Beth Daniel won 33 golf titles and is in the World Golf Hall of Fame. She was the 1990 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, and in 2003 became the oldest winner of an LPGA Tour event. Today, she keeps fit to maintain her performance in charity outings (such as Bethesda Hospital Foundation's Pro-Am recently in Lake Worth) and to be healthy in general.
Why do you keep fit?
What exercises do you do?
Since my 20s, I haven't gone heavy on cardio because of my back — I had to stop running after college. Anything that puts pressure on my back is bad.
I do Pilates two days a week for an hour. Anyone who has lower back problems, I highly recommend Pilates. My instructor, Beth Domino of Boynton Beach Pilates, mixes it up so I do a different workout every time. With Pilates, you're stretching and strengthening at the same time. It's really good for your abdominal area, so it takes pressure off your lower back.
Three days a week, I'll do a three-mile walk around my neighborhood in 40 minutes. I walk usually with a friend or friends, and sometimes by myself.
I do stretches every night. I feel better if I stretch everything out before going to bed rather than in the morning when my muscles are already tight.
Maybe a couple of days a week I'll do some strengthening with bands, but lately I've been bad with that. I like bands with handles on both ends. Put your foot in the middle and do biceps curls with both arms. And then you can do the triceps over your head. You can hook it to a door and do a rotator cuff [exercise], which is important for golf and tennis.
I play golf, but in Florida you're in a cart so it's not like you're getting a lot of exercise. I feel lazy.
How physically tough is golf?
On tour, we have caddies so we walk [but don't carry the bag]. That's one reason golfers work out so much now. On the back nine of 72 holes, you want to have that endurance to potentially hit that shot to win the tournament. If you've had a rain delay and need to play 36 holes the last day, you can definitely tell who is in shape and who isn't.
Are your workouts today different from when you played on the LPGA Tour?
Back then, I did some sort of workout at least six days a week. I did more cardio — recumbent bike, elliptical, things like that. I did workouts with free weights, and I did the cable weights where you can duplicate what a golf swing is like.
I did a light workout every day before I played: five or 10 minutes of bike or elliptical, then some exercises and stretches, and then to the range to warm up. And then I would tee off.
Does your family keep fit?
My family is very active and always has been. My parents — Dad is 85 and Mom is 80 — have a dog they walk probably a mile every day. Mom plays golf twice a week, Dad three times. They walk the course. My mom does light exercises in a class twice a week. My older brother works out every morning before work. My sister does a lot of walking and bike rides as well.
What's your typical diet?
I try to eat a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, lean meat with vegetables and brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. I stay away from fatty foods and eat organic when I can. I try not to eat the same thing more than twice a week.
I eat three meals a day. Sometimes I have a snack in the afternoon — usually nuts or mixed nuts: almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts. When I go out to restaurants, I'll eat fish.
I haven't had soda in years. I drink water and hot tea. Usually in the mornings, I have hot tea, and at night green tea. I also like iced tea. I brew decaf iced tea at home. I don't drink juice because it has too much sugar.
Do you take any vitamins or sports supplements?
Muscle Milk smoothies or just Muscle Milk. It tastes good and passes drug testing. I like Larabars. I like the taste and the all-natural ingredients with nuts and dates and other fruit.
Occasionally I take calcium-magnesium and occasionally omega-3, especially if I've been eating crummy.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to get fit?
Doing anything is better than nothing. Some people feel like when they work out, they have to give up an hour. But even walking somewhere instead of taking your car is healthy. Once you begin, you feel so good and you get so much energy that you want to keep doing it.
Get fitness tips from golfer Beth Daniel
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