Between work, family commitments, and running errands, it’s understandable why “weekend warriors” cram all their physical activity on Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, this pattern of 5 days of inactivity, and being active on the weekend can often lead to injury.
The most common types of injuries we see in weekend warriors are:
Muscle strains such as hamstring strains
Ligament sprains, most commonly in the ankle
Tendonitis/-opathy , especially in the Achilles
Low back pain
To decrease your chances of injury, there are some things you can do. A huge step you can take is to avoid going from no activity to full out competition. Think about stop and go traffic – it puts a lot of strain and load on the parts of your car. Your body can be similar. Try to maintain a basic level of fitness through general aerobic activity, strengthening, and stretching throughout the week. If you know what type of sport you’ll be participating in, adding in some sport-specific conditioning is a good idea.
In addition to maintaining a basic level of fitness, here are a few other tips specifically for the weekend warrior:
Build your activity level slowly. If you’ve taken a layoff over the winter, build up slowly to your first 5k, or the spring softball season. Go don’t from zero to hero.
Give yourself time for a proper warm up. A dynamic warm up is best, including some jogging or other aerobic activity to get your heart rate up, along with some high knees, braiding, butt kicks, or toy soldiers will get your body ready for activity. In other words, do some easy movements before your harder movement.
Stretch when you’re done. Research has shown that static stretching before activity probably doesn’t have much benefit, but stretching after has been shown to reduce soreness and help recovery. It also gives you time to stop sweating before hopping in the shower.
Make sure your technique and equipment are up to par. Poor equipment can put you at higher risk for injury. If your technique is off, especially in sports like golf or tennis, you can be at higher risk for injury.
Don’t push through pain. Some soreness after an increase in activity is normal, but if it doesn’t go away, gets worse, or is severe, get it checked out with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy.
If you’re having pain, suffered an injury, want help designing a training program to get you ready to compete, or just want a physical check up for injury prevention and to make sure you’re ready for activity, a visit at Greensboro Physical Therapy with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy can be just what you need. No referral needed (unless insurance requires).
Give us a call at 336.274.5006 or visit greensborophysicaltherapy.com