If you are like many people, you started the year with ambitious goals and resolutions. But, as we enter the second half of January, you may be feeling less confident in your ability to achieve them. Many nutrition and diet-related resolutions aim to limit or eliminate foods because they are deemed to be “bad” and “unhealthy.” This often leads people to feel unsatisfied, frustrated, and consumed by cravings until they end their resolutions and start eating that specific food again. If this sounds like you, why not take a new tactic this year and add something that could help both your health and your golf game? Even small changes can have beneficial effects on your health so start small by adding something you know you can do!

Here are my top three recommendations to get you started:

Drink one extra glass of water per day

  • There is no definitive rule about how much water you should drink because each person’s needs are different. However, a general rule to follow is to consume half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water. If you have trouble drinking enough water, start with just one extra glass of water per day or commit to carrying a water bottle with you to sip from throughout the day. Staying hydrated can help keep your body and mind functioning optimally and help prevent fatigue, weakness, and mental fog due to dehydration on and off the course.

Add 30 minutes of cardio per week

  • While playing golf can be mentally and physically tiring, it doesn’t often get the heart pumping. Moderate or high intensity exercises burn calories, decrease blood pressure, lower cholesterol, improve mental health, improve sleep, strengthen muscles, and increase your heart rate, which helps move oxygen throughout your body. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity per week to gain the most health benefits. If you are unaccustomed to this type of moderate/high intensity activity, consult a physician first. Start slow and choose an activity you enjoy. For example, start with 30 minutes of fast walking, swimming, or cycling per week and gradually increase the time until you reach 150-300 minutes per week. Building cardio endurance can help you feel energetic and strong at the end of 18 holes or a long tournament, especially if you are walking and carrying your own bag.

Eat one more serving of fruit or vegetables each day

  • The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults consume 1.5–2 cups of fruit and 2–3 cups of vegetables daily. However, some surveys show that only 10-12% of Americans are meeting these daily recommendations. Eating fruits and vegetables as part of your overall diet may lower your risk for certain diseases. They are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. They contain essential nutrients for health such as fiber, potassium, folate, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. If you don’t meet the daily recommendations, try adding just one more serving per day or commit to taking an extra piece of fruit or vegetable sticks to the course with you for a nutritious snack.