Football, soccer, biking, hiking: many of us are Titans on the weekend, but it can come with a price.
Most of the definitions for weekend warrior found online tend to revolve around the idea of having a boring desk job during the week, and drinking too much on the weekend, partying it up and partaking in other possibly exhilarating yet illegal activity in your free time.
We’re going to restrict that idea a bit. Here I’m going to whittle it down to being a person who does amazing and daring physical pursuits in their spare time. Or, maybe you just play soccer in an adult league on Saturdays, but you’re generally sitting around and nowhere near a soccer ball or a field during the week.
That counts too.
Anyways, if that’s you or something like you, you could find that it’s pretty easy to injure yourself, come fun time. Sitting at a desk all day, 5 days a week doesn’t exactly make you limber.
Here are 5 tips for staying out of the emergency room when you decide to play hard:
1) Warm Up and Stretch
Just because you used to warm up for twenty minutes in high school doesn’t mean you get a free pass now.
It’s brutal but what you did 15 years ago with your body doesn’t count, even if you feel like it should.
Take a few minutes to do some light jogging and pause to stretch your neck, arms, legs and torso before you really get going. It might feel like a waste of time, but it’s better than sitting it out for 6 months or more after you tear a ligament.
2) Be a Hero…Within Reason
We all want to be a star, and especially on the field or course. If you really are the top player and in incredible shape, great. You’re usually good to go.
History tells us though, that even a bright star can crash and burn and so it can be wise to remember what a solid (is there such a thing?) gambler will always say: know your limit and play within it.
If you don’t want to see yourself lying horizontal on the couch with a cast, don’t splay yourself out the same way over the grass to catch that Frisbee soaring miles overhead, just in the nick of time.
Remember, someone else can get it, or you can grab it next time. Because there WILL be one, and the team is going to need your superhero skills then, too.
3) Drink Enough Water
Staying hydrated while you play is also important. If your muscles aren’t getting enough fuel, you’re going to tire out that much faster. Keep a water bottle on hand and use it.
4) Do Something During the Week
This kind of defies the spirit and idea behind being a weekend warrior, but it matters. You’re actually much less likely to injure yourself if you keep active regularly and don’t go all out in sudden bursts once in a while.
Try adding running or biking into your commute or a visit or two to the gym to keep your muscles strong and ready for action. Your Sunday self will thank you!
Photo credits: DavidArts/ Bigstock; rSnapshotPhotos/Bigstock; omgimages/Bigstock; Maridav/Bigstock