The weekend warriors, either we are one or we know of one. These individuals are the ones who participate in strenuous physical activity every once in a while, most commonly on the weekends. Overall this physical activity is good, however; there are some