I’ll admit to not being as active as I should be or used to be. When I was still in my twenties, I was pretty active, taking part in mountain biking trips to local trails and riding my bike around the neighborhood. Through college, in fact, my only means of transportation was my bike or my feet (or the occasional ride from a friend).
It was safe to say I was fairly in shape, but I would classify myself as more of a weekend warrior. Then, the kids came, and I became more round in shape.
It’s something I have been planning dealing with, and we have discussed getting back in to exercise before on the blog. If I can reclaim my weekend warrior status, I would be pretty happy. It just so happens Riley Hale, MD, has some tips for how weekend warriors can stay injury free. Dr. Hale, who specializes in orthopedic surgery in Greeley, suggested the following:
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days. It can help you avoid serious injury and is good for your overall health. Dr. Hale recommends a brisk walk, a short run, a hike or time on a bicycle to condition your body for more intense weekend activities. Cross-training exercises also build strength and endurance.
- Learn proper technique. Before diving into any activity at 100 miles per hour, make sure you know what you’re doing. Take the time to learn the proper way to lift weights, ride a bike or whatever you may choose.
- Get advice. A trainer or coach can give you safe strategies to help you master your chosen sport or activity.
- Listen to your body. You’ve probably heard this before, but overuse injuries are most common among runners, swimmers, tennis enthusiasts and the like. If you’re feeling tired or sore, it’s best to listen to your body and lower your intensity.
- Change up the workouts. Hale recommends changing up your exercise routines and having more frequent workouts of shorter durations. This gives individual muscle groups more time to rest.
- Talk to your doctor. Before deciding you’re going to be the next Tour de France champion, have a talk with your doctor about how your diet and nutrition can enhance your performance.
- Drink plenty of fluids. We’ve talked about this as it relates to kids, but it’s just as important for adults. Make sure you drink plenty of water. It can help avoid cramps and other discomfort – and keeps your brain sharp.
- Use the proper equipment. If you’re a runner, for example, get fitted for shoes that support your stride. A cyclist should make sure the bike fits properly.
- Warm up. Spend at least 10 minutes warming up and doing gentle stretching before any strenuous activity, and make sure to cool down and stretch again when you’ve finished.
Now, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll go find more motivation for getting back to being a weekend warrior. Maybe I’ll even get the bike out of storage.