Weekend Warrior Injury Prevention
What You Can Do To Prevent Injury
A weekend warrior is someone who participates in an activity only in their spare time. It’s all or nothing. So for most of the week, there is not much activity, then all of a sudden your body is thrown into a lot of activity. It can be a shock to your system. This activity could be sporting leagues, home renovation, gardening and so on. What remains true in all scenarios is that if your body is not active all week, and then you dive into high activity on the weekends, you are more likely to become injured.
Types Of Injuries
Types of injuries that are likely to occur with weekend warriors are sprains and strains. Some examples include a hamstring pull, an ankle sprain or a lower back injury. Rotator cuff injuries are also common. If you do become injured as a weekend warrior, be sure to talk to your chiropractor and massage therapist on the best practice to aid in healing and recovery.
Preventing Injuries Before They Occur Is Key
Obviously, it would be best to not have to deal with an injury. However, there are things within your control that can help to reduce your chances of becoming injured. Challenging your muscles through the week is very important. Your body needs to work on a regular basis to maintain its strength. You can’t expect your body to be up for a challenge it has not been trained for.
Build Up Your Endurance
Just like with a gym work out, our bodies need time to adapt to a new level of pressure or intensity being placed upon it. Start small and work up. If you’ve been inactive for a long period of time, increase your level of exercise each week until you reach your goal. You wouldn’t just jump in and attempt to run a marathon without training. Weekend warriors tend to jump right into the action before their bodies are up for the challenge.
Warm Up And Cool Down
Warming up is important for exercise, gardening, home renovations, etc. Putting a “cold” body to work may increase your chance of injury. Doing a couple of movements to loosen up your joints and muscles before you get started, will help your body prepare for the work ahead. Stretching afterward is also essential. Muscular tension can force the weekend warrior to alter their movement patterns as compensation. This may affect your ability to lift with proper technique, for example, leading to an increased chance of injury.
Don’t Push Through
If something doesn’t feel good, stop. Pain is your body telling you there is a problem. Maybe you’re lifting something heavier then you are capable. It’s possible you’ve injured a joint or a muscle that needs assistance. If an activity is causing pain, it’s best to talk to your chiropractor and massage therapist for advice. We often hear: “Yes, it hurts. But I thought it would go away, so I kept going”. Listening when your body is trying to talk to you is very important. Just because you bounced back when you were 20 doesn’t mean your body will do the same thing at 50. Our bodies change with time and the time needed to rebound from an injury or a high level of activity will also change.
This needs to happen throughout the entire week, not just the day of high activity. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already starting to get dehydrated. Muscles do not function at their best when you are dehydrated. Ensure you have water on hand but also be mindful to drink plenty of water on a daily basis.
All of these tips will help to reduce your chances of injury regardless of the current activity level and age. The best advice is not to be a weekend warrior but to be someone who maintains a good level of activity through the week. If you are dealing with a nagging ache or pain, contact us to book with our chiropractors and massage therapists.