Summer Pilates Shape Up

When the weather is hot and humid, the last thing that you feel like doing is exercising, but keeping up your fitness is one of the best things you can do for yourself to stay healthy and injury free this summer.  Stay cool, take your exercise indoors and try Pilates.

Karen’s Summer Class Schedule

Pilates uses controlled movements, focusing on your core muscles to build body strength, flexibility and endurance. It’s a total body conditioning routine to help you strengthen, lengthen and tone muscles without high impact movements.

Cardiogolf Creator, LPGA Teaching Professional, Golf-Fitness Specialist and Certified Pilates Instructor Karen Palacios-Jansen teams up with 15 to Fit Pilates, Barre and Fitness to help you take your fitness level or golf game to the next level.

Karen leads various Pilates classes to help you strengthen, lengthen and tone your muscles. Classes combine Pilates Reformers, Pilates Springboards and Cross Core Trainers for a total body workout.

Karen will also design an individualized fitness and or golf-specific workouts for you combining Pilates reformer exercises with her unique Cardiogolf fitness program to help you improve your core strength, posture, balance, flexibility and swing technique to build more a powerful and repeatable golf swing.

Visit to see schedule and sign up.  






Improve Endurance on and off the golf course

Golf, although not thought of a strenuous activity, requires a higher level of fitness than most people would think. In a single round, a golfer will swing an estimated average of 300 swings (including practice swings) and walk seven to eight thousand yards, the equivalent of four to five miles. Swinging a club over and over again twists the neck, back, shoulders and arms unnaturally, the physical stress loads become substantial. Overall fitness and endurance play a critical role in the game. Stronger, fitter, more flexible athletes hit a ball further and straighter, have better touch around the greens and respond better under pressure in the closing holes than do their weaker counterparts.

The term “the wheels are falling off” usually comes mid-round when you start to lose focus and your muscles start to fatigue. One way to alleviate this syndrome, is to work on increasing your endurance or stamina. The definition of endurance is the capacity of something to last or to withstand wear and tear.

Aerobic exercise also known as endurance exercise or ‘cardio’- is when oxygenated blood is pumped by the heart to muscles in the body.

Cardiogolf Endurance Workout Routine

The term aerobic actually means “with oxygen,” which means that breathing controls the amount of oxygen that can make it to the muscles to help them burn fuel and move. The more you increase your aerobic capacity, the more endurance and stamina you will have on the golf course.

Being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers.  The American Heart Association recommends  Americans do at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise ( approximately 20 minutes per day) or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity) to prevent heart diseases.

You know you need to exercise for better health, so if you are a golfer, why not get some exercise and work on your golf swing at the same time? 

 Cardiovascular Benefits:

Aerobic exercise conditions the heart and lungs by increasing the oxygen available to the body and by enabling the heart to use oxygen more efficiently.

Additional Benefits of Aerobic Exercise:

  • Control of body fat: Aerobic exercise in conjunction with strength training and a proper diet will reduce body fat.
  • Increased resistance to fatigue and extra energy
  • Toned muscles and increased lean body mass
  • Decreased tension and aid in sleeping
  • Increased general stamina
  • Psychological benefits: Exercise improves mood, reduces depression and anxiety.
  • Keep excess pounds at bay: Combined with a healthy diet, aerobic exercise helps you lose weight — and keep it off.
  • Increase your stamina: Aerobic exercise may make you tired in the short term. But over the long term, you’ll enjoy increased stamina and reduced fatigue.
  • Ward off viral illnesses:Aerobic exercise activates your immune system. This leaves you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu.
  • Reduce health risks:Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer. Weight-bearing aerobic exercises, such as walking, reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Manage chronic conditions: Aerobic exercise helps lower high blood pressure and control blood sugar. If you’ve had a heart attack, aerobic exercise helps prevent subsequent attacks.
  • Strengthen your heart: A stronger heart doesn’t need to beat as fast. A stronger heart also pumps blood more efficiently, which improves blood flow to all parts of your body.
  • Keep your arteries clear: Aerobic exercise boosts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol. The potential result? Less buildup of plaques in your arteries.
  • Boost your mood: Aerobic exercise can ease the gloominess of depression, reduce the tension associated with anxiety and promote relaxation.
  • Stay active and independent, as you get older: Aerobic exercise keeps your muscles strong, which can help you maintain mobility as you get older. Aerobic exercise also keeps your mind sharp. At least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week seems to reduce cognitive decline in older adults.
  • Live longer: People who participate in regular aerobic exercise appear to live longer than those who don’t exercise regularly.

Click here to see my favorite training aide. 

