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  Struan McDowall
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4/ Stretch your legs


Brisk walking in conjunction with regulated deep breathing is simple, natural, inexpensive, stimulating, and old fashioned.
Walking is safer and more beneficial than jogging especially for the middle-aged golfer. A brisk daily walk with legs and arms moving in contra lateral unison:
. improves your mental/physical coordination and posture;
. improves muscle tone, circulation and respiration;
. clears the mental cobwebs and sweetens the temper;
. promotes stamina, spinal stability, digestion and bowel action.


Brisk walking means striding rather than strolling, with hands free of handbags, dog leashes and all other impediments.
The most important benefit that you as a golfer can derive from the brisk daily walk is the mental/physical coordination that develops gradually from the synchronized action of the left arm/right leg . . . right arm/left leg . . . plus the full inhalation of oxygen into the lungs, the holding of the breath for a few seconds, and the slow controlled exhalation.
Steer clear of the busy highways and freeways to avoid the carbon monoxide and other toxic fumes emitted by cars and trucks.
   Walk in parkland, preferably flat or gently undulating.
   Wear comfortable shoes and loose, warm clothing. Welcome the perspiration. A good honest sweat eliminates waste matter through the skin and when you take a shower or bath, dry yourself vigorously with a coarse towel to further stimulate the  skin and the muscles. .

The advantages of brisk walking are multiplied by deep breathing. Failure to use our lungs to full capacity is another of the big drawbacks (pardon the pun) of our over-mechanized society. Working over a desk or a bench, driving a vehicle hunched over the wheel for most of the working day, plus the pollution of the bronchial tubes with tobacco smoke, makes minimal demands on our under-developed chests and lungs and reduces the supply of vital oxygen to all of the body tissues setting the stage for premature ageing, inadequate sleep, disenchantment with life, and various forms of illness..
You can exercise your lungs anywhere and at any time by:
1/ taking a deep breath;
2/ holding your breath for at least eight seconds; and
3/ exhaling as slowly as possible.
The best time and place for the breathing exercise is while you are walking in the fresh air.
After a week or two you will find that you can hold your breath for longer and exhale more slowly. Oxygen is vital to human life and energy, and fresh air is free . . . so make the most of it.
Deep breathing for ten minutes a day will:

1/ enlarges your lung capacity;
2/ improve your posture and the stability of your rib cage and dorsal
3/ stimulate the circulation of the blood and lymph;
4/ improve stamina and sleep.

Running, Jogging and Walking.
There is a difference between running and jogging. Those who are young enough or fit enough should stick to running. Those who are too old or insufficiently fit for running should not jog. They should walk briskly.

Jogging too often degenerates into the slow labored movement where much of the jogger's weight is behind the body's centre line and taken on the rear half of the foot. Running is the faster, more natural method of locomotion where most of the weight is absorbed by the flexible front portion of the foot, and the body is leaning forwards of the centre line.

Joggers likely to strike trouble include the 65-70 per cent of adults with a functional short leg, especially the semi-fit middle aged person who hasn't run any distance since his/her youth. This opinion is confirmed by many chiropractors who care for jogger casualties with leg and spinal disabilities.

Even fit young athletes and footballers who jog on hard surfaces as part of their training routine are liable to undo the benefits of other training methods. The long-term pounding action on a hard surface can cause or aggravate bio-mechanical damage to joints and other tissues anywhere from the foot or ankle to the top of the spine, and especially to the weight bearing mechanism of the sacro-iliac joints.

If you are young enough, fit enough and can run comfortably, then run fairly fast for a short distance on grass. Stop when you are out of breath and walk until you regain your wind. This is the sprint/walk method which is safer and more beneficial than jogging. Keep your arm action straight fore and aft. A tendency to swing your arms at an angle across the body indicates a possible spinal problem.

If you are too old or unfit for the sprint/walk program, spend the equivalent time walking briskly, doing the breathing exercises, previously described, to improve your lung capacity.



Struan McDowall



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