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Play it safe with these golf tips

Golf is a great way for people of all ages to get low-impact exercise while having fun. The average 18 holes can mean up to four miles of walking, which is great for your health. If you carry those clubs, you will burn even more calories. But like any sport, it’s important to take care to avoid injury. Even golf’s easy pace can cause strain or stress to the lower back, elbows, wrist or hands if played improperly. Here are a few tips to improve the safety of your golf game.

The swing is the thing
Although it may appear effortless, golf is all about the mechanics of the proper swing. To begin, check your posture. Stand with your feet about a shoulder-width apart and rotated outward. Your knees should be slightly bent but your spine should be straight and tilted forward. Don’t hunch over the club or you will strain your back and neck. Most of the movement should come from the hips but the power comes from all of the muscle groups from your ankles to your wrists. Try for a smooth, controlled swing that is not too hard or too fast. The movement should be smooth and easy.

Stretching is the key to being injury free
Take at least 10 minutes before playing golf to warm up. Jumping jacks are great but even taking a walk will help. Stretch the muscles in your hands, wrists, arms elbows, shoulders and pelvis. The more flexible your are, the better your swing. If this is the first game of the season, start slow and work up to your desired goal. Repetitively practicing your swing for hours might actually do more harm than good, says the Mayo Clinic staff. Start slow and build your endurance.

Be wary when you carry
Golfers who carry their own bags have a higher rate of shoulder and back injuries than other golfers, according to the Mayo Clinic. The strain starts when you jerk the bag out of the trunk of your car and continues as you carry it for 18 holes. To reduce strain, lift your bag properly. Keep your back straight and lift with the muscles in your legs. Proper footwear is also important. Wear golf shoes with short cleats to keep from sliding. Long cleats dig too far into soil and can make movement more difficult.

Keep it together in all kinds of weather
Golf is played outdoors so be prepared for Mother Nature’s temperament. Use sunscreen and wear protective eyewear that blocks UVA and UVB rays. A hat with a visor is also a good idea to avoid burns to your nose and face. Pack a bottle of water in your golf bag and take regular drinks even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you wait until you are thirsty, you may already be starting to be dehydrated. If you develop a headache, feel weak, or experience dizziness or a rapid heartbeat, it’s time to cut the game short, no matter what your score may be. Finally, keep your eyes on the skies. If there is lightening in the area, head for cover.

Scoring a point for a health lifestyle
When done properly, golf is an ideal way to exercise seldom used muscles and stay in shape. This is why Whitehall of Deerfield provides an outdoor putting green for guests’ use during rehabilitation. Recovery is hard work but it can have elements of fun. Whitehall of Deerfield is focused on helping you get back into the swing of things after a medical event. They believe in helping everyone set short- term goals for recovery and long-term goals for a healthier and more enjoyable quality of life. Learning to swing a club is just one lifestyle change that is worth considering. The caring staff at Whitehall of Deerfield can help suggest other ways to keep you feeling your best.

The next time you are facing a time of recovery following a hospital stay, consider Whitehall of Deerfield where there is a team of experts all working to get you back to life on the green, in the office or wherever else you want to be. With two exclusive private orthopedic wings and a post-hospital rehabilitation wing, Whitehall of Deerfield is the area’s premiere post-hospital rehabilitation center. To help guests reach their highest level of independence and functioning, top licensed therapists provide highly customized, one-on-one physical, occupational and speech therapies seven days a week in state-of-the-art rehabilitation gyms. Social services and discharge planners also expertly help guests transition back home as smoothly as possible.

What is more, Medicare has awarded Whitehall of Deerfield its highest rating in its five-star quality rating system of rehabilitation centers. Whitehall of Deerfield is also accredited by The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading and most respected health care accrediting authority.

Aside from Whitehall of Deerfield’s high level of care, guests enjoy such world-class amenities as in-room massages, personal concierge service, fresh baked treats or ice cream at an onsite ice cream parlor and coffee shop, daily newspaper and coffee delivered to guest rooms each day, in-room dining with a wide range of menu choices, wireless Internet and much more.

If the year ahead presents some unexpected health challenges, plan your recovery at Whitehall of Deerfield. To arrange a visit or to learn more, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-945-4600.

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300 Waukegan Road Deerfield, IL 60015 | 847.945.4600