Editor in Chief
Don’t over do it!
With the hustle and bustle of the week coming to an end, Sarah looked at her weekend schedule and penciled in some much-needed work out time. However, what Sarah didn’t realize is that one day of overexertion wouldn’t make up for a week of inactivity. The weekend warrior syndrome – when men and women who don’t usually do a lot of exercise during the week try to cram a lot of activities into the weekend – can be more harmful than beneficial to our bodies. We throw on our in-line skates for the first time in months and then wake up the next day with an unbelievable backache and cramped leg muscles. We’re just itching to get out and do some yard work or plant the garden. Unfortunately the next day our shoulders are screaming in protest from doing things that didn’t used to hurt. At the very least, we are on the brink of exhaustion the next morning.
Even those who moderately exercise can injure themselves by suddenly firing the afterburners on the weekend, working physically hard, playing hard, or exercising way beyond normal levels. Our aging bodies can’t really take a beating like they used to.
Surviving the syndrome
As we age our muscles lose their flexibility, so thoroughly stretching before and after sports and physical work become even more important. “For example, those who play seasonal sports or decide to prepare for a marathon need to start slowly with conditioning,” said John Priddy, MD, who specializes in orthopedic surgery of the foot and ankle for Azalea Orthopedics. “If you’ve had an injury, visit with an orthopedist and perhaps even receive a referral to a physical therapist to discuss proper conditioning and techniques to balance the muscles you’ll be using the most. Physical therapists can help you increase dynamic stabilizers to reduce injuries.” This advice is good practice for people at any age.
Muscle fatigue and pain generally go away after a few days of complete rest or by switching to a different activity. “If there is swelling in the joint or increased pain even after rest, or if the pain returns immediately upon resuming exercise, you should see your doctor,” Dr. Priddy recommended.