Weekend Warrior Warm-up!

The importance of a proper warm up and cool down for injury prevention in weekend warriors


Weekend warriors are individuals who participate in usually physically strenuous activities only on weekends or part-time (1). In a recent study published in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise researchers found that 32.3% of individuals are classified as weekend warriors, participating in 50% or more of their physical activity in a 1-2 day span in a 7 day period (2). The study found no difference in mortality rates between weekend warriors and individuals who are more regularly active over a 10-year period, however the incidence of injury was higher in weekend warriors (3,4).


Common Injuries in Weekend Warriors

  1. Muscle strains, ex. pulled muscles

  2. Ligament sprains, ex. sprained ankles

  3. Repetitive use injuries, ex. tennis elbow

  4. Tendonitis, ex. rotator cuff tendonitis

  5. Concussions

To reduce the risk of injuries in weekend warrior physical activity participation consider the following (5):


WARM UP: A proper warm up includes a gradual rise in heart rate to increase circulation and prepare the muscles for activity. Go for a 5 minute walk or move your body in a way to gradually increase your heart rate to a comfortable level. You should be able to maintain a conversation without feeling out of breath.


STRETCH: Target major muscle groups you are about to use. If static stretching hold each position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If dynamic stretching complete each stretching pattern for 30 second increments. The research doesn’t support one form of stretching over another for general physical activity participation.


PARTICIPATE: Complete your physical activity of choice.


COOL DOWN, DON’T SIT DOWN: A proper cool down includes a gradual return to resting heart rate and blood pressure to protect the hearts’ function. Go for a 5 minute walk or move your body in a way that gradually decreases your heart rate back to your resting level. Not completing a proper cool down following vigorous activity is associated with an increase risk of heart attack and/or stroke.


Physiotherapists can help you develop appropriate warm up and cool down routines based on your physical activities of choice as well as help you recover from any injuries that may be sustained as a result of physical activity participation. Contact our physiotherapy team for today for more information on our services, we'll be happy to help!


Written by: Sarah Hazlewood, Registered Physiotherapist

 

References:

  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weekend%20warrior

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6295264/

  3. https://oce.ovid.com/article/00002789-201406000-00011

  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4309770/

  5. Safran, M. , Seaber, A. & Garrett, W. (1989). Warm-Up and Muscular Injury Prevention. Sports Medicine, 8 (4), 239-249.

  6. https://www.sportnova.co.uk/warm-up

  7. https://workoutlabs.com/fit/wkt/uPmmO6H/