“Younger Next Year”….For GOLFERS!

By Mindi Boysen,  TPI CGFI & Lifestyle/Weight Management Coach

There are approximately 77 million baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) in the U.S. today. The oldest of the boomers are turning 67 and many are entering retirement this year.  In the book, Crowley mentions that “instead of getting old and fat and ridiculous when you reach retirement, you can remain essentially the same person you are today.”  In fact, you should and COULD be better in your later years than ever before.Have you read the New York Times Best Seller, Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D.?  If you haven’t, you might want to take a look at it as the 2012-2013 season starts. It is a book written for the soon-to-be or recently retired population and presents all the tools that men and women need to achieve longer, healthier, more passionate lives from 50+.  There are some very educational and interesting tips on how to be functionally younger every year for years to come.

It makes sense.  You see, for the first 40+ years of our lives we fill our days with school, work, stress, eating on the run, social responsibilities, errands, and taking care of spouses and/or children.  This leads to lack of adequate recovery and sleep…constantly run down…running close to empty.  When you hit retirement, now you have all those hours in the day FREE to do whatever you would like. But that can also be a problem when you don’t have a schedule.


Bodies Are Programmed To Grow or Decay:

There is a critical distinction between aging and decay.  Aging is inevitable.

But what we fear the most about aging and what we dread about getting older is actually DECAY.  We are stuck with real aging but decay is optional.  Being sedentary is the most important signal for decay.  So, it is now your JOB to fill those hours with a schedule taking care of your greatest asset:  YOU.

According to a recent golf industry report, of those 77 million baby boomers, approximately 10 million are golfing…and golfing A LOT!   Crowley and Lodge came up with a list of seven rules to maximize your health and well-being from 50 and beyond.  I just decided to put a twist on the rules…for golfers:

  1. There are 7 days in a week.  There are 168 hours in a week.  We are beings who are meant to move.  I don’t care if you golf 9 holes, 18 holes, chip, putt, or walk your dog.  From the moment your feet hit the ground in the morning to the time they lift back up at night…MOVE YOUR BODY SOMEHOW SOMEWAY!Exercise Six Days A Week…for the rest of your life.
  1. Do Serious Aerobic Exercise 4 Days A Week…for the rest of your life.The heart is the most important organ in the body.  It is our engine.  It is a muscle that needs to be stressed aerobically in order to grow.  It is responsible for transporting life-enhancing oxygen to our bodies.  If your ankles, knees, and hips are not injured then you should be walking as much as possible on the golf course. Sure…share a cart, but take turns with your partner walking to your ball.  In fact, every once in awhile, RUN to it!  Hiking, biking and swimming are all fantastic endurance exercises that will help you reach 18 holes without tiring.
  1. Yes, lifting weights is painful when you do it once a year, once a month, or once a week.  But when you do it twice a week, your joints will thank you.  When your joints go you hurt all the time.  You walk funny. You fall down. You get old.  Lifting weights stops most of that.  It helps to stop bone loss, stop the weakening of tendons, restores cartilage, and improves your posture, overall strength and golf game!  How do you start?  Hire a qualified personalized  trainer.  A trainer is not there to hurt you and drive you away.  A trainer is there to teach proper mechanics so you don’t waste your own time.Do Serious Strength Training 2 Days A Week…for the rest of your life.
  1. Spend Less Than You Make.This pretty much says look at your dough, make a plan, and get real.  Golf is expensive, but in your golfer world and mentality, it is a necessity.  So, when you can…walk instead of paying cart fees, only bet what you can afford to lose, and don’t BUY a game with supposedly newest and best technology out there.  Reward yourself with new balls, shoes, golf wear when you’ve taken control of the other rules listed here.
  1. Quit Eating Crap!…and that includes chewing on pesticide-filled, insecticide-laden, fertilizer-ridden golf tees!  Decay of the body starts through your skin and your mouth.  Golf is a sport.  It is 4+ hours long.  Plan ahead. Prepare your skin with sun protectant and fill your golf bag with water, fruit, veggies, nuts and other non-processed foods.  Graze throughout the round and the rest of your day, fueling your body on a schedule.  Save your money (rule #4) and don’t purchase anything from the beverage cart unless it is healthy. Trust me….I’ve found very few things.  The 19th hole can be pretty enticing. Be careful.
  1. Care about taking charge of your body, your life and your golf game.  You have 30-50 years more to get the most out of it.  Use the phrase “the best is yet to come” in the best sense you can.  Change your attitude.  Enjoy your days. Smile when no one is watching. Put a little pep in your step.  Keep a daily journal.  Track your weight, your putts, your scores, your health, your emotional highs and lows.  It doesn’t matter what you track…just keep track of YOU….and care MORE.
  1. Connect And Commit.Make your golf game and social life your job.  We are pack animals.  Studies have shown that isolation hurts us and connection heals us through the same physical mechanisms as diet and exercise.  So, making an effort to meet people on the driving range for practice, a quick 9 holes, or even joining a league is literally a life-saver.  Make sure you say “yes” more than “no” when invited for outings of any sort.  In fact, be the organizer yourself.

Whether or not you are an avid golfer, all the rules above apply to life.  The authors, Harry (47yrs old) and Chris (71yrs old) stress the importance of remaining optimistic about aging.  It is your daily choice on what rules you follow.  They are pretty straightforward.  “Exercise hard and you will grow younger.  Care about other people and you will grow happier.  Build a life that you think means something and you will grow richer.”  —may your golf game follow suit.

I highly suggest adding the book, Younger Next Year to your collection.  You can find out more about the authors and research by visiting www.youngernextyear.com.

Mindi Boysen, owner of Fit For Golf! Fit For Life!  is a TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Level III Certified Golf Fitness Coach endorsed by multiple private clubs in Scottsdale, AZ.   Her book, Synergistic Golf, outlines each day of the year with golf performance & life enhancing tips. Mindi is available for private or group golf fitness training as well as seminars and nutritional consultations.   Contact her at (480)203-6228 or visit
www.fitforgolfusa.com        Mindi@fitforgolfusa.com