The term weekend warrior usually conjures up images of 9 to 5ers playing hard on Saturday and Sunday, but when life involves a full-time job, a house full of kids, and a never-ending to-do list, the warrior title lends itself to gardening, house/yard work and all other gardeningmust-do projects crammed into precious little weekend time.

 

With a full plate during the week, oftentimes the body is not prepared for a weekend packed with strenuous activities, whether it be shooting hoops or pulling weeds. Weekend warrior injuries are common– knee pain, back pain, dislocations and subluxations — not only from sports, but from mundane chores as well.

Of course, developing a strong core goes a long way in preventing back injuries. Abdominal crunches, presses and modified planks are ideal exercises for improving core strength.Equally important is adopting a stretching schedule during the week — stretching is one of the best things you can do to avoid strains, pulls and tears as well as improve performance. Listed below are general rules for stretching; for specific activities or tasks, contact our office and we can recommend exercises that will be beneficial for your particular area of concern.

Stretching recommendations:

 

* Perform a light aerobic warm-up or take a 10-15 minute brisk walk.
* After warm up, hold a mild stretch of the back or legs for 20-30 seconds.
* For gardening or housework, be sure to stretch the upper body and shoulder muscles to avoid any repetitive motion injuries
* When stretching one muscle group (i.e. quads), be sure to contract the opposing muscle group (i.e. hamstrings) which gives your muscles the best stretch possible.
* Cool down with a gentle stretch again — not only will it feel great, it will help bring in fresh blood to the muscles to jump start the recovery process and minimize achiness.

A few closing thoughts:

Remember when lifting to bend at the knees and hold heavier weight objects closer to the body to avoid injuries.  In the case of injury, when it comes to ice or heat, ice is typically preferred to minimize swelling and inflammation and to relieve pain and promote healing. Heat can actually worsen an injury by making the area more inflamed, so when in doubt reach for the ice — and the phone to call our office. 631.265.1223.

Here’s to making the most of your summer weekends!