Injury Prevention Strategies for the Weekend Warrior
All praise weekend warriors. They seem like modern heroes. In reality, a "weekend warrior" is someone who attempts to cram in a week's worth of exercise into a 2-day weekend. Whether the issue is a large workload or a busy schedule, weekend warriors have no other time.
Another characteristic of weekend warriors is their susceptibility to injury. Examples of the breed usually try to attempt more than their bodies are prepared for.
Weekend warriors need to take action to prevent injuries. Arm yourself for the weekend battle with the following strategies.
Regular physical activity is important, and it doesn't require much of a time commitment. Two to three sessions per week of cardiovascular and strength training should work fine.
Don't worry about setting aside large chunks of time for exercise. Aim for smaller intervals, between 10 to 15 minutes. Find a training partner. Studies show that people are more likely to stay on task when they work out with a friend. Be creative with your time. Work out at home with bodyweight exercises like Push-Ups and Squats. (Try these STACK workouts on for size: The Driveway Workout, The Bedroom Bodyweight Workout and 10 Powerful Push-Up Variations.)
Other strategies include using the stairs, walking whenever you can and choosing activities and chores that involve movement. Don't forget to set aside a few minutes to stretch following your workouts.
Exercise requires energy. You've got to fuel your body properly, and that means both quality and quantity. Short-term energy comes from carbohydrates, so 40% of your calories should come from "clean carbs" like whole-grain breads, cereals, and pasta. Fats provide your body with long-term (stored) energy. Aim to get 30% of your calories from healthy fats, like those found in olive oil, salmon, and peanut butter. Protein is important for muscle recovery and repair. Get 30% of your calories from lean protein sources like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. (Read Why the "Everything in Moderation" Diet Is Best for Athletes.)
Take a daily multi-vitamin to compensate for any nutritional "gaps" in your daily diet. It's absolutely vital to drink plenty of water. Dehydration can impair performance, so be sure to keep a water bottle with you during the day and drink before, during, and after exercise or activity.
Make sure you're attired properly for your type of exercise, sport, and environmental conditions. Learn proper form and training etiquette. Make sure to wear properly fitting, supportive athletic shoes, suitable for the exercise or activity in which you participate (weight training, running, court sports, etc.).