We all know regular exercise is a keystone to health. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion suggests at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity to be spread out through the week. However for many, finding exercise time during the week can be a challenge. Rather, they’ll cram all their physical activity into their days off from work. These individuals are known as weekend warriors.
Depending on the activity, studies are showing this pattern of exercise can meet current physical activity recommendations. Compared to sedentary men, weekend warriors also have a significantly lower risk of dying prematurely. But before you think about tossing out your workday exercise regimen, there are some things to consider.
Most weekend warriors tend to engage in sports/activities involving groups of people, which is highly beneficial. In addition to creating a social and fun environment, the American College of Sports Medicine suggests group exercise for its benefits of schedule consistency and accountability of participation. Such activities include soccer, basketball, golf and tennis.
There are three key areas that receive the most shock and friction during intense activity:
• Joints and muscles of the knees
A weekend warrior may want to prepare their body by considering the following:
• Sneak in some weekday activity. It may seem like you’re breaking the sacred code of the weekend warrior, but consider small steps. Taking a quick 20-30 minute lunchtime walk can keep muscles engaged and joints moving.
• Warm up and stretch. A short game-day jog or brisk walk can get the blood flowing and increase joint flexibility.
• Know when to rest. Take regular rest breaks to hydrate and take the opportunity to use substitute participants when available. The odds for injury increase when you’re tired.
• Don’t over-do it. Pay attention to your body’s signals, indicating being overworked or injured. If you feel that you may have an injury, take a rest. If pain persists, see a doctor.
• Make sure your health can allow for exercise. Always check with your physician before starting any new exercise regimen.
The success of your health journey depends on figuring out what works best for you. When it comes to physical activity, some is always better than none.