Category: Exercise

Midlife: Is Golf Your Passion?

Are you looking for a way to improve your golf score?  Aside from the “mental game”, there is also the issue of physical fitness.

A meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis reported that golf scores were tied to hip strength. The best golfers seemed to have the strongest hips. This indicates how important it is to exercise muscles in the hips to better coordinate your golf swings.

They carried out a test in which golfers were divided into three different groups based on their handicaps. The better the handicap, the greater the hip strength, as measured when the hip moves the leg out and away from the body. The best players tended to be stronger in all the hip movements that were tested.

There is a high prevalence of hip injuries among serious golfers which would indicate that increasing muscle strength in that area is critical in the prevention of such injuries.  Researchers concluded that by improving flexibility and strength in the hips and torso, you can add 20 yards to your driving distance.

One way of achieving more flexibility and strength in the hip area is to practice certain yoga poses. I don’t play golf (at least not at the present) but I love yoga.  Not only is it a great stress management tool but it is one of the best ways of keeping the body flexible.

If you would like to view some hip-opening postures, click on this link – Yoga Hip Openers

Midlife: Walking the Talk

Today I’d like to share a guest post with you …

Walking the Talk

Walking the Talk

Most conversations seem to be carried on while people aren’t moving.  Instead, they are seated around a table, in a restaurant booth, on a park bench, at an office desk.  Does their being sedentary affect the quality of communication?

Probably, yes.  For example, persons seated across from one another may be more confrontational.  As well, people seated may be more “fixed” in their viewpoints, just as they are fixed in their seats.  Furthermore, where you sit often signals who has more power.  The one at the head of the table tends to be the chairperson or the boss.  Spacing and seating like this are concerns of the science of proxemics devised by anthropologist Edward T. Hall and explained in his classic book, The Hidden Dimension.

What, if any, might be the advantages of talking while walking?

1.  When persons walk together, side by side, they almost always walk in rhythm, almost like a dance.  When “in sync,” we humans feel more similar and collaborative and thus more prone to common understanding and agreement.  That’s a plus.

2.  Talking while walking side-by-side has the effect of diffusing intensity because we’re not looking directly at each other.  Because we must look where we’re stepping, our full attention can’t be on the other person.  This lessened attention can also be positive, at least in certain situations.

3.  When we are walking, we are not only getting some exercise, but also our bodies are releasing “good chemicals” – the endorphins that lift our mood.  (Physicians typically prescribe “take a walk in the park” for patients who suffer from depression.) As well, even gentle exercise like walking can have the effect of raising the serotonin level in one’s system, the result being an enhancement of mood and reduction of anger and aggression.  Certainly, talking is more congenial when we’re in a good mood.

4.  Walking in nature can be especially powerful in stimulating good feelings.  Strolling through a rose garden, down a lushly tree-lined path, or in a redwood forest gives us awesome beauty and may induce a broader perspective on differences we may have with others. 

5.  For those who might think that to talk about serious topics we must be seated, as at a conference table or in a classroom, I’ll remind you of Jesus and Buddha, teaching their disciples while walking.  And of the “peripatetic school” of Aristotle and his own teacher, Plato, known for discussing big ideas while walking around.  In modern times, history describes significant diplomatic negotiations that took place during “a walk in the woods.”

6.  Finally, I have often observed “mall walking” by small groups of friends.  (Here in Las Vegas, far too hot for walking outside in the summertime, shopping malls allow these groups to walk for exercise before stores open.)  These groups are not only exercising, but they’re creating lively social events.  Everyone’s walking, and most walkers are talking.  And the socializing seems to be more fun than if they were sedentary in a coffee shop.

I hope this short article has given you some good reasons for “walking your talk.”  Doing so has some advantages.

(Dr. Loren Ekroth, a national expert on conversation, publishes a complimentary newsletter each week.  Subscribe at

Exercise Tip for Baby Boomers: How to Avoid Shin Splints

I remember the first time shin splints paid me a visit!  It was my first morning in Sydney, Australia, after having just spent 24 hours on a plane flying in from Washington DC.  The air was crisp and clear, the harbor was sparkling in the sunshine and I was jogging excitedly in one of my favorite areas of the city.  It felt like I could run forever.  But then I started feeling a pain in my shins and before long I was hobbling back to the hotel.  If you’ve ever experienced shin splints, you know how that felt and what the next day was like!

What are shin splints? 
Shin splints involve small tears in the muscle fibers or connective tissue along the tibia (the inner/larger leg bone of the lower leg). The pain resides over a long area. (Note that pain in a specific place may indicate a stress fracture of the bone rather than shin splints.) Shin splints may result from an imbalance between the strong muscles in the back of the leg and the weak muscles in the front of the leg. If in doubt about the injury, consult a physician.

The following are some ways to help prevent shin splints or recover from them:

* Check your shoes. Shoes should have good arch support and overall cushioning. Replace running and walking shoes every 400 to 500 miles or every six to eight months.

* Walk on your heels. This exercise will help you to build muscle in the front part of your lower leg. Take long steps until your shins begin to burn. Gradually increase the length of the time you can walk this way without feeling the burn. Do this daily.

* Ice cups. Freeze water in a paper cup, peel back the top, and moisten the ice with water and rub over the injury. Do this for five to seven minutes/four to six times a day.

* Switch exercises. Choose a low-impact activity while you are healing.

* Change exercise surfaces. Run or walk on a soft but level surface. The shin splints should improve within two weeks.

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