CREDIT: Patrick Breig | Dreamstime
People who save all their exercising for big weekend bursts of physical activity might be doing their bodies a disservice – these weekend warriors' workout habits make them prone to injury, doctors say.
Weekend-warrior injuries are most common among formerly active people over age 30, whose work and family obligations prevent weekday exercise, said Dr. Jeffrey Spang, an assistant professor of orthopedics at University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
"Much of their activity is kind of crammed into the weekend," Spang said in a statement.
People also hurt themselves when they have been inactive, and then suddenly take on a major exercise program, such as training for a half-marathon, he said.
A better plan is to break your sessions into smaller, more frequent increments and to avoid exercising too much, too soon, Spang said.
"Gradually increase the amount that you're working out – and the intensity level – on a week-to-week basis," he said.
Each day, more than 10,000 Americans visit emergency rooms for sports and exercise-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The most common workout injury is muscle strain, Spang said, but chronic tendonitis and ruptures of the Achilles tendon also result from intense exercise spurts.
If limits on free time mean working out on the weekend is the only free option, Spang said, that's better than not exercising at all . However, it's better to spread the workouts over several days throughout the week.
Here are four tips to avoid weekend-warrior injuries: