If you’ve been using your weekends to their athletic maximum to make up for sedentary time during the week, congratulations, weekend warrior!
Weekend sports and outdoor adventures like team sports, hikes, swimming and skiing are good for both the mind and the body. Your well-earned weekend recreation has the added benefits of boosting your mood, reducing stress, increasing muscle and cardiovascular health, and providing a great social outlet.
Risks of Being a Weekend Warrior
But using physical recreation as a weekends-only reward comes with its own set of risks. Intermittent exercise quickly increases the risk of a muscle strain or ligament tear. Joints can easily be injured without the proper warm-up during the week. Repetitive stress injuries like plantar fasciitis or shin splints can put you in a walking boot for weeks.
Skimping on weekday workouts leaves muscles stiff and poorly conditioned for weekend performance, so you’re far more likely to get injured in the pursuit of weekend excellence.
Luckily, a little bit of preparation goes a long way. You can start immediately to optimize your weekday routines in order to excel at your weekend sports activities. Here are six simple tips that can make your weekend performance better, safer and more fun.
6 Health Tips for the Weekend Warrior
1. Reach for the Sky
Stretching should always be the first step in a warm-up routine. Basic stretching allows you to prepare the muscles for the work they are going to do, preventing muscle strain injuries. More advanced stretching exercises like yoga and Pilates also improve your balance, core strength, back strength, and conditioning for the spine.
You can reap the benefits of stretching even if you are unable to take a dedicated weekday class—just devote fifteen minutes to stretching a few days every week. Stretch before any strenuous athletic activity, on the weekend too. For a bit of variety, try an online yoga routine. You’ll feel better during your weekend activities, as well as the rest of your week.
2. Pump Iron
Strength training is an essential way to build endurance for the Weekend Warrior. Muscles need resistance training to function at their full capacity. Utilize lighter weights with multiple