3 Simple Tests to Assess Your Fitness

When I was kid in the 80’s, my junior high participated in the Presidential Physical Fitness Award program where we were required to go through a battery of physical fitness tests.  Sort of a way to recognize which kids were going to be athletes or not.  That test always stayed with me and may have been the catalyst to propel me into the fitness industry.

Now it is called the President’s Challenge program and the program has evolved, moving away from recognizing athletic fitness to now providing a barometer on student’s health. Based on the latest science and research, the Presidential Youth Fitness Program places emphasis on the value of living a physically active and healthy lifestyle—in school and beyond.

Whether you agree with the program or not, at least some kids are being exposed to some physical activity in school and the program has provided tools and resources to motivate youth and adults to meet the Physical Activity and Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Most of us are beyond school years, but I know a lot of you would like to assess your physical fitness and establish a baseline so to improve your fitness.  And this is important, especially if you are new to fitness and you want to start a program. It is also important if you are already physically fit and want to maintain or improve your fitness.  Once you have established your current baseline, you can challenge yourself to improve.

Golfers have special physical needs because the stresses that the golf swing can put on the body and the repetitive nature of the game can lead to muscles imbalances.  It is important to find out if there are any physical limitations or imbalances in your muscles so that you can address those in your fitness program to prevent injury.

So where do you begin?  You should start by taking what I call a ‘fitness inventory’ of yourself.  You won’t get a President’s Challenge award, but you can determine your strengths and weaknesses to build a better fitness plan.

The most common areas of fitness to assess are strength, endurance and flexibility. (Note: before you begin, make sure you check with your primary care physician to establish that is it safe for you to exercise.)


To assess your strength, try this simple challenge: do as many push-ups as you can.  Men should be able to complete 10 push-ups or more and women should be able to complete 5 push-ups or more. Record your score and save to revisit and compare in a few months.


To assess your endurance, try this simple challenge: run or power walk for one mile.  Record the amount of time it took to complete and save results to compare in a few months.


To assess your flexibility, try this simple sit and reach test.  Sit of the ground with your legs extended and a yard stick between your legs. Place one hand on top of the other, then reach slowly forward as far as you can.  Hold the position for a couple of seconds, and measure how far you have reached.  Save your results to compare them in a few months.

Once you have recorded your results, your goal is to make incremental improvements each week in each area of fitness.


Join the Golf and Health Movement

Playing golf is a great way to spend the day with friends and family enjoying friendly competition and nature.  But did you also know that playing golf can help you stay young and healthy?

Twenty years ago, the words “golf and fitness” might have never been used in the same sentence especially when the majority of golfers were beer-bellied guys riding in carts. Many did not even view golf as a sport, but a game played by non-athletes too old or out of shape to play more strenuous sports.

This belief has changed because the modern day golf professionals that dominate the game are now athletes that view fitness as a staple in their daily routines.  And now the World Golf Foundation (WGF) – the non-profit organization developing and supporting initiatives that positively impact lives through the game of golf and its traditional values – announces the launch of the Golf & Health Project, academically researching and highlighting how the game can benefit the average golfer’s  live.  They say golf can make you healthy and I believe them.

Through research, the WGF has complied a comprehensive view on the impact of the game of golf on health and illness prevention. According to their studies, key benefits include improvements in life expectancy and quality of life, as well as physical and mental health benefits. Golf is expected to decrease the risk of more than 40 major chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, colon and breast cancer. Current research shows that golf has positive impacts on cholesterol, body composition, metabolism, and longevity.

So what are you waiting for?  Get out there and play some golf today!

For more information on my Golf Wellness Program visit https://golf.vigoroom.com.


Fuel Your Round

You burn a tremendous amount of calories during a round of golf, so to keep your energy level up for the entire 18 holes, you need to fuel your body.  It is important to make the right food choices to sustain your energy, but also to avoid weight gain.  It is easy to grab the first snack or drink on the golf course when you are hungry and thirsty; many golfers, unfortunately, go for candy bars, chips, hot dogs and soda, all which can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and energy level.

On-Course Basics:

1. Say No to Soda on the Golf Course-

Soda is loaded with sugar and calories and totally devoid of nutrients. The caffeine in soda can actually dehydrate you leading to headaches, loss of focus and fatigue. Try to drink water instead of soda during your round. Add a slice of lime or orange to your water. Companies are not offering flavor packets for water, just make sure they are all natural.

