Now that the snow is flying and you’re itching to get out on your skis or snowshoes, or jump on the sleds, don’t get injured by being a weekend warrior.
A weekend warrior is a person who is focused all week on work, desk-jockeying for eight hours a day, relaxing in front of the television at night and then, blam! pulls out a 20-km ski on the weekend thinking that’s going to make up for the week of sitting around.
All that’s going to get you is exhaustion and injuries. And then you’ll stop all activity completely.
Weekend warrior injuries happen mostly to those over the age of 30 who used to be regularly fit, active people, but busy home and work life has set them back from their regular habits. Injuries occur because of the lack of preparation. The usual results are muscle strains and joint discomfort.
The best plan, of course, is to overcome your weekend warrior habit. Plan ahead before pulling out the skis.
Get out for some walks, even some short bursts of walking in the snow during the week, maybe in the evening, followed by a few core exercises that you can do in your own living room.
Even a good 20-30 minute walk, five days a week, can make a difference for most people.
Performing a couple of sets of plank holds, crunches and transverse leg drops can aid to strengthen your core, which will reduce the chance of injury after your weekend ski.
Stretch whenever you have a minute. Some stretches can be done almost anywhere – you can perform a good hip flexor stretch while cutting vegetables at the counter – and that can aid in your athletic performance.
Also keep nutrition in mind. Be sure to feed yourself well during the week, as this will help reduce muscle tension and soreness and aid in your athletic ability.
Drinking enough fluids during the week, as opposed to suddenly consuming two litres of water on Saturday, will help flush your system and increase your energy levels all week.
Consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains through the week and be sure to feed your body on a regular basis.
And on the day of your ski, eat a clean healthy breakfast before heading out on the trail, to be sure you have enough fuel not only to get you out, but to get you back home again.
Practise these few easy steps and you’ll be sure to reduce fatigue, strains and injuries and enjoy your outdoor – or indoor – athletic time on the weekends much more.