It’s hard to argue against a good exercise. Whether you swim a few laps at the public pool, get together with friends for some pickup basketball, or lace up your shoes for a run through the scenic trail, you’re doing both your body and mind a favor by finding ways to maintain bodily health through physical activity. It’s safe to assume that most everyone seeks to be healthy and to improve his or her physical condition, but oftentimes it becomes difficult when trying to work that into 40-hour work weeks and much-needed family time. This can lead to the “weekend warrior” mentality.
A weekend warrior is one who focuses all exercise efforts into a weekend of activity, as if to cram a week’s worth of exercise into two days. While the benefits to exercising are numerous, weekend warriors of all ages should be aware of the sudden excessive stress on the body because of 18 holes of golf, a 10K race or a half-day hike. Read on to learn more about the typical weekend warrior injuries and how you can best avoid them.
Common Weekend Warrior Injuries
The specific versions of exercise you take part in will dictate their likely associated injuries. A runner will probably face those such as shin splints (sharp aches or pains felt in the shins) and stress fractures (little cracks in a bone, most often in the feet).
If you choose to exercise by making more use of the upper body, such as in a game of golf or during a Tough Mudder, you may encounter ailments such as a torn rotator cuff, which happens when the muscles that allow for full-range movement of the shoulder become frayed, or an abdominal strain, which happens when stomach muscles experience an abnormal amount of tension.
Still more serious injuries can also occur, such as tearing the ACL from an intense softball tournament or suffering a severe ankle sprain during a hike.
How Can These Problems Be Avoided?
Drs. Van Ness, Parkin and Sabri emphasize injury prevention and injury recovery as important aspects of sports performance care. At Van Ness Chiropractic, integrated care is critical to ensure all athletes – whether a weekend warrior or competing at an elite level – are prepared for the next big weekend race, game or tournament.
When Van Ness Chiropractic is part of your routine, you receive functional movement screenings and biomechanical tests to address structural alignment. Chiropractic care is combined with massage therapy and corrective exercise to speed up injury recovery and prevent the reoccurrence of the injury next weekend.
Updated Exercise Schedule
Among the best ways to decrease the likelihood of experiencing these kinds of setbacks include planning a more structured exercise schedule. For example, as opposed to working out for five hours every Saturday and Sunday, make it a point to exercise for an hour a day Monday through Friday and give yourself that weekend totally off after a loaded week of work and exercise. Or, if that’s not possible, try to work in one day of training in addition to your weekend activities. For instance, exercise on Saturday and Wednesday to avoid the “deconditioning” effect of 6 days off between activity.
Don’t just stretch before your big workout. Instead, do some stretches in the morning or before you go to bed. Doing so will help your muscles be more prepared.
Drink plenty of water:
This goes for anyone on any workout schedule but especially for a weekend warrior. Keep a water bottle handy at work and try to avoid soda or alcoholic beverages leading up to your big day, as these will only serve to sap your body’s energy.
Try something new:
You probably have your favorite exercise or activities to help keep you in shape; however, as a weekend warrior, it’s a good idea to change up your motions. Spreading out the work your muscles are performing can help prevent an injury to one specific muscle group.
No matter where your weekend activities take you, Van Ness Chiropractic has the knowledge and expertise to help guide you through exercise-related injuries and can offer professional advice on how to avoid future ones. To schedule an appointment, click here or call Van Ness Chiropractic at (847) 842-8070.