Weekend warriors – those who save exercise for Saturday and Sunday – run the risk of injury
Weekend warriors – those who save exercise for Saturday and Sunday – run the risk of injury

May 7, 2016

Fitness Tips for Weekend Warriors

Live Healthy

Weekend warriors – people who pursue sports but only infrequently and without proper conditioning – deserve credit for every minute of exercise they get.

However, in doing so, they run an increased risk for injury, such as spraining an ankle, pulling a hamstring or developing overuse injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, ACL tears or shin splints.

The reality is, many people with demanding jobs and busy lifestyles have only blocks of time to exercise on the weekends, making “weekend warrior syndrome” hard to avoid.

Most weekend warriors can avoid many of their injuries, aches and pains by committing to a brief 15- to 20-minute stretch and strengthening session every other day. Doing so will create a muscle memory that will boost performance and have a protective effect.

“A decade ago, we all used to do static stretches, thinking it would increase flexibility and decrease injuries,” says Dr. Katsuya Andy Iizuka, a family medicine physician at Straub Medical Center’s Kailua Family Health Center.

“Recent research has shown the contrary; we recommend dynamic stretching now,” Iizuka adds.

Dynamic stretching uses controlled leg movements to improve range of motion, as opposed to static stretching, which involves holding a muscle in an elongated, fixed position for 30 seconds or more.

Remember: It is important for everyone – both weekend warriors and professional athletes alike – to practice the appropriate stretches before and after a high-power activity in order to decrease the risk of injury.