Loudoun County, Va. — The season of 5Ks, Tough Mudders and Spartan Races is in full swing. Whether you have thought about participating in one or are a seasoned race pro, you may have heard the term “weekend warrior” come up.
So what is a weekend warrior? A weekend warrior is a person who doesn’t consistently exercise or train during the week or in the offseason but can be found competing in races, hiking or playing in sporting events on the weekends. While this may sound appealing to many, it could actually be harmful to your body and could increase your risk of injury.
There is a lot of stress that your body is under when you compete in a race, an obstacle course or even in a game of soccer or flag football. If you don’t properly train your body, you can end up with an injury that could cause you to sit out for a few weeks or worse, require surgery.
Some of the most common injuries seen with weekend warriors include sprains and strains. In some cases, more serious injuries like fractures and tears can occur.
Often, ligament sprains and muscle strains are seen in weekend warriors. This is often a result of a poor or inadequate warm-up prior to beginning the event. It can also be because of poor form or body mechanics, which adds stress to muscles and joints that aren’t used to or prepared to handle the extra stress. In some more serious cases, the extra stress or repetitive motions put on joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles can lead to stress fractures, bone breaks or even muscle or ligament tears, which could result in surgery.
One easy way to avoid these injuries is to make exercise a habit. We all have busy schedules and can find any excuse to put something off. However, it’s important to make exercise and your health a priority. Finding a balance between cardio, stretching and strengthening can help you decrease your risk of injury if you do decide to spontaneously compete in a weekend Spartan race.
NOTE FROM OUR SPONSOR: Physical therapy is a great place to start to help you learn effective stretching and strengthening exercises. At Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, we can help keep you in your best shape and ensure that you are moving the way your body is intended to without putting extra stress on parts of your body that aren’t supposed to take on extra stress. Physical therapy will educate you on what exercises are most important for you specifically and will help you establish a home exercise program to help you maintain your progress year-round. Call our office at 703-450-4300 TODAY!