Tips for Weekend Warriors
David Cohen, MD, Codirector of MedStar Franklin Square Sports Medicine
While physical activity is good for you, it can be dangerous for those who don’t do it regularly. By exercising intermittently, weekend warriors run the risk of a sports injury that can keep them from enjoying what they love most.
That doesn’t mean you should give up. If you are a weekend warrior, just keep these tips in mind to avoid serious injuries.
It’s hard to face, but you can’t do exactly what you did when you were a teenager. Don’t attempt to run a marathon or lift a significant amount of weights when you haven’t worked out in months. Try making small changes like taking longer walks or jogging to gradually increase your endurance and stamina.
Before and After
Warm up before and cool down after working out or playing a sport. Just remember that cold muscles don’t like being called into action suddenly and are more likely to be pulled or torn. A basic warm-up should be five to 10 minutes of walking or light jogging. Follow that with some stretching to loosen up large muscle groups you will be using for your sport. At the end of the sport or activity, cool down gradually to bring your heart rate back to normal. This can include stretching to prevent muscle soreness.
Try a Variety of Exercises
By not working the same muscle groups, you improve your chances of preventing injuries. Cross-train by doing various types of exercise during the week. If you like to do long cross-country runs during the weekend, for example, try swimming or stretching-related activities during the week.
Recovery is key. By giving your muscles time to rest, you are allowing them to build up in strength. By resting properly between workouts and activities, you will allow your muscles to have stronger tone, which can help reduce potential injuries.
With a little planning and following the proper guidelines, you won’t have to give up your Saturday softball or Sunday hiking date.
For additional tips from Dr. Cohen, an orthopedic surgeon, attend a FREE seminar, “Sports Medicine for the Everyday Athlete,” on Wednesday, May 11. To register call 443-777-7900.