Do you suffer from weekend warrior syndrome? Here are some tips to help

2022/05/25 Home Education and advice

Do you suffer from weekend warrior syndrome? Here are some tips to help
Daniel Abrego Lemus Daniel Abrego Lemus Physiotherapist

The arrival of spring and the warmer weather often coincides with the return to outdoor sports activities that have been put on hold by the winter period. It is sometimes difficult, however, to exercise on a regular basis with our obligations to work, family, friends, and even social networks. It is not uncommon for many of us to condense these activities during the weekend. We call these people “weekend warriors”!

What is a weekend warrior?

Perhaps some fathers will recognize themselves in this description. It can be defined by those who compress their physical activity time in a weekend in an intensive or even excessive way. Perhaps it is those who do office work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and whose second shift begins once they get home. They look forward to the weekend to be able to devote themselves to their favorite sporting activities which could not be accomplished for lack of time during the week.

I am often asked at the clinic if I treat high level athletes. I would tell you that a good number of my patients are actually active people who correspond to the description of “weekend warriors”. This practice although popular includes several risks for injury.

Weekend warrior

How to reduce the risk of injury?

So here are some tips for weekend warriors to enjoy the beautiful weather while minimizing the risk of injury:

Be realistic with your goals

If you’re mostly sedentary during the week by the nature of your job and your lifestyle, don’t plan to run a marathon on the weekend. This activity requires a lot of preparation for high-level athletes and would require the same amount of preparation for anyone else. Set realistic goals and it will save you a lot of injuries.

Stay active during the week

Even if your lifestyle prevents you from going to practicing various sports or physical activities during the week, try to take the lunch break to do some exercises in preparation for your weekend sport. These specific exercises will have the goal of preparing your body to adjust better for your busy weekend.

Adopt a progressive overload with your workouts

If you start training again, begin with a light intensity and gradually increase the intensity from week to week. Physiotherapists often suggest the 10% rule. This means not increasing your training volumes or intensity by more than 10% per week to give your body a chance to adapt.

Warm up before starting your physical activity

Take between 10 to 15 minutes before your workouts to perform dynamic stretches and prepare your joints for the physical effort that is coming. Take the time to perform a light cardiovascular warm-up to circulate the blood and thus oxygenate your muscles.

Take the time to equip yourself properly for the sport you are going to do

Surely you wouldn’t go out in the winter without a winter coat. The same goes for outdoor sports in the spring and summer months.  Water is the best drink for hydration.  Remember to remain hydrated before and during the activity and rehydrate once the activity is over.  Wear the appropriate clothing including using a hat and sunscreen to protect the skin from the dangers of the sun.

Take the time to listen to your pain

I tell all my patients that pain is like an alarm system and that it is there to warn us when there is something wrong. Pain is not necessarily our enemy, but an ally. Take the time to listen to it before you do further damage to your body. Listen to the pain when you start feeling discomfort in your shins while running faster during your first mile run. Take time to rest when you have signs of the flu. Maybe it would be better to rest if you didn’t have a chance to sleep well the night before working out. Listening to your body is an art that takes time to develop, but which can save you from many pitfalls in the future.

Weekend warrior

Be careful

These easy tips will allow you to minimize your risk of injury and continue to practice your sport in complete comfort. If, despite these few tips, you develop injuries or persistent pain, do not delay in consulting our physiotherapists who will be able to put you back on the right track. They will be able to perform an analysis of your condition, plan an adapted and appropriate treatment plan according to your objectives to continue your sport without pain.

It is normal to have questions when trying something new. We now offer the possibility to schedule a free orientation call with a therapist to help you decide if physiotherapy is right for you!

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