You cherish your long runs and pick-up games on the weekend, so why risk missing them by not preparing to play the other ﬁve days of the week?
If you neglect to exercise Monday through Friday but transform into a bundle of motion on Saturday and Sunday, you’re a weekend warrior—and that’s not a title to be proud of.
“Your muscles, tendons and ligaments may be unable to withstand the stresses of sports if you don’t follow a balanced exercise program during the week,” says Scott M. Levin, MD, FAAOS, Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist at Putnam Hospital Center. “When a weak, tight muscle—one that isn’t conditioned for consistent exercise—has to contract quickly and at high intensity, sprains, strains or tears can occur.”
Break free from the weekend warrior mindset with these tips:
- Make exercise a regular part of your life by looking for opportunities to ﬁt in 10-minute increments of moderate activity during weekdays, for a total of 30 minutes per day
- Learn the proper playing techniques for your sport and practice them during the week to prepare for weekend games.
- Warm up and cool down by starting each session with a few minutes of jogging in place, jumping rope or riding a stationary bike. Finish with 10 minutes of walking to allow your heart rate and breathing to normalize.
Put some time and eﬀort into exercising during the week, and your body will be less likely to let you down when you’re keeping score.
If a non-acute sports injury occurs, try RICE—rest, ice, compression and elevation—for a week. See an orthopedic specialist if pain doesn't improve or range of motion is affected. To find an orthopedic specialist, visit the physician directory at www.health-quest.org/ortho. Sign up for Health Quest's free e-newsletter here or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.
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