By: Active Sports Therapy
One of the many benefits of living in Calgary is that it’s the perfect setting for a weekend warrior type of person. The city boasts an amazing chain of bike paths and running trails, a full suite of softball, soccer and ultimate leagues and the mountains allow us to rock climb, ski, snowboard, kayak and hit the trails anytime we like.
We often see injuries in our weekend warriors for a few main reasons:
-The person is trying a new activity and their body is not prepared for the task at hand
-It’s the start of the ie ski, golf, or trail running season and the person’s muscles are not conditioned to participate in the activity even though they’ve done the activity in the past (ie 36 holes of golf in one day the first weekend the course is open)
-Accidents that are non-preventable
-Preventable accidents from not having proper gear or safety equipment or from making risky decisions
Here are some tips for the weekend warrior in you. We know that you’re likely to try anything and love the challenge of taking on a new activity so why not be prepared so you can lessen the chances of injury.
Stretch and Warm Up – Don’t neglect this easy way to prevent muscle pulls and even worse, muscle tears. Each sport can be specific in terms of what stretches and warm ups are best, so find out what is best for the activity at hand. Warming up is a habit, and it can take some time to develop the habit so commit to the routine of it and it will be like clockwork in no time.
Work on Your Muscles During the Week – Just like you wouldn’t run a marathon without training and prepping for it you can’t expect your body to perform in a smooth, athletic way if you’re only sitting at a desk or being sedentary during the week. Challenge your body with regular workouts and if you have an activity coming up that requires specific movements then be sure to work on those muscle groups in the gym. For example, if you’re mountain biking on the weekend then hop on the stationary bike when you’re at the gym to help prepare.
Hydration Matters – Drink enough water all throughout the week and add extra on the day of your activity. Hydrating helps regulate our body temperature and lubricates our joints. If you’re not properly hydrated, your body can have difficulty performing at its best. It can also be the cause of dizziness during and activity and can even lead to muscle cramping.
If This Activity is Just for Fun then Keep it That Way – We’re talking about perspective here. Is this recreational hockey or the Stanley Cup? If it’s simply rec league hockey there might not be a need to block that shot risking injury or pushing yourself beyond your limits. Be competitive but know your limits and maintain a perspective that allows you to participate in an activity you enjoy with a smile on your face.
Remember, you don’t use weekend warrior activities to get in shape, you get in shape so you can be a weekend warrior!
*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.