Is a Weekend Warrior a Bad Thing?
What is a weekend warrior?
It can often be hard to fit in time for exercise and wellness throughout your busy week between juggling work, family, and other commitments. A weekend warrior is someone who typically doesn’t exercise during the busy weekdays but makes up for this with strenuous or prolonged exercising during their free time on the weekends.
Why can a weekend warrior be a bad thing?
Strenuous exercise one to two days per week when the body isn’t used to working under high stress regularly creates a recipe for injuries. Strenuous exercise can include heavy weightlifting, prolonged lengthy workouts, high-speed activities, or even household tasks including high-intensity yard work, deep cleaning, and moving heavy objects.
Common Injuries Seen with Weekend Warriors:
– Shin Splints – commonly seen with runners who dramatically increase their intensity of training, such as speed, length of time, or frequency of running.
– Tendinitis / Tendinopathy – can occur at any tendon in the body due to overuse or straining a tendon.
– Muscle Strains – typically caused by over-stretching or by over-recruiting the muscle when working under a heavy load. Common muscle groups associated with muscle strains include hip adductors, hamstrings, quadriceps, calf musculature, biceps, back musculature, and more.
– Ankle Sprains – Ankles are commonly rolled and sprained due to ankle stability weakness or related to hip musculature weakness causing improper alignment down the lower extremity chain.
A Physical Therapist can help address any of the above exercise-induced injuries.
Ways to prevent being a Weekend Warrior?
– Create a schedule! Buy a calendar and block off time throughout the week for exercising. Even if the weekend is still a good time for a longer or higher intensity workout, sprinkling in at least two 30-minute workouts throughout the week will help to maintain the gains that you are working towards on the weekend.
– Create a realistic plan with goals, both short and long-term. Creating goals can help to hold yourself accountable to work towards achieving them throughout the week and monitor progress.
– Slow progression in intensity. Increasing the intensity rapidly throughout an exercise plan leads to the above overuse or over-strain injuries. Slowly building up strength, endurance, or flexibility allows the body to adapt and make the appropriate gains over time.
– Implement a warm-up and cool-down in your exercise routine. This will help to improve blood flow to the tissues being exercised. Talk with your Physical Therapist to determine appropriate warm-up and cool-down methods for you.
More information on physical therapy treatment options can be found here.