It was a busy week at work and you did not get out to exercises; but fear not because you still have the weekend right?!
You know that it is recommended that you get you regularly exercise so you push yourself on Saturday and Sunday to make up for the lack of activity during the week, leaving your body sore and achy until the next weekend in time to restart the cycle all over again.
If you find yourself in this cycle- you are a weekend warrior.
This is an all too common presentation that we see from our clients, and even we the physiotherapists have fell into this cycle. As a weekend warrior we push our bodies to a larger intensity then our muscles, tendons and joints are use to in a short time period overloading the structures and increasing your risk of injury.
Common injuries that occur include sprains and strains, shin splints and tenodonitis/ tendonopathies of the elbow, shoulder and ankle! As well research has found that there is an increase in the number of falls leading to fractures during sport and hiking which is proposed to be due to increased fatigue from not increasing our endurance over time.
Should you exercise only on the weekends?
Short answer yes… if your only opportunity to exercise is on the weekends. There are more benefit to be had if the activity is spread over the whole week. But weekend exercise is better than no exercise.
Regular physical activity is important for a number of physical and mental benefits including decreased risk of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, cancers, type 2 diabetes, stroke, depression and is related to reduced overall risk of morbidity and mortality. Research also suggests health benefits can start to occur in weekend warriors in comparison to inactive people but are not as high as in regularly active individuals.
How can you decrease your risk of injury?
- Take a look at your week. Try to see if there is any time that suits to do some form of physical activity. At lunch, are you able to go for a brisk walk? Or at the end of the day with your family? While watching TV – what about choosing 3 or 4 exercises to do over commercials? Physical activity does not have to be going to the gym, just any form of activity that starts to increase our heart rate and warm the body?
- Warm up! This is an important step since our bodies have been sitting all week- by jumping back into activity without warming up your muscles will have reduced flexibility putting you are a higher risk of strains and sprains!
- After your work out complete a cool down and stretch the body parts that you worked. This will help to relax the muscle and prevent delayed muscle soreness that would carry into the week.
- Understand your body. If you start to feel pain- maybe you stretched for the ball a little too far and felt a pull- stop gently stretch and cool down resting the body part prior to returning. This will help minimize risk of worsening strains and sprains.
- Physiotherapy can help. Once you have an injury it is important to rest and if impacting your day to day- speak with a physiotherapist. They can help to guide you in the healing and return to sport process while also look at your biomechanics and muscle weaknesses to help prevent recurring injuries! Call us on 045-866075 or book on line here http://physiotherapyworks.ie/book-online/
Overall, exercise and sport on the weekend is a great activity to help improve our health and decrease risk of disease, however it is important to acknowledge and prepare to prevent common overload injuries.
If you are experiencing any pains or injuries as a weekend warrior, call in and speak with a physiotherapist (045-866075 or http://physiotherapyworks.ie/book-online/ ) We can help with: returning to activity, management of injuries, recovery, assessment of muscle imbalances or other factors that my be contributing to risk of injury!
By Tara Moore MISCP
Donovan et al. 2017. Association of “Weekend Warrior” and Other Leisure Time Physical Activity Patterns With Risks for All-Cause, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer Mortality. JAMA, 177, 3
Roberts et al., 2014. Weekend Warrior: fact or fiction for major trauma? Canadian Journal of Surgery, 57, 3
Weekend warrior exercise: is it good for you? 2017. http://theconversation.com/weekend-warrior-exercise-is-it-good-for-you-70964