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Weekend Warriors: 6 Tips to Prevent Injuries

it band syndrome

By Cierra Washington, ATC

120 hours in a week. Subtract the 40 hours you spend at work. 80 hours. Now, subtract the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night. 40 hours. And don’t forget the 2 hours you have to spend each day on things like  grocery shopping, cleaning the house, laundry, cooking. 30 hours. If you have kids, any remaining hours are spent parenting. Hectic schedules leave minimum time to fit in a workout. That’s why the so-called ‘weekend warrior’ lifestyle has become more popular.

What is a ‘weekend warrior’? The term refers to those who only participate in  physical activity, whether that’s working out or playing a sport, solely on the weekends. This includes those who compete in marathons, triathlons or Spartan races. They don’t have time to get their exercise in daily and, therefore, spend several hours doing these activities over the weekend.

Being a weekend warrior is better than being a couch potato, but it’s important to keep tabs on your physical capabilities and take necessary precautions when you are jumping back into activity. Historically, there has been a negative connotation associated with the ‘weekend warrior’ term, but according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, there is also evidence supporting the long-term benefits of this this fitness regimen over those who live more sedentary lifestyles.

If your weekly schedule has made you adopt the weekend warrior lifestyle, there are some important tips to follow:

  1. Eat a healthy diet. This provides your body with the fuel needed to perform physical activity. Incorporate plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats.
  2. Staying hydrated. Water is needed for proper brain function. When we exercise, we lose water much more quickly. It’s important for men and women to drink at least 15 cups and 11 cups, respectively every day. As we sweat, we lose water and need to replace it. Otherwise, dehydration is a concern.
  3. Wear proper footwear.
  4. Warm Up and Cool Down: Performing a 10-minute warm up enables your muscles to increase in temperature. A proper cool down helps your muscles recover.
  5. Do supplemental activities: Try your hardest to find 15-30 minutes during the week for activities that maintain strength like a short jog, planks or dynamic movements that mimic your weekend activity.
  6.  Mix it up: Participating in the same exercise can predispose you to overuse injuries. To maintain your body’s functional strength, maximize your workouts by alternating the muscles you’re using. For example, if you’re a tennis player, give your arms a break and instead, opt for a weekend of soccer.

At Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, we treat many weekend warriors for injuries such as muscle strains, overuse injuries, fractures, ligament sprains and general weaknesses.

Common complaints we hear:

  • Pain during exercise
  • An inability to perform repetitive movements
  • Aches after exercise

Our clinicians can design a personalized plan of care and exercise program that is tailored to fit your individual needs. Whether you’re training for a race, trying to get back into a sport for the first time in a while or trying to maintain a fitness regimen on the weekends,  knowing the right exercises for you is critical to prevent injuries. CLICK HERE to schedule your FREE ASSESSMENT with one of our clinicians so you can maintain your weekend warrior lifestyle safely and injury-free!