Weekend Warrior: (noun) a person who partakes in physically tasking activities on the weekends or in his or her free time, but may not be in great physical shape due to lack of regular exercise and training.

Because weekend warriors often jump right into their activities without preparation, they are the group most likely to suffer from non-professional sport related injuries. Most commonly, these injuries include muscle strain or tears, joint inflammation and sprains. Usually these injuries can be treated with therapy, but the best option is to avoid injury altogether!

If you are active on the weekends or in your free time, but not committed to a regular fitness program, exercise is still great for you! Just keep in mind the following tips to be safe and injury free.

1. Have Realistic Expectations.

If you are not a regular exerciser, don’t expect to perform on the level of someone who is. Think of how much training and preparation professional athletes undergo in order to perform at the top of their game. It’s best to set out on your activity with a goal in mind of what you realistically can achieve.

2. Warm up and Cool Down.

A simple but often overlooked facet of exercise, warming up is essential for preparing your body for physical activity. Walking, light jogging and stretching are great ways to warm yourself up before engaging in intense exercise. Cooling down is also important as it helps your body restore regular circulation. To cool down, keep moving, but reduce your intensity until you feel your heart rate and breathing return to normal.

3. Listen to Your Body.

If you feel sharp pain or discomfort during your activity, it’s your body sending you a message. When this happens, stop what you’re doing – don’t push through the pain! Continuing to put demand on a muscle in pain can result in injury that could sideline you for a long time.

4. Make Time For Fitness During the Week.

Setting aside even a little time for exercise during the week can greatly reduce your chances for injury. There are little things you can do like taking the stairs and parking far away from buildings to add more activity to your normal day. Setting aside just a little time in the morning or evening for stretching is another simple way to add fitness into your everyday routine. We personally love group exercise and invite you to join us for a class!

5. Train for Events.

If you’re planning to participate in a marathon, triathlon, the Tough Mudder, Spartan Race or other physically demanding event, make sure you take time to train for the event at least several weeks in advance. If you’re unsure how best to train for an event like this, contact us and we can help you prepare and hone your skills to perform at your best.