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  1. Cooper, Kenneth C. The New Aerobics.Eldora, Iowa: Prairie Wind.
  2. Donatelle, Rebecca J. Health: The Basics. 6th ed. San Francisco: Pearson Education, Inc. 2005.
  3. Exercite Glossary. Definition: Aerobic Exercise.Exercite Glossary Definition: Aerobic Exercise
  4. Hinkle, J. Scott. School Children and Fitness: Aerobics for Life.Ann Arbor, MI: ERIC
  5. Palacios-Jansen, Golf Fitness, TAYLOR TRADE PUBLISHING, 2011

Stay in the Game with KT-TAPE

Earlier this year, I filmed a series of golf tips for my Cardiogolf Video Series (available this summer) and, at the time of filming, I suffered a bout of ‘tennis elbow.’  ‘Tennis elbow’ is a term used to describe the pain that develops on the outside portion of a person’s upper arm. While I have played tennis in the past, I actually got ‘tennis elbow’ from playing golf.  Many tennis players develop this condition, but golfer’s also suffer from this affliction, due to the repetitive motion of the golf swing.

‘Tennis elbow’ is the inflammation of the outside portion of the elbow resulting in soreness and tenderness. Causes of tennis elbow may include overuse or gripping objects too tightly.

To help alliviate my pain and get me ‘back in the game’, so I could film my Cardiogolf video tips, I used KT TAPE on my arm. The green tape that you see on the outside of my left arm in the photo.

KT TAPE helps treat this condition by relieving pressure, relaxing associated muscles, and increasing circulation.

What is KT TAPE

KT TAPE is an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. World class athletes have been using  it for years because of its ability to accelerate healing, increase circulation and relieve muscle pain and swelling, which can help improve performance.

How does KT TAPE work-

KT TAPE is applied along muscles, ligaments, and tendons (soft tissue) to provide a lightweight, external support that helps you remain active while recovering from injuries. KT TAPE creates neuromuscular feedback (called proprioception) that inhibits (relaxes) or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. This feedback creates support elements without the bulk and restriction commonly associated with wraps and heavy bracing.

For me KT TAPE has allowed me to play, practice and teach golf with much less pain. But don’t just take my word you should try it yourself.

Click here to see how to use KT TAPE for ‘tennis elbow’.

Barely Chipping

One of the hardest shots in golf is chipping off a bare lie, where the ground is hard with barely any grass.  The technique for the bare lie chip shot is not that much different than for a chip off of a fluffy lie, what makes this shot harder is that there is no room for error.  If you hit a tiny bit behind the ball or catch just the top of the ball, you’ll end up sculling the ball across the green with no distance control.

Here are three keys to hitting a chip shot off of a bare lie.  Click here to see the video tip from Karen on Golf Channel Academy.

This video tip will air on The Golf Fix on July 17th.

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Stretch Your Game

Every time you play golf, you turn, twist, bend, squat, lunge every part of your body and then you repeat the same movements for 4 to 5 hours–this can tighten your muscles and cause a condition called ‘repetitive stress injuries’. Repetitive stress injuries are injuries that happen when too much stress is placed on a part of the body, resulting in inflammation muscle strain, or tissue damage.

It is no wonder that that 53% of amateur golfers have sustained some sort of injury while playing golf. Maintaining and improving flexibility may be one of the easiest ways to prevent those ‘repetitive stress injuries’ that occur while you play golf or when you do other daily activities. Research reports that regular stretching may be more effective in preventing injuries rather than occasional stretching.

Why is stretching so important?

  • Stretching increases flexibility to improve over all fitness, muscular strength and endurance.
  • Stretching can ease ‘repetitive stress injuries’, also called overuse syndrome. Stretching the muscles and tendons that become tight from repetitive movements combined with a strengthening program can prevent or help heal these chronic conditions that golfers are susceptible to.
  • Stretching keeps joints limber. Each joint has a different degree of movement. This is called “range of motion.” Stretching properly, can maintain an optimal range of movement to help you turn your shoulders and hips completely in the backswing and follow-through.
  • Regular stretching can help fight and lessen muscle imbalances, which can ultimately lead to injury.
  • Stretching relieves stress. Stretching throughout the day or even during a round of golf may help you relax, swing more freely and help you focus.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting various stretches that can be done on and off the golf course to keep you loose, increase your range of motion and help you recover from your golf round.

Neck Circles

If you have any tightness or inflexibility in your neck area, you will have a hard time completing a full shoulder turn and you may take your eye off the ball as you swing back.  This may result in raising your body up or standing up as you swing back or using excessive hand and arm motion causing a faulty clubface.

If your tendency is to lift your head, take your eye off the ball, have an incomplete shoulder turn or have an  abbreviated finish, it is important to incorporate neck flexibility exercises into your daily routine to not only improve your swing mechanics, but also prevent injury.

This exercise may not be for everyone.  Stop if you feel any pain or dizziness.

Click here to see my favorite training aide. 

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I teach Golf and Pilates. I am a LPGA Master Professional and Certified Personal and Pilates Trainer