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10 Tips for the Weekend Warrior

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10 Tips for the Weekend Warrior

Most sports injuries happen when physical activity is inconsistent and/or infrequent. Fractures, contusions, lacerations, pulled muscles, sprains, and strains are the most common sports injuries experienced by the weekend warrior.

If you find that the only way to get any exercise is to cram everything into your weekend, practice these tips for staying healthy and safe as a weekend warrior:

  1. Take your time. When learning a new technique, go slowly, step by step, until you’ve mastered it. Exercise ought to be a pleasure, not a military-style workout.
  2. Focus on form and technique. Allow your body to become accustomed to the various motions required, especially with strength and flexibility training; moving efficiently is one of the best ways to avoid injury.
  3. Get a second opinion. There’s a reason two heads (and two sets of eyes) are better than one. Ask an expert if you’re performing the movements correctly.
  4. Don’t overdo it. The most common injury for runners, swimmers, tennis players, and weight trainers is overuse. Moving faster, more aggressively, and/or for longer simply puts you at high risk for injury.
  5. Split your time. Whenever possible, especially with aerobic workouts, split your time into multiple, smaller workouts.
  6. Improve your nutrition. Exercise requires energy. Be sure your diet includes adequate amounts of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and vitamins and minerals.
  7. Stay hydrated. During exertion, you lose water faster than your brain realizes. Dehydration disrupts the body’s ability to perform at its optimum. And water loss of around 10% of your body’s weight can actually be fatal.
  8. Wear proper footwear. For example, running requires a shoe with an impact-absorbing cushion, while shoes with side-to-side ankle stabilization are best for court sports.
  9. Supplemental exercises. Body weight conditioning, calisthenics, and stretches are little things you can do throughout the week to get your body into tiptop shape for the main event.
  10. Listen to your body. If you’re very fatigued, take a break or slow down for a short period of time.