Do you spend weekends pushing your body to the extreme and regretting it? If you limp into the office on Monday morning with yet another injury or ache, pushing yourself might be causing you more harm than good. We all know an active lifestyle is important, but too much activity for your fitness level can put you on the sidelines.
Most weekend warrior injuries aren’t from accidents, but from exerting beyond your limits — this can be from lack of warming up, exercising with muscle fatigue or incorrect technique. Let’s look at what to do when you’re feeling the burn…
- If you’re playing hard, protect yourself with good shoes, wrist guards and proper equipment. Wearing an ankle support or knee brace can help you prevent injuries.
- Use good technique to keep injuries such as tendinitis and stress fractures at bay.
- Increase activity slowly and strive for workouts that include strength training, cardiovascular and flexibility.
- Warm up to help muscles contract and relax easily. Spend five to ten minutes briskly walking or jogging before the workout begins. If you’re an athlete, try out the Pre-Warm Up Program on the Compex Performance Muscle Stimulator.
- Stretch after the warm up to increase blood flow, flexibility and performance. Practice proper technique when stretching and use caution, as stretching strained muscles may cause further damage. Hold for 30-60 seconds. To further avoid soreness, consider the Active Recovery Program on the Compex Performance Muscle Stimulator.
- Keep in mind your body probably cannot perform to same level as when you were young. Rather than packing all your workouts into weekends, hit the gym on weekdays too.
Prone to injury? The most vulnerable areas are the knees, lower back, shoulders, wrists, and ankles. Typical weekender injuries include sprains and strains, muscle aches, knee and back pain, heel pain, rotator cuff injuries and shin splints. Braces and support are not just for injuries; they can help prevent injury too.
Talk to your health provider if you have specific concerns.