It can’t have escaped your attention that winter is on its way.
The nights are drawing in and, after one of the hottest, driest summers on record, the temperatures are starting to plummet.
That’s no excuse for putting your clubs into hibernation, however. Not a bit of it.
There’s nothing to stop you continuing to play all through the winter. All you need is to prepare properly.
Below, you’ll find some dos and don’ts for what how to counter the conditions to keep you in tip-top shape to make the most of the coming months…
• DO exercise. It’s even more important in winter.
According to the NHS, exercise strengthens your immune system and reduces the risk of coughs and colds. Energy from exercise should also make it a little bit easier to get out of your warm bed in cold, dark mornings. When you’re on the course, try to keep moving. Endorphin production is even higher when you exercise in cold weather, so you’ll feel better about yourself.
• DOplay more golf. Embrace the chill. The more time you spend outside, the more your body acclimatises to the temperatures and, as a result, builds up a greater tolerance to lower temperatures. This, in turn, makes it easier to adapt to the cold the more you play.
• DO drink hot liquids. Drinking something hot increases the sensation of being warm. Soup, coffee or tea is great in the winter. According to health gurus, chicken soup is best for fighting off the cold and flu, as it helps kill off viral cells. Tea also counts towards your daily intake of water.
• DO stay hydrated. In the cold, it's likely the last thing on your mind is a glass of water. However, you become dehydrated just as easily in cold temperatures as you do in warm weather, so it is just as important you get liquids in you. Keep drinking, but stay away from sugary options.
• DON’T eat unhealthily. Comfort foods in the colder months are more appealing because carbohydrates warm up our bodies quicker. That’s why they call it ‘winter weight’. However, there are healthier alternatives that can get the job done, such as fish and red meat. Nibble on some nuts during your round, as they’re good for your heart and help lower your cholesterol.
• DON’T wear cotton. It steals your body heat fairly quickly, leaving you cold and shivering. The only time you should be wearing cotton is when you’re lounging by the fire. To combat the chill, you need to layer up.
• DON’T ignore your warm up. This is important to get blood flowing through your body. But be careful to move about enough without breaking sweat.
• DON’T ignore being uncomfortable. If you are genuinely uncomfortable, there’s usually a reason for it. For example, if it’s cold and raining, don’t continue to wear your wet woolly hat, as this simply makes your head experience the drop in temperature even further, which isn’t fun. Take a spare woolly hat in the bag.
How to make the most of this winter
Check out the exclusive bunkered Winter Guide for all the information you need to make this winter your most productive one yet.