If you are gearing up for a round of golf there are some easy exercises you can do to make the game easier on your joints. Remember that the most important part of playing the game is enjoying yourself and preventing injury. Keep the following suggestions from the Arthritis Foundation in mind as you play:
* Always loosen up before you play. Begin by walking for a few minutes. Spend five to 10 minutes stretching, then take 10 to 15 swings on the practice range before the first tee. Easy practice swings, trunk twists, hamstring (rear thighs) stretches and walking are good warm-up exercises. Start out by hitting higher lofted clubs (like a pitching wedge) and begin by swinging 50 percent to 75 percent.
* Use tees whenever you hit the ball – even on the practice range – to avoid striking the ground and jarring your joints.
* Keep your tension on the shaft consistent. Be careful not to let your arms and trunk become too rigid.
* If you have back pain, you may find that the “classic” swing is more comfortable for you than the modern or reverse-C swing.
*Consider using energy-saving techniques while you’re on the course. Take only the clubs you use most frequently. Pull your golf bag instead of carrying it, or rent a motorized cart instead of walking.
(Source: Arthritis Foundation Golf and Arthritis)