Preventing Injuries in the Weekend Warriorby gaylehope | Leave a Comment
Are you a “weekend warrior” who performs little to no exercise during the week and then tries to make up for it on the weekend? If you are, you are not alone. As we get older and have more responsibilities with work and family, exercise sometimes takes a backseat. We have good intentions and want to continue exercising because of the obvious health benefits but we don’t have the time, motivation, or energy during the work week. As a result, we become weekend warriors. This is a particularly problematic pattern of exercise because in many cases we do not maintain the physical activity level necessary to participate in our sport or activity and therefore open ourselves up to injury.
Injuries found in the weekend warrior population can include both traumatic injuries and overuse injuries. Some common injuries include:
- Golfers elbow (medial epicondylitis) or tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
- Shin splints
- Achilles tendonitis or rupture
- Runner’s knee (patellofemoral syndrome)
- Iliotibial band syndrome
- Sprained or fractured ankles
- Stress fractures
Injuries can occur for a variety of reasons including lack of conditioning, lack of warm-up/stretching, lack of strength and endurance necessary to complete the activity, lack of flexibility, and anatomic or biomechanical causes.
There are some basic steps that can be taken to reduce injury.
Maintain a regular and balanced routine: Activity should be performed regularly and should include a variety of cardiovascular activity, stretching, and weightlifting. Cross-training helps to prevent overuse injuries, which develop from constantly using the same muscles and tendons.
Use the correct equipment: Make sure that you have the proper gear and safety equipment for your activity.
Perform a warm-up before beginning the activity: Warming up the muscles and tendons prior to exertion can help to prevent sprains. Slow, sport-specific movements can also be beneficial to prepare you for participation in the activity.
Listen to your body: The “no pain, no gain” theory is not accurate in this case. If you feel sharp or stabbing pain with an activity, you should stop. This is your body’s way of telling you that it’s had enough.
Do not increase your activity or intensity too quickly: Start with an intensity or activity level that you can handle, and do not increase by more than 10% each week.
If you do suffer an injury, the best way to manage the injury acutely is to apply the R.I.C.E. principal. Rest the injured area to allow for healing. Ice the area for 10-15 minutes throughout the day to manage swelling and decrease pain. Apply Compression to the area and Elevate above the level of the heart to prevent and decrease swelling.
If pain persists, contact any Athletico clinic to schedule a complimentary injury screening where you will be evaluated by a licensed professional who can evaluate the injury and recommend the proper course of treatment.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.