Dr. Susan Knight-Nanni
Tips for Weekend Warriors
Springtime is just around the corner! If you’re an outdoor exercise enthusiast, you’re spending your time dreaming of the longer and warmer days ahead.
Many people enjoy being active, but their busy schedule doesn't allow for a regular workout routine though the week. If you fall under this category, you may be considered a Weekend Warrior. This is defined as someone who waits all week to finally be able to exert energy in a long and extensive workout when they are off on the weekend.
While physical activity is good for you, it can be dangerous for those who don't do it regularly and over exert themselves in small time intervals. By exercising intermittently, weekend warriors run the risk of a sports injury that can keep them from enjoying what they love doing most- being active.
Here are some tips to help you get through the final days of cabin fever. Get ready to take on the new season with a consistent fitness plan that keeps you safe and injury free.
Be Realistic and Listen to Your Body
It's hard to face, but we are constantly aging. Your fitness level at 50 may not be the same as it once was in your early 20s. Although some things come back like riding a bike, unfortunately most fitness activities do not fall in that category. When you haven’t worked out in awhile, it’s not wise to attempt to run a marathon or lift a significant amount of weight. Instead, make small changes like challenging yourself to take more steps in the day. Jog or take the stairs instead of using the elevator. Listen to your body and go at a pace that will gradually increase your endurance and stamina over time.
Don’t Forget the Warm Ups
It’s important to include a warm up before a workout and a cool down following. Just remember, muscles don't like being called into action suddenly and are more likely to be pulled or torn. It’s a simple task to take 5 to 10 minutes of walking or light jogging to get your body ready for a workout session. Stretching is also important and can loosen up large muscle groups while also playing a role in avoiding sports injuries. At the end of your activity, cool down gradually to bring your heart rate back to normal. It’s a good tip to also include stretching at this point to prevent muscle soreness and increase flexibility. Remember to inhale through your nose and blow out through your mouth to get your heart rate back to normal.
Variety is Key
Switch it up this season with new activities! Not only is it mentally stimulating but your body will thank you. By not working the same muscle groups each time, you improve your chances of preventing injuries. One tip is to use cross-training techniques. Try to perform different types of exercise during the week to help maximize your weekend workout gains.
Allow Yourself Downtime
As with everything, moderation is key. It’s important to remind yourself to slow down and allow your body some downtime. By giving your muscles time to rest, you are allowing them to recover. This can be highly beneficial as you move closer to your workout goals while also lowering your risks of sports injuries.
If your muscles are tight or your back needs some special attention after your workout we can help. Contact our office today to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Susan Knight. With a little planning and discipline you can have a consistent and safe workout for many weekends to come!