Are Fasting & Golf The Fountain of Youth Combo We All Need?
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson recently won the P.G.A. Championship at 50-years old, reportedly making him the oldest winner of a major golf tournament. I by no means consider 50 to be old, but in the world of professional sports 50 is apparently "old." Mickelson beat players half his age, so, of course, everyone wants to know: what is his secret?
It has not gone unnoticed by the media and public that Mickelson now looks a lot more fit and svelte than he looked in his younger years. Mickelson attributes his good health, toned body and victory on the golf course to hard work which includes training and practicing, eating more healthily and eliminating drinks like diet soda. He also fasts.
According to one report, Mickelson is big on practicing periodic fasting. With fasting, some people don’t eat or drink anything for a period of time, while others partake in a limited amount of food or drink, like only juice or teas.
Mickelson sometimes does a six-day coffee and water fast (which for some may be very extreme) and then fasts 36 hours every week.
(To learn about three different types of fasting, check out this pH Labs blog).Fasting May Help With Recovery & Relief From Inflammation.
“I’ve got to eat a lot less and I’ve got to eat better. I just can’t eat as much and I have to let my body kind of recover. But it’s also been a blessing for me because I feel better and I don’t have inflammation and I wake up feeling good. It’s been a sacrifice worth making,” Mickelson said, in the report mentioned above.
The concept behind fasting is that it gives the body and digestive system a break, thus promoting cell and immune system recovery. Back when food was more scarce (as in when people had to hunt and gather for their meals), people were not constantly full or eating. More often than not there were periods of food scarcity so people had no choice but to fast or eat very little until they could get more food.
Now, of course, the world (particularly the United States) looks completely different. Americans are constantly eating large meals, snacking in between these meals and even eating for entertainment. Combine this with a sedentary lifestyle and the abundance of processed and fast foods readily accessible to us, it’s no wonder why we have a major health crisis on our hands. Heart disease is the leading killer of both women and men in the United States and there are high rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases in this country. These diseases, of course, age people and may impact sports performance and quality of life. Fasting may be a useful tool in this fight.
“In rodents intermittent or periodic fasting protects against diabetes, cancers, heart disease and neurodegeneration, while in humans it helps reduce obesity, hypertension, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, fasting has the potential to delay aging and help prevent and treat diseases while minimizing the side effects caused by chronic dietary interventions,” reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Golf - Another Part of the Fountain of Youth Formula.
I’m a big fan of golf. I enjoy playing and there is evidence that playing golf may promote longevity. It is especially a great sport for boomers, because it involves a lot of walking (if you ditch the golf cart) and is low impact (so it is easy on the joints). Playing golf is also a great way to relieve stress, socialize and get outside to get some fresh air and vitamin D.
So, Should You Fast & Play Golf?
It is always a good idea to consult with a competent healthcare practitioner before starting a fasting program. What works for Phil Mickelson may not work for you. It could even be dangerous. A diet is very personal, and fasting is not necessarily something that all people should practice (even if they could stand to lose a few extra pounds). Note too that fasting is not just relevant for weight loss. It promotes cell renewal and recovery. It’s allows your body to reset and heal.
If you think golf is something you would enjoy, I say go for it! It is addicting! But, of course, not everyone enjoys it or lives in a climate where golf is easily accessible. The good news is that any form of activity whether it be yoga, walking, tennis, resistance training or biking is good for us. Just get moving and know how to fuel your body both before and after exercising. It is also not recommended to fast and exercise vigorously. Some light walking may be fine, but, again, consult with a competent healthcare practitioner.
Avoid Nutritional Deficiencies & Imbalances.
In my opinion, one of the best anti-aging tools is making sure that we maintain nutritional balance. This means our bodies should have adequate amounts of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. The reality is that most of us have nutritional deficiencies and imbalances, especially as we age. As we get older, the body is less efficient at absorbing the nutrients from the foods we eat. The good news is that we can test for these deficiencies and imbalances and work with a doctor or competent healthcare professional if the test determines that we are not nutritionally balanced. It may be necessary to adjust your diet and/or take quality supplements.
Enjoy your healthy life!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or another competent healthcare practitioner to get specific medical advice for your situation.
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.