4 Weekday Prep Tips for the Weekend Warrior

By Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP for Athletico Physical Therapy

Weekend warriors are those that participate in higher levels of physical activity on the weekends with minimal activity performed during the week. In order to prevent injury, weekend warriors need to be aware of the risks their activity choices make on their bodies.

For instance, it is important to keep in mind that the body cannot go from inactive during the week to high intensity weekend warrior mode instantly. Exercise intensity and participation should be progressive to decrease the risk of injury. Here are some helpful tips to help weekend warriors stay fit for bouts of intense physical activity on the weekends:

1. Try to incorporate activity into your week

Oftentimes weekend warriors only participate in weekend activities due to time constraints during the week. However, if time does not permit a full workout during the week, even small bouts of activity can help the body with the demands placed on it during the weekends. Trying to fit in a couple of stretching sessions during the week is a good idea.

These sessions can be as short as 10 minutes but will help the muscles recover. Also consider trying strength training. There are some good strengthening exercises that require no equipment and can be performed quickly at home – such as planks or squats. These strengthening exercises will help the muscles adapt to the demands of weekend activities.

2. Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated.

Exercise requires energy and hydration. The best way to fuel the body is with a healthy diet throughout the week and weekend. Drinking water will also help performance, as dehydration can lead to overheating and potential heat exhaustion. Having protein rich snacks as well as water rich fruits and vegetables around throughout the week will help build healthy habits for activities on the weekend. 

3. Change it up.

Weekend warriors may find themselves only performing one type of activity and this repetition can leave them at higher risk of injury. Switching up routines can allow the body to recover and provide better overall benefits. Remember a well-rounded workout utilizes both cardiovascular and strength training. Use the weekdays to research new types of activities to try, from a new Saturday morning spin class to a Sunday afternoon tennis match.

4. Know your limits.

There are tons of different types of workouts to pick from and sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. Understanding limitations is key to decreasing injury risk. Do not plan to go from completely sedentary to extremely active right away. Find an activity that you like to do and gradually increase the difficulty level as you can tolerate.

  • Tip: Use the RICE method to help relieve pain and swelling for minor injuries.

Don’t Ignore Injury

If you are a weekend warrior suffering from an injury or lingering aches and pains after activity, make sure to request an appointment at your nearest Athletico location so that our clinicians can help with the healing process so you can get back to activity as soon as possible.

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