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How often does work and family get in the way of your weekday exercise regimen? Does Monday roll around and you find yourself with more aches and pains, even a new injury? You might be falling victim to weekend warrior syndrome, and no, it is not as cool as it sounds.

What is Weekend Warrior Syndrome?

Weekend Warrior Syndrome happens when people are too busy during the week to exercise, leading them to overdo it on the weekend. Joe is a perfect example. He’s 45, a corporate attorney, and married with three kids. Between working long hours and shuttling kids to soccer practice, Joe has little time during the week for exercise. However, he spontaneously decides to join his friends on a 5K one weekend, despite his lack of training.

Who can fall victim to Weekend Warrior Syndrome?

Weekend Warrior Syndrome can happen to anyone! Typically though, weekend warriors are men 30 years old or older who are juggling work and family commitments – AKA our friend Joe. That’s why it is especially important for men to be aware of weekend warrior syndrome and know what to do if they find themselves in warrior pose!

Why does Weekend Warrior Syndrome happen?

Because of their irregular exercise pattern, Weekend Warriors are more prone to accidents and injuries than those who spread their workouts over the entire week. When squishing hours of workout time into one or two days, weekend warriors often forget to stretch properly and pay attention to important signals that their body is sending them. Working out like this leads to more injury.

How to Ward Off Weekend Warrior Syndrome?

  • Warm up and cool down – make sure to include a warm up period that includes stretching muscles before you begin physical activity and a cool down period when you are done. This will reduce the risk of straining or pulling a muscle while working out.
  • Listen to your body – if you feel sharp or stabbing pains during your workout, stop immediately and use ice. By listening to your body, you will lower your chances of pushing yourself beyond what’s good for you.
  • Work out during the week – finding just 30 minutes a day to exercise can help you resist the urge to push yourself so hard during the weekend. It can be a big relief to get to the weekend and know that you already did an adequate amount of exercise for the week.
  • One way to help you do this is to set up a routine with a workout buddy. You’ll have the time blocked in your schedule and more reason to follow through, knowing that someone is relying on you.
  • Do it right – take the time to learn the proper technique to reduce risk of injury. Any physical activity can hurt your body in the long run if done the wrong way. Seek out information from a trainer or the Internet to make sure that you are working out safely.