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Kathi Casey
The Healthy Boomer Body Expert

Kathi is an author, coach, popular speaker and talk radio show guest, writes monthly columns for the South Shore Senior News, Life After 50, Boomers Forever and Retirement Living Magazines, produces her own TV show called To Your Health" in the Berkshires and owns the Healthy Boomer Body Studio in Otis, MA. Her programs combine good fun and humor with simple yet powerful techniques that fit easily into busy schedules.

Why Golfers are using Pilates to Improve Their Game

Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, and Camilo Villegas all will tell you that Pilates has improved their golf game. Here's why.

Let's face it, most golfers don't train for their sport like runners, or soccer players. In addition, golf stresses one side of the body more than the other, so it's easy to injure our backs or become so uncomfortable that the game isn't fun anymore.

Pilates can prevent this. Pilates exercises are known for improving posture and in the game of golf, maintaining proper posture can reduce the strain on your lower back and shoulders.

Statistically, after the age of 30, golfers sustain an injury every three years. After age 50 the number climbs to one per year! Many golfers have learned that conditioning improves their game , and significantly reduces their risk of injury. Boomer golfers are enthusiastically embracing this superb conditioning program so that they can continue playing the game they love well into their sunset years.

The exercises that Joseph Pilates invented back in the 1920's are still the best formula for strengthening all the muscles in the body and using your "core" body for movement. The breathing and concentration that one learns with these exercises also improves your game.

Golfers who have taken my Get Ready For Pilates program have knocked several stokes off their game, improved flexibility in their shoulders and hips and strengthened lower back and abdominal muscles. I'll be honest with you, the first few guys who came to my class originally came to keep their wives company, but they came back because they noticed a difference in their body AND could drive the ball farther.

When you learn how to move your body properly and use your core strength to drive the ball, the results speak for themselves. Here is my favorite quote attributed to Joseph Pilates "In 10 sessions you will feel the difference; in 20 you'll see the difference, and in 30, you'll have a whole new body."

I recommend finding a Pilates instructor certified with one of the recognized certifying institutes (Stott, Physical Mind Institute, or Pilates Method Alliance). Check credentials before trusting your safety to an instructor.

Here's my tip on correcting Posture and Breathing:

Stand normally and look at your posture in a mirror. Now inhale deeply and slowly while concentrating on expanding your ribcage out to the sides. Avoid raising your shoulders up around your ears and especially don't suck in your abs and force your lower back out.

I know this seems counter-intuitive because we all grew up thinking that we were supposed to suck our abs in, but it actually causes strain on your lower back. We're supposed to have the natural little curve in our lower backs! Exhale slowly and completely, then, try again. Keep practicing until you see your rib cage raising slightly and expanding out to the sides. When you feel comfortable enough, try to keep your spine aligned this way for several minutes as you breathe slowly and deeply 5 counts in and 6 counts out.

Notice how much more comfortable this feels than when you were wearing your shoulders as earmuffs or sucking in your abs. Your back is in proper alignment and it's easier to breathe deeply Enjoy that fresh oxygen. We have become a nation of shallow breathers and our organs, muscles and glands are starved for oxygen which means that they can't function properly.

Taking the time to breathe deeply each day will help restore our bodies and it's EASY!

For more tips on improving your game with Pilates: info@KathiCaseyPilates.com

Best of Health to you all.


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