2. Eat More Fresh Foods on the Golf Course-

Packaged foods are loaded with calories, saturated fat and preservatives that can lead to disease and sickness.  Try to avoid the temptations at the snack bar and beverage cart by bringing your own snacks from home.  Fresh foods are more nutritious and contrary to what you think, are not hard to pack.  Use small plastic containers to pack fresh fruit, low-fat cheese and whole wheat crackers or tuna and chicken salad.

Qviana has a perfect energy bar that you can stash in your golf bag if you don’t have time to pack your own snack.

Qivana has created the Metaboliq Bars- made of whey protein, 200 calories- with 15 grams protein and 14 grams carbohydrates.  The 1:1 ratio of  carbs to protein can prevents your insulin from spiking to keep your energy level steady and allows you to burn fat and preserve muscle. The bar is fortified with leucine- which has also been shown to be a key amino acid to help preserve muscle while you are burning fat. To order your Qivana bars and find out more information visit www.qinfo.myqivana.com.

3. Walk Whenever You Can-

Even if you ride a golf cart, you can try to walk as much as possible on the golf course. Walking helps boost your metabolism to help you burn more calories and help make your heart and bones stronger.

4. Avoid the 19th Hole Blues-

It is easy to chow down loads of calories after a round of golf.  If you have not eaten during your round, you will be over-hungry and over-eat after your round.  Avoid overeating by snacking throughout your round,  so that you are not starving when you finish.  Drink a tall glass over water before your meal comes or order a small bowl of broth soup instead of eating chips or bread while you wait for your meal.

5. Play More Golf-

It is important to spend time outdoors in the fresh air. People who tend to stay inside, eat more than people who get outdoors on a daily basis.

Stay tuned for more on and off-course golf lifestyle tips.

Fitness at the Ryder Cup

As we watched the Ryder Cup this weekend, it was  easy to marvel at the amazing power and distance all the players possessed.  Most, if not all, drove the ball over 300 yards. This can be attributed to not only  great talent and superior swing technique, but also to impressive physical fitness, not to mention hard work.

We, the average golfer,  may never be able to generate the amount of clubhead speed, distance and power that the top professionals in the world create, but we can achieve our own greatness.

We can all maximize our power by improving swing technique and adding a few golf-specific exercises into our daily routine so that we can increase, flexibility, mobility, balance and strength.

Golfers are realizing more than ever that total game improvement, injury prevention, and lower scores all come from better physical conditioning no matter what your age. You’ve been living under a rock if you don’t know that you need to exercise for better health. I designed my program, called, Cardiogolf, for golfers to kill two birds with one stone- get some exercise and practice their golf swing at the same time. So it is perfect for people who have time constraints.

So what kind of exercises should golfers be doing?  Golfers should do a variety of exercises to not only condition and strengthen muscles, but also flexibility exercises to increase mobility and to correct muscle imbalances.

If you take a look at some of the competitors from the Ryder Cup, you will see that fitness is a staple in their daily routines. Rory McIlroy does core and rotational exercises, Dustin Johnson does endurance exercises, Justin Rose does mobility and stability exercises and Jordan Spieth does strength training.

Click here to see how the top PGA Tour players incorporate fitness into their daily routines.



Stretch and Balance Your Golf Muscles

Want to start a golf-fitness program?  Don’t know where to start?  Start by improving your flexibility.  Do exercises that target chronically tight muscles in golfers.

How do you develop flexibility and mobility to improve your golf swing?

The first and foremost component of a golf fitness program is to stretch and balance muscles before you work on developing stability, strength and speed.

First, start by incorporating a warm-up routine before your daily workout, practice or round of golf. You want to target muscles, used in the golf swing, that are chronically tight in golfers. For example: shoulders, upper back, hips and low muscles are typically tight in golfers.

Here is a quick and easy routine to help you loosen up and improve your flexibility.

Flexibility Routine

Neck Circles

Neck Rotators

Sweetheart Shoulder Stretch

External Shoulder Rotation

Internal Shoulder Rotation

Chest Stretch

Hip Flexor

Hamstring Stretch


LPGA Master Professional & AAFA Certified Fitness Trainer