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Are you a weekend or Summer warrior? 

You know…someone who spends their weekdays behind a desk and their weekends running marathons, gardening for hours on end, building a deck or cycling across the city. 

While you may think that you can get away with saving your physical activity for the weekend, think again!

In Canada, 35% of injuries occur during participation in some type of sport or exercise and studies show that weekend warriors are actually at a greater risk of developing an injury. Especially, warriors who are over the age of 30 and are not making time to exercise during the week.

 Weekend and summer warriors have a tendency of doing too much, too fast and that’s what puts them at extra risk for injuries like muscle sprains and chronic tendonitis. 

 To avoid injury, it’s best to break your physical activity into smaller, more frequent sessions. Yes, this also goes for activities like gardening, building a deck or even house cleaning! Listen to your body. If certain activities cause your pain or discomfort like neck pain, back pain or joint pain, consider hiring someone to help get the job done.

When it comes to exercise, consider a workout that you can get done quickly and more frequently. I am a big fan of HIIT training, which is a technique that involves alternating short, intense bursts of exercise with short recovery periods. Most HIIT workouts can be done within 15-30 minutes, meaning that you just might be able to squeeze them into your busy weekday schedule.  

With this said, saving your workouts for the weekend is better than not working out at all. So if you have to, just need to be careful and pace yourself!

Here are some guidelines that can help you avoid weekend and summer warrior injuries:

1. Don’t forget to warm up: Believe it or not, it’s best to avoid stretching until your muscles and body are warmed up. You can warm up by walking or biking at a moderate pace. If you are about to do something strenuous, I recommended a dynamic warm-up (also known as movement preparation).  A dynamic warm-up involves performing 5-10 reps (per side where applicable) of exercises that use all of your biggest muscles (think lunges with a twist, high kicks, T-Push ups, etc). Taking time to warm up and stretch will help keep you on your feet in the long run. Be sure to include some core exercises in your warm up as a strong core will help ensure that you don’t “seize” your back. Here are some exercises that you can include in your dynamic warm-up:

 

2. If it hurts, stop: Sore muscles are normal after an intense workout, but if you feel sharp or stabbing pain, stop exercising immediately. Apply ice right away and if the pain continues schedule an appointment with your chiropractor or physiotherapist to have it checked out.

3. Ensure that you are using the proper technique: Injuries are often caused when you aren’t employing the proper technique. To learn about the safest ways to exercise, talk with a trainer or get educated with one of the numerous reliable sources on the Internet. 

4. Keep your spine and nervous system healthy with chiropractic care: A misaligned spine can interfere with the functions of all other systems, causing athletic performance to suffer. Regular adjustments keep the spine working smoothly and can help you avoid injury, increase performance and improve your recovery times. Don’t have a chiropractor? Click here to book a consultation. Our team of chiropractors can help you achieve your health goals! 

There you have it warrior, a few simple ways to keep you and your body in tip-top shape so that you can do what you love whether it’s during the week or on the weekend!

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