleep are widespread health issues among all ages all over the world. The facts are that better sleep equals better golf, better student and better overall health.image

In today’s fast-paced and exciting world it’s common to run across someone who wants to get by with 3 or 4 hours of sleep. They love life and have so many things they want to enjoy! Well, the studies show that only a very small percentage of the population can perform well on minimal sleep, usually meaning averaging less than 8 hours per night and I’ll tell you right now, it’s highly unlikely anyone in your family is included in this minuscule group. (photo jennleforge.com)

While the hours of sleep necessary can vary from infants to
pre-teens to teens to adults, a solid starting point is basically 8 to 9 hours of good sleep per night. Certainly right now some of you are saying, “No way! I don’t see that happening in our house.” (photo Trovati Faceplant Dreams)

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May I offer some data? Sleep deprivation may be associated with poor athletic performance, poor grades, decreased ability to learn and create, slowed reaction time, increased risk of depression, increased susceptibility to any number of health issues including diabetes, weight gain and blood pressure issues, a reduced ability to control emotions and responses and many many more. Folks this is real! (photo Phoenix, Tucson, Arizona golf images)

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Where do Mom and Dad start? Modifying your own sleep habits sets a good example. Your junior golfer will more likely do what you do and your proper example sets the standard for the whole family. Schedule a brief family meeting to review the new sleep times and how all will benefit. Be excited about it! Enough beneficial sleep is every bit as important as clean water, healthy food and exercise. It’s a big deal!

Back out the necessary times. When does everyone need to get up? If it’s 7:00am, have the kids in bed by 10:00pm for 9 hours of sleep. Grade schoolers were in bed by 8:30pm in our house and we worked our way up to 10:00pm for high school. Younger kids need more sleep. Parents, you’ll benefit too.

See you on #1 tee wide awake and rested… Sam

Junior Golf: No Artificial Sweeteners

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our look at the world of sweets. Congratulations on wanting to take control of your family’s health. This process is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires constant vigilance and a desire for more education. A critical step is controlling everyone’s sweet tooth and in our family part of that process is avoiding artificial sweeteners. No artificial sweeteners. (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106

The 3 most common are saccharin, aspartame and sucralose (Splenda). These are found in 1,000’s of food items, even in some canned vegetables and can be very difficult to find on the label because a number of different names are used to confuse us, the consumers. To help with the confusion factor, consider buying only products that have ingredients that you can pronounce or at least have some idea what they are and are fewer in number. When you see sugar or cane sugar on the label, it’s pretty clear where the “sweet” comes from. In the USA beet sugar is mostly made from genetically modified beets, GMO’s, so we never knowingly consume sugar from USA sugar beets.

Saccharin has been around forever, perhaps even 100 years. There was a time it received little negative press, but as research has become more sophisticated and our understanding of our body’s functions has increased, it has led our family to avoid it and other artificial items, especially artificial sweeteners.

Aspartame is everywhere, or at least it can seem like it! The 1st time I heard something negative about it was in the late 1980’s when an article in a Pilot’s magazine talked about an increasing number of pilots having headaches and other head issues. What they all had in common was they each drank 4 or more diet sodas per day. There are now 100’s of studies pointing out the potential harmful effects of consuming aspartame, including the possibility of pregnant women giving birth to an autistic child because of drinking diet sodas loaded with aspartame. (photo rawforbeauty.com)

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Splenda-sucralose is in 4,500 products so read labels carefully. While the clever advertising makes it sound relatively healthy, we do not consume it!

Mom and Dad please remember that we do not necessarily believe FDA guidelines. In fact, this agency may have changed classifications on these 3 items from safe to cancer causing, back to safe or even to another category. The best way we have found to deal with all this is to just avoid the products completely and read some informative articles as we are led.

It is all controversial! As you grow in your steps of taking control of your family’s health, you will begin to feel more confident and more at peace with your decisions and your family’s health will improve!

See you on #1 tee looking genuine… Sam

Junior Golf: Healthy Sweet Options

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will continue down the path of taking control of your family’s health. Knowing some healthy options for sweeteners is a big step in a positive direction. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

There are times that something sweet really can be satisfying; cookies, cake, pie, ice cream, a shake or even a soda can just taste soooo good! Among our health challenges today are the negative issues associated with improper eating habits, including too much carb intake. These include heart disease, high blood pressure and blood sugar situations such as diabetes, among others.

So how do you help yourself, your spouse and kids satisfy that sweet tooth? The long-term answer is changing your complete food regimen to a healthy-fat diet, more on that in subsequent posts. The short-term answer is 2-fold: reduce the total number of carbohydrates-sugars, white flour, white potatoes, etc, that are eaten and find healthy sweeteners to calm down those sweet cravings. A corollary is to not eat any artificial sweeteners.

Please keep in mind that Linda and I are not medical professionals, sports psychologists or PGA Professionals. We are the parents of a college graduate who started playing golf at age 5 and went to college on a golf scholarship. The information we are passing on to you includes many things that have been helpful to us and that we believe to be true.

Where on earth does a parent find sweet things that are healthy? 2 or 3 pieces of fruit a day are plenty for your junior golfer and you too. Locally grown fruit is probably best, organic is next best and so on. Fruit juice is not healthy unless you juiced it yourself and it has the whole fruit, including the fiber, in it. Otherwise it is all sugar! Not good!

Next on the list is locally grown organic, unfiltered, raw-meaning unpasteurized honey. Now all honey must be heated a little bit to get the honey to flow and go through a strainer to take out certain unattractive chunks. Once it gets up to a temperature of 120-degrees Fahrenheit most of the really good ingredients are degraded. That’s why you want raw, meaning unpasteurized. Raw organic unfiltered honey has antifungal, antibacterial, and more healing properties that put it in the miracle healer category. There is a ton of documentation online. In fact the military here in San Antonio is testing and in some cases using this type of honey for a number of different applications including burn treatment, wound healing and MRSA.

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More healthy sweet choices are stevia, a sweetener made from the plant of the same name. It is sometimes combined with other sugars or fillers to make it taste more like something you are familiar with. Stevia has a different taste, but not a bad taste. Only get 100% stevia. And xylitol is a wood sugar that actually has a number of health benefits. It can be tricky to bake with, tastes pretty good and it is actually in some chewing gum, healthy chewing gum, really! (image: Healthy with Honey)

Cane sugar is the last resort because while it is not really healthy, it is so much better than any artificial sweetener and in small quantities it is not the worst thing in the world.

Mom and Dad just a reminder that everything in the world of health, nutrition, supplementation and fitness seems to be controversial. There are a million opinions on everything. That’s why Linda and I encourage you to take control of your family’s health. Do your own research. When in doubt go with the unprocessed or the least processed food item. Eat lean and green. Less carbohydrates and more healthy fats. More to come!

See you on #1 tee looking fit… Sam

Junior Golf: Clean Water-Better Health

In this Friday Flop Shop we will talk about water and how it is getting more difficult to find clean uncontaminated water for everyday use. (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106

Water is a high-demand item. Small wars have been fought over it and larger ones may follow. Without water we can’t exist. It’s tougher and tougher to find clean water for personal use. Most municipalities add chlorine as a disinfectant and floride on the false premise that it promotes dental health. Our family philosophy is to avoid these chemicals. They have no known useful metabolic function in our bodies so why ingest them? Other contaminants frequently found are lead, residue from the dumping of prescription medications into water systems/toilets and industrial chemicals. The list keeps growing!

If you and your family have chosen to begin the process of taking control of your health, cleaning up your water at home needs to be addressed. Drinking contaminated water is bad enough, but your skin is your biggest organ and bathing/showering with bad water is likely worse than drinking it.

What to do? Some action is better than no action. Depending on your budget the choices are a portable system or a whole house system. Berkey Filters is a company we have personal experience with. They make excellent products and their filters remove all the bad stuff, including floride, if you buy the floride additional filter, and leave all the good minerals. They only make portable systems, meaning countertop, under counter and even hiking/backpacking/emergency items. (photo berkeyfilters.com)

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Whole house systems are another world. Floride removal is big business and careful research and evaluation is required to wisely spend your money on a system for all the house. These can range from $1,500 up to many thousands of dollars. Be a wise shopper and don’t get ripped off.

Get your water tested. Home test kits may be available from your local water authority or online. If you are on a municipal water system only buy test kits that can measure chlorine and floride in addition to as many additional items as possible. There’s no telling what may be in your water and you should know. If you are on a well, the chlorine and floride tests are probably not necessary but you certainly want to check for everything else.

So here are your action steps. Test your water. Then proceed to your due diligence to find an appropriate water purification system that fits your budget and needs. Clean water is imperative. Every time your junior golfer drinks or bathes with dirty water it just adds more toxins into their bodies, same goes for Dad and Mom. Clean water-better health. Better health-better golf!

See you on #1 tee looking healthy… Sam

Junior Golf: Leave A Healthy Legacy

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at how our actions are influencing our junior golfers and everyone around us. Dad and Mom, you are leaving a legacy so let’s leave a healthy legacy. (photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

My Mom was an amazing person. She passed away in 2012 at the age of 102 years and was extremely active for 100 of those years. She was, like all of us, a creature of habits and hers contributed to her excellent mental and physical health.

Mom loved to walk and growing up she always went at least 8 blocks every day, usually with a big dog on a leash. These were big blocks, long and straight. She walked fast. Most folks couldn’t keep up so she never really invited anyone to join her. And she loved her yard work. She mowed, trimmed, swept, did it all unless I was around to help. Dad was usually at work and frankly Mom loved the exercise. It wasn’t a chore for her.

She had an absolute aversion to being overweight. Her line was, “If I gain 3 pounds, I’m going on a diet!” And she did. Mom drank water with her meals and had some tea or a Coke made with sugar once in a while. She had a few guidelines as to what she ate. Her family was way ahead of the curve, using common sense for eating advice. “It’s the sugary things like desserts, breads, cookies and white potatoes that make you fat. Stay away from them.” And she did. Mom are whatever she wanted but controlled her portions. She quit eating when she started feeling full and pretty much never had second helpings. Ahead of the curve, way to go, Mom! (photo dailymail.co.uk)

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She was also not a fan of putting anything in her body that was not absolutely essential. So she stayed away from prescription drugs and all she took for those many years was one baby aspirin daily and a calcium supplement for occasional leg cramps.

I had to always check her inventory of her crossword puzzles and WordSearch and WordSeek books. She loved doing these and sometimes it was hard to find enough books to help her supplied. Her mind was always razor sharp! (photo net-thrift.com)

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Once I came to realize that Mom’s fabulous health was a product of a lifetime of healthy habits, I decided to emulate these habits. So I began changing my nutrition and exercise routine in college. Linda came along side me in these endeavors and we have made a concerted effort to be examples of healthy habits, mental and physical, for our kids and grandkids.

What can you do today to initiate or increase healthy habits in your home. Better habits, better golf, better everything!

See you on #1 tee with healthy habits… Sam

Junior Golf: Minimize These For Better Health

For this Monday Mulligan we will continue our introduction to better health with some followup from our previous post.image (photo jennleforge.com)

Did you have an opportunity to see what your family is eating and drinking? Did you read the ingredients on the labels? What did you see? A great guideline is if there are words you cannot pronounce, what is in the package is likely highly processed and contains things that should not be consumed. For example, look at what’s in a loaf of the commercial brands of breads. Man there’s a million items. Now I’m looking at a loaf of rosemary garlic bread fresh made at a local store. 9 main ingredients with another 9 of 2% or less and I have heard of all of them and can pronounce all of them, sounds like real bread to me! Breads made with absolutely no preservatives will have even less ingredients but need to be eaten within several days of purchase. We’ll take a more in-depth look into food items in future posts. This is an example to set up today’s big picture view.

The foundation here of our family philosophy is that we believe our bodies are under constant assault, 24/7 by undesirable things like viruses, bacteria, parasites, chemicals, pollen, food additives and more. So we do everything we can to minimize our exposure. Some things are beyond our control but there is action we take.

Inside the house we use very few chemicals. Cut lemons or essential oils provide a wonderful healthy fragrance. The store-bought air fresheners are nothing but chemicals which we do not want in our home. Carpets are gone. They are dust traps/allergy inducers. We have tile and wood floors. Throw rugs are great. Buy inexpensive ones and throw them away when they get really dirty. No pest control companies spraying inside or outside our house. Roach traps and mouse traps work really well inside and there are some good organic products for outside application both for pest control and a nice lawn. Fragrance-free laundry detergent for our sensitive noses and wool or rubber balls for the dryer. Fabric softener is not your friend.

Awareness is what we’re going for. Now that you are reading some food labels please be aware that ingredients are listed in the order of largest content 1st. In other words the 1st item listed as an ingredient has the most volume in the formula. So if sugar is the 1st listed then there is more sugar than anything else in the product…items are in descending order, so the last item has the least volume in the product. Some labels will really get your attention! (photo golf-info-guide.com)

The benefits of taking these small steps of eliminating undesirable products are wonderful. Your family spends considerable time in your home and yard and the less exposure all of you have to any single potentially harmful item is beneficial. Take a moment. Look around your house and yard. Look under the sink and in the garage. What do you see that could be replaced with a healthier product?

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Go ahead switch out some things for healthier alternatives, there are plenty of them. It shouldn’t cost very much and it may save you some money in the long run. Our wool dryer balls and the rubber ones also, last for years so we save money and improve our health because we don’t buy fabric softener or the sheets.

Please remember that billionaire Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart could not buy back his health when he became ill. Better health means better golf/better everything really. Please take some action, however small, today.

See you on #1 tee, looking healthy… Sam

Junior Golf: Better Health Better Golf

Wow! After all the intense golf news of the past few weeks, in today’s Friday Flop Shot we will get back to focusing on helping junior golfers and their families. Let’s see how to begin the process of Better Health=Better Golf in your family.img_0106-1

Parents, I am usually hesitant to tell you that you must take some action. Today however, Linda and I believe taking control of your family’s health is so important, so readily available and so critical for all your family members and of course, your athletes, that we encourage you in the strongest terms to have the conversation we reference below. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

The 1st step is: Dad and Mom must have a discussion to decide if you want to address the taking control of your health issue. If the answer is no, then the status quo remains. If the answer is yes, congratulations, and the next step is to have another meeting and include your kids and inform them of your decision. Tell them that the family will be making changes in the areas of food, drink and exercise. Be positive, be excited. Your family is embarking on a life-changing journey! Mom and Dad must be united in this decision. Single parents, you may wish to discuss this with close friends and mentors, just be staunch in your decision.

If your answer is No, nothing changes. We sincerely hope you will reconsider your decision. Why did you choose No?

If you said Yes, here’s your next step after informing the rest of your family. Put together an action plan. Start simple because this can be a bit overwhelming. Frankly we could spend years on this topic and never cover everything so we are going to give you input to make this process as seamless as possible.

Linda and I have been serious amateur students of health, fitness, nutrition and supplementation for a long time. In fact Linda once held 2 certifications from The Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas, 1 as a Certified Fitness Specialist (precursor to Personal Trainer Certification) and 1 in wellness. Individually we had already taken control of our own health even before we met and have emphasized and maintained this philosophy continuously in our family. And it works. Our rare visits to the doctor ar almost always from sports/activity-based injuries. Taking control of your family’s health works! (photo pbase.com)

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Action Plan Step 1: Take a look at what your family is eating. Write it down. It may shock you when you see it on a piece of paper. Awareness is the 1st step in this process. People are always asking us for 1 sentence on health and nutrition. Over these many years what we have come up with is, “Take a look at what you are going to put in your mouth and ask yourself, “How close is this to the way God put it on this planet?” In other words, start cutting back on processed foods. Fresh fruits and veggies and quality meats are where we should be spending our food dollars. Get your awareness factor up! You may be surprised or even shocked by what your family is eating! We’ll stay on this for a few posts, so more great tips Monday.

See you on #1 tee looking healthy… Sam

Junior Golf: Let’s Sweat

In this Monday Mulligan we are going to embrace summer and the heat and humidity that many of us will be enjoying for the next few months. Being an athlete means playing your sport in the conditions at hand as long as the game can be properly played and participants and spectators are safe.”

If you or your daughter tends to make statements like, “Wow, it’s going to be hot today!”, or something similar, Linda and I recommend you engage in a change of attitude. Your daughter will play in many more events that are too hot, too cold or too rainy, than she will when it’s 75 degrees and low humidity. Accept it and learn how to deal with it, sooner, rather than later. (photo jennleforge.com)

Today we’re talking about sweat, the act of sweating. This is a healthy function helping with the body’s temperature regulation, the elimination of toxins and pollutants and removing the grit and grime that causes pimples. Hey is your junior golfer ready to go sweat now? Funny stuff!

You can surely see the LPGA and PGA players with wet shirts, skirts and pants. They sweat just like your junior golfer. But they know how to deal with all that moisture.

How does sweat impact you daughter’s ability to play well? 2 things come immediately to mind: 1st, she must have dry hands to properly grip and swing the club. Have at least 2 dry towels for wiping off hands, arms and face.And wear a glove on the weak hand-read right handed golfers wear a glove on the left hand. Take the glove off in between shots and when putting. Keep at least 2 spare dry gloves in the golf bag and again have 2 or more dry towels to wipe off with. 2nd, sweat must be kept from running down her forehead into her eyes. Did you ever wonder why so many pros wear visors, caps or hats? Sure fashion and endorsements are a part of it, but keeping the sweat and sun out of their eyes is the real reason, oh yeah and the endorsement money haha! (Tiger photo free republic.com)image

S3 has always had a slight nervousness about sweaty-butt syndrome. This is, of course, when his backside is particularly wet on a hot and humid day. I think he quit thinking about it as much once it became clear to him that white underwear was the only option when wearing those beautiful white golf pants!

Your daughter is going to get sweaty on the golf course. Plan ahead with her clothing choices. The new breathable and wicking fabrics are wonderful. We no longer buy cotton golf shirts or underwear. Please educate yourself and your girl on the advances in sports clothing and the new fabrics that provide for a very comfortable time on the golf course.

See you on #1 tee, no sweat… Sam

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