GOLFING WITH COPD (PULMONARY DISEASE)

Bob Forman 
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor
MS, Exercise Physiology

As if playing golf isn’t tough enough, imagine playing when you can’t breathe that well.  That’s what people with COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease must face, but that shouldn’t deter their love for the game. 

COPD, according to the Mayo Clinic, is the overall term for a group of chronic lung conditions that obstruct the airways in your lungs. The two most common are chronic bronchitis and emphysema, but it can also refer to damage caused by asthmatic bronchitis.  Regardless of the condition, all forms of COPD result in a blockage within the tubes and air sacs that make up your lungs.  This hinders your ability to exhale properly, trapping air in your lungs and making it difficult to breathe normally.   

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD, while long term exposure to other lung irritants, such as dust, chemical fumes, and air pollution, may also contribute to the condition.  

golfing with copdOften times, people with pulmonary disease will need supplemental oxygen to help keep the oxygen saturation in the blood at adequate levels.  Portable units allow for freedom of movement outside the home and while working in the garden or playing golf.  These are stored in backpacks that can be worn on the back during a round of golf, for example.   

A key concern that needs to be addressed for golfers with COPD is how much oxygen they will need during their round of golf.  It’s imperative that you discuss this with your physician before getting back out on the links. 

One of the determinants is whether the need is for continuous flow of oxygen or a pulse dose of oxygen.  Pulse dose results in a cylinder of oxygen lasting longer since oxygen is being dispensed only when the individual breathes in.  The amount of oxygen dispensed, usually measured in liters/minute, for either delivery method is also a factor in determining oxygen requirements.        

Another concern is how the oxygen will be delivered.  I tried swinging a golf club with an m-6 cylinder in a pack strapped to my back and the air tube secured in the back of my head vs. under my chin.  To my delight, I was able to swing the club without any obstruction from the pack or the tubing, and the weight of the cylinder, at least for me, was not an issue.  The only issue from this little trial is the ability to keep the pack snug enough against the body so that it doesn’t move at all during the swing, but yet allow freedom of movement.             

Here are a few good, practical tips from a client I worked with who had COPD: 

- let someone else drive the cart as it uses up energy

- don’t play on “cart path only” days 

- take into account the humidity along with temperature as more humid days will require more oxygen

- strengthen the legs

- learn to slow down.  Don’t worry about the foursome behind you, just play ready golf and keep moving

- be mindful of the terrain of the golf course and try to avoid ones that have a very hilly terrain

- enjoy the time with others and being outdoors, and don’t worry about your score 

Having COPD shouldn’t be a deterrent for playing golf.  Regular exercise can improve your strength, balance, and endurance, and strengthen your respiratory muscles.  In doing so, you’ll be able to get back into those activities of daily living, like playing a round of golf, with less fatigue and anxiety.  As always, check with your doctor before beginning any type of exercise.  Listen to your body, start easy with the exercises, and gradually build upon the intensity as conditioning levels improve. . . and they will improve.  A certified exercise trainer can help provide the proper guidance you need. 

A Sleep Apnea Sidebar: A new study published in the December, 2013 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that male golfers with sleep apnea who used CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy, lowered their handicaps by 11.3%, were no longer sleepy during the day, and improved their overall sleep-related quality of life. These findings were reported after up to 6 months of CPAP therapy. For golfers who had handicaps of 12 or less, the average handicap decrease was 31.5%.    

 

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

Static Hamstring Stretch

 One of the main factors for low back discomfort is tight hamstrings, which can also affect hip mobility in the golf swing.

 

 

Check with your physician before starting any type of exercise program.

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

GOLF FITNESS
ASSESSMENT & TRAINING


A quality, customized golf fitness program will. . .
  • Enhance swing efficiency
  • Increase distance
  • Improve playing performance and satisfaction
  • Identify and correct golf-specific injury triggers

    All for much less than what another brand new driver that's going to "fix my game" would cost
     
click here for details

  


The golf exercises are going great.  I am hitting the ball the best I have ever hit it.  My back pain has gone away also. 
 
David R. 

more testimonials

HOST A WORKSHOP

If your Club or organization would like to host an informative golf fitness workshop, contact Bob at bob@golfitcarolina.com or 336-509-4610.

Bob came to my club and did a hour long session on the basics of his teaching and philosophy of fitness and how it relates to the golf swing and its performance.  My members thoroughly enjoyed the hour and wanted more.  I was impressed with his content and explanation.  My members were floored with his Q&A and his personal adaptation to their issues.  I was impressed with his interaction with attendants of the seminar.  If you are looking for someone to integrate your fitness program with the golf program, Bob is the guy to do it!  We will be booking Bob to come back to our club next spring.
Shannon Howell, PGA Head Golf Professional
Country Club of Sapphire Valley, Sapphire Valley, NC


"Bob Forman was fabulous!  He is a great presenter who shared some extremely valuable information related to how anatomical deficiencies such as: poor posture, flexibility, and balance impact our golf swing.  He not only shared what they are and how they impact the swing, but also demonstrated exercises to help correct them."
Ellen Gregory
EWGA-Wilmington, NC chapter

“Westchester is one of the Country’s largest private clubs with a membership that has high expectations for service and performance.  Bob Forman’s seminar on golf specific fitness and flexibility was extremely well received and motivated many of my members to begin a program of evaluation, exercise and follow-ups.  I highly recommend Bob for his knowledge, energy , and ability to connect with amateurs concerning golf fitness.” 
John Kennedy, Director of Golf
Westchester CC, 
Harrison, NY

Bob has a fantastic ability to understand and combine his expertise of the physical complexities of the human body with the PGA Professional’s trained eye with respect to the complexities of the golf swing.  Bob offers a refreshing angle that most amateur and professional golfers can understand and embrace.  Many times, a golfer will have physical limitations that prevents him or her from moving the way the PGA Professional is trying to instruct.  Bob can take the golfer’s weakest physical traits and focus a training program to better overcome those obstacles and allow the golfers to ultimately improve their swing. 
Dennis Nicholl, PGA Head Golf Professional
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

Functional Golf Fitness Training is a comprehensive player improvement resource for golfers of all ages and levels, teaching professionals and coaches.  
A great manual for golf teams as well.  

Dedicated chapters on:
- how to identify and correct the common physical deficiencies most golfers have that are impacting their swing and injury potential
- over 40 golf-specific exercises and drills

- preventing/alleviating the #1 injury in golf, low back injury
- how to fix the more common swing faults

Amazon reviews:

"Very clear explanations of causes and fixes for main physical deficiencies affecting golfers. Easy to follow instructions. While other books may give a whole laundry list of exercises that end up not being used, Forman has selected a few for each issue and puts together a program that doesn't take long to do"

"This book not only tells you what to do but also why you need to do and what results you can expect.
I have every book in print about golf fitness and this book is by far the best."


Available in print at TheBookPatch

TheBookPatch.com Buy Now style 1 button
or as an ebook on Amazon

Go to
http://www.amazon.com/Functional-Golf-Fitness-Training-ebook/dp/B00FH88Q0Q

SWING FAULT PHYSIOLOGY

Swing mechanics are often influenced by physical deficiencies in the golfer's body.  Below are some of the more common swing faults, their physical causes and how to correct.

GOLF POSTURE

S-POSTURE AND LOW BACK PAIN

EARLY EXTENSION

SWAY & SLIDE

REVERSE SPINE

While correcting the deficiencies, you also need to rewire the brain-body connection in order to break out of the inefficient swing pattern.  

REWIRE THE BAD SWING HABIT

RADIO / PODCASTS

 

 

November 11, 2017
The top 10 fitness must haves for better golf.  Click on the pic and then "podcast."  
My segment starts at 1:10:30.

 
June 22, 2017
(go to 1:10:00 into the show)
golf posture, muscle imbalance, improving distance, stretching, hydration, Tiger and specialization, Rory and weight lifting



March 14, 2015
(go to 1:08:00 into the show)
fitness vs. golf fitness, strength training and slowing down the aging process, C and S-postures 


scroll down to 9/9/2013
(go to 23:15 into the show)
back injury