6 Things Every Weekend Warrior Should Be Doing Now
By Dr. Molly Casey
It’s Monday and The Joint Chiropractic is jam-packed with the worn, the weary, and the wounded. They are men and women, just like you, moving slower than usual while providing zombie-like sound effects to indicate their pain and discomfort. Ever heard of the saying “work hard, play hard?” Well, these folks take it to heart week in and week out, rain or shine. By now you’re probably wondering – who are these crazy people?
Weekend warriors are men and women who present Monday morning in rough shape after a weekend full of physical activities that exceed their current limitations -- typically athletic in nature. The average age is between 35 and 55 years old, and they were frequently fit and athletic in their younger days. Then life got busy, marriage and kids came along, and their activities had to be crammed into their spare time -- usually a few glorious hours on the weekend.
Somewhat primitive sounding, weekend warriors is an affectionate term for folks who have weeks consumed by work and kids and anything else that demands responsibility. Their jobs are often sedentary or they are unable to regularly exercise. Then comes the weekend, some nice weather, and the warriors are looking to cram every possible activity known to man into 2 ½ days. Some of it may be yard work and home DIY, but plenty of it is fun and pickup games at the park. These activities require them to use their bodies in ways they haven’t been or are not prepared for -- bending, stretching, twisting, running, diving, dunking. The toll for all that unfamiliar movement is Monday morning -- when dreams are crushed by aches and pains in places they never knew existed and the reality of their 9 to 5 sets in. However, not all is lost on Monday morning for a weekend warrior -- it also starts the clock on a five-day window to heal so that by Friday night they are ready and raring to go again.
The ebb and flow of a weekend warrior may not sound like such an awful health choice, but it can be harmful and certainly can be painful. How you prepare and recover is the real difference maker.
How to Avoid Being a Weekend Warrior Casualty
The following tips can decrease your risk of injury and suffering from your epic weekend.
Regular chiropractic adjustments - Proper spinal movement allows proper functioning of your nervous system and provides the foundation for optimal movement of all other body parts. The more consistent you are in getting chiropractic adjustments, the healthier you’ll be and the more able your body will be to perform and recover from activities with ease.
Activity during the week - The more activities you’re able to perform during the week, the easier your body will be able to handle the increased levels of activity on the weekend. For instance, someone who walks all the stairs at their office will fare better on the weekend doing yard work than someone who used the elevator all week long. The small activities and choices add up and matter.
Proper gear - Make sure you have the right equipment. Don’t go running trails in three-year-old sneakers because you were in time crunch. Don’t rake the yard for four hours with no gloves. Proper hydration is part of proper gear; drink enough water!
Stretch before and after - A 10-minute stretch session before and after will do your body wonders. Warm up those muscles and suffer less. Want to stay limber during the week, too? You can even turn that commute from hell into something swell, by performing basic stretches in your car!
Take breaks - There is no harm in rest. It actually helps us recover. If you feel discomfort while doing the activity stop, rest, and return in 10-15 minutes. If you’re in a game that you can’t get a 10-minute rest, catch your breath; walk it off and return.
Ice after - If you do find yourself sore after your activity, use ice therapy. Put a thin cloth over an ice pack and place on the affected area for 12-20 minutes, then take it off for at least 40 minutes. Repeat as necessary.
It’s likely you can get a chuckle remembering a time when you or a family member pulled a weekend warrior stunt. Though many of us have been there, there is no need to revisit the pain.
But seriously, isn’t it time you say goodbye to a case of the Mondays by using the tips above? Your body will thank you.
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