Weekend warrior (noun): a person who participates in an activity only in their spare time.
Every day, approximately 10,000 Americans visit the emergency room for sports or exercise-related injuries. If you are a weekend warrior, it’s important to remember your body can’t go from inactive mode to weekend warrior mode in an instant. Exercise intensity needs to be progressive, or the risk for injury increases. Weekend warriors tend to jump right into an intense activity and bypass preparation.
Weekend warriors: listen up. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the weekends on a mountain, lake or ocean, or breaking in a brand new pair of running shoes, use these tips to help avoid a would-be injury for the weekend warrior.
4 Weekend Warrior Training Safety Tips
Know your limits. These days we’re bombarded with an explosion of workout techniques that encourage you to push yourself to the max (can you say Crossfit?). These could be the perfect workout but not if you’re not going from sedentary to extremely active. Understand your limits and get involved in an exercise routine that is best for you.
Don’t increase intensity too quickly. Begin with an intensity or activity level that works for you. Do not increase this by more than 10% each week.
Change it up. Many weekend warriors tend to engage in one type of activity. From cycling to water skiing, to flag football or lacrosse, no matter what your pick of the bunch is, the repetitive use and stress on the same muscle groups can leave you at higher risk of injury. Switch up your workouts throughout the week and weekend to allow your body to recover much easier and provide a greater health benefit than only engaging in one type of exercise. Pro Tip: Not only should you change each individual activity, but incorporate exercises that involve both strength training as well as cardiovascular training.
Always warm up. Skipping a proper warm up could cause pain or injury. When you warm up the muscles and tendons first it can help to prevent injury. Ten minutes of light jogging or walking combined with some light dynamic stretching is an effective way to prepare your body for exercise intensity and to minimize injuries.
Physical therapy plays an important role in injury prevention and treatment for the weekend warrior.