By: Meg Irish
Posted: September 19, 2019
Not all of us are seasoned athletes, training consistently day in and day out because let’s face it, we have busy schedules to keep. For those of us who find other ways to sneak in exercise, we typically fall in the category of a weekend warrior, picking up a game of basketball with friends or participating in a weekend 5K. This category doesn’t necessarily mean you cram exercise in only on the weekend. It refers to a person who participates in physically strenuous activity only a few days of the week, rather than spreading it out evenly throughout the week.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the recommendations for physical activity for adults vary depending upon activity level. At least two and half hours per week is recommended for moderate activity such as walking, bicycling, or gardening. For more vigorous activity such as swimming, running, or aerobic dancing, at least an hour and half per week is recommended.
Due to long periods of inactivity intermingled with bursts of high activity, the weekend warrior athlete tends to be more prone to injury. Predisposing injury factors include poor fitness base, older age, intermittent participation, increased weight, and medical comorbidities. Weekend warriors typically experience acute injuries such as an ankle sprain or muscle strain, tendinitis, and ACL or meniscus tears. These often occur because the athlete experiences greater stress over a shorter period of time compared to those who exercise regularly.
Dr. Lara Quinlan frequently sees patients with weekend warrior injuries. “The worst thing people do with ankle sprains is to not treat them. This leads to improper healing, inability to regain strength, proprioception, and reoccurrence injury,” said Lara Quinlan, MD, CAQSM. If left untreated, the patient loses their proprioceptive function, the sense of knowing the body’s relative position in space. The proprioceptive sensory receptors relay information to the brain about large and subtle shifts in movement. Without it, we would not be able to balance, dance, run, or walk on uneven surfaces. Read more