Weekend Warrior: Resist the Urge

May 27, 2022

By: Dr. Mary Rose Strickland

So much to do and so little time to do it.  We have all been there.  So what do we do?  We get to a few days off (be it a weekend, time off, etc) and we try to get it all done.  Spring cleaning.  Fall closet organization.  Run, walk, workouts.  Yardwork.  Flower and vegetable planting.  The google definition of a weekend warrior is:  “a person who participates in an activity in their spare time”.  In the musculoskeletal world, we define this as people who don’t do much activity during the week and then go crazy on the weekend.  Often ending up sore, in pain, and quite possibly injured.

How do we balance it all?  How can we participate in what we want and need to do in a way that is safe and sustainable for our bodies.  Here are my top tips to resist the urge of the weekend warrior lifestyle:

  1. Make physical activity part of your weekly routine. Instead of a 60 min run or walk on Saturdays only, do 20 minutes, 3 days a week during the week.  This helps get your body used to physical activity so come the weekends when you are doing bigger projects it isn’t such a shock to your system.  Don’t forget strength training!  Adults should be doing 20 minutes at least 2 days per week.
  2. Incorporate “movement snacks” into your workday. These are key movements that reverse whatever position your body spends lots of time in.  They can take all of 10 seconds and allow you to get right back to work.  Example:  hang up the phone?  Stand up for 10 seconds and stretch your arms overhead.  Lean over the computer? Anytime you send an email squeeze your shoulder blades together, straightening up your posture real tall.  Go to the bathroom and come back, doing 10 squats before sitting in your chair.
  3. Stay hydrated. Drinking water is so important for our overall health.  Most people don’t drink enough of it.  Shoot for drinking at least 8 full glasses per day   Some sources cite up to 124 ounces (that is almost a gallon!).  If you sweat a lot, are pregnant/breastfeeding, working in hot/humid environment, or have other health conditions you may need to be on the higher side.
  4. Do some general movements to warm up your body before doing your weekend activities or chores. Here is a video of one of my favorite warm ups.
  5. Avoid the urge to sit on the couch all evening and the next day after hitting it hard over the weekend. When you utilize a lot of muscles your body produces lactic acid as a byproduct.  Staying hydrated is a good way to flush some of that out, but staying active (even slow, gentle movements) are quite helpful.  A leisurely walk, gentle stretches, yoga session, all are good suggestions.

Finally, the key is knowing when you have just overdone it vs. when you may have injured yourself and need help.  If you are experiencing sharp pain, inability to walk or change in bowel/bladder function, significant weakness, interrupted sleep, inability to do important activities or tasks, it’s time to talk to your New Life Physical Therapist.  Don’t have one?  Email me at DrMaryRose@newlifept.com