There are plenty of people who work for the weekend. They sit at their desks for 40 hours or more, counting down the days until they can relax and get outside. Now that football season has started, you might get inspired to put together a game of touch football — or maybe hitting the trails is more your speed.
It’s always good to be active, but being sedentary during the week and getting out on the weekend to play touch football or go hiking can be surprisingly dangerous.
A sedentary lifestyle can be a huge health hazard. Sitting in an office for a majority of the day and then collapsing on the couch to watch TV or play video games takes its toll on the body. Our bodies weren’t made to sit around for hours on end. The less active you are, the less prepared your body is for physical activity, and the more likely you are to suffer an injury.
Here are some things you should be mindful of when it comes to being a weekend warrior.
Avoid back injuries. Sitting for hours already does a number on your back, and physically exerting yourself when you’re not used to it can put you at a higher risk of injuring your back. Back injuries are most common when twisting. Be more conscious of your body and strengthen your back with exercises.
Pushing yourself too hard when you’re not very fit can also lead to injury. Be aware of your limits and listen to your body. Just because you could do something in high school doesn’t mean you can do it now. Again, staying fit with exercise is key.
Experts argue as to whether or not you should stretch before playing sports or working out. One thing is certain though, and that is you don’t want to jump into strenuous physical activity right out of the gate. Stretch or no stretch, you should warm up before engaging in sports or exercise. This is true when you are active everyday, but it’s especially important if you are only active on the weekends.
Let’s face it, you shouldn’t just be active on the weekends. It’s important for your health and wellness to remain active every single day. If your work requires you to sit at a computer for 8 hours a day, find time to stand and stretch throughout the day, and make time to exercise before or after work. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every day. This can help keep you fit and healthy, and help you avoid injuries.
The American Academy of Pediatrics compiled a list of tips to help children avoid sports injuries, but these rules can apply to adults as well.
- If you’re active every day, have at least one rest day to let your body recover.
- Wear the appropriate gear and make sure that it fits properly.
- Condition your muscles to keep them strong.
- Increase your flexibility. Stretching daily is a good way to stay flexible.
- Use proper technique. Awkward twisting or torquing is a good way to hurt yourself.
- Take rest breaks when you need them.
- Be safe by playing within the rules. That means no headbutts to the chest if you’re playing soccer. Or if you’re playing anything for that matter.
- Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration and heat injury.