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June 2011: Training Tips for the “Weekend Warrior”

31 May 2011

Dr. Danielle Bass is a fellowship-trained, board-certified sports medicine physician at the Chicago Center for Orthopedics at Weiss. Her clinical interests include runners’ injuries, lower extremity injuries, and primary and sports medicine care for the entire family. In addition to her regular office hours at Lakefront Medical Associates, Dr. Bass sees patients on Sundays at the Weiss Urgent Care clinic.

Danielle Bass, M.D.
Sports Medicine Physician
Chicago Center for Orthopedics at Weiss
Urgent Care at Weiss
(773) 564-7760

Now that the weather is warmer, more and more people participate in various outdoor activities. Chicagoans will play tennis in the park, walk or run near the lake, meet friends for beach volleyball or kick up a game of soccer with the kids. However, after a long period of inactivity during the cold Chicago winter and early spring, it can be hard to transition to being active outside, which means there’s a good chance we will become weekend warriors.

What is a weekend warrior?
A weekend warrior is anyone who:

  • Squeezes a week’s worth of activities into the one or two days of the weekend.
  • May not have trained to get back in shape after hibernating all winter.
  • Exercises at a moderate or intense level.
  • May not participate in a manageable training regimen during the week

Who is a weekend warrior?
Typically a weekend warrior is an older adult who is inactive during the week and then has an intense workout or game on the weekend. However, it’s not just older adults who earn this title: Kids, teenagers, and young- and middle-aged adults also can be weekend warriors. Whoever does not physically prepare for a sporting activity could be placed in this category.

What are the risks?
Injuries, injuries, injuries. When your body is not used to intense sporadic workouts, you are at risk for getting hurt. Injuries can include tendon inflammation, ligament tears or even a fracture. That's why it’s important to work out the correct way.

What is the correct way to work out?
There are numerous ways to avoid becoming a weekend warrior:

  1. Slowly start back into your activity. If your hobby is running, don't go outside and run a half marathon the first nice weekend. For the first month, you should slowly increase the mileage, time and intensity of your workout. The same can be said for walking and hiking, playing tennis and softball, or even swimming.
  2. Always warm up and cool down. This includes light aerobic activity, along with stretching your muscles.
  3. Include some weight training to get your muscles stronger. 
  4. Drink a lot of water before, during and after activity, and eat well-balanced meals with proteins, carbohydrates and vegetables.

What if I have an injury?
If you do get hurt while being active, stop and stay off your injury. Use ice to prevent swelling and inflammation. As soon as possible, make an appointment with your doctor. If you are in need of an orthopedic specialist, contact the Chicago Center for Orthopedics at Weiss. If you get hurt on the weekend, Weiss offers an Urgent Care clinic that’s open on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., where a sports medicine specialist can evaluate your injury without having to wait until Monday or visit an emergency room. We are here to help you not only get better, but get back in the game safely.

For more information
If you would like more information about preventing and treating sports injuries, or would like an appointment, please call Dr. Bass’ office at (773) 564-7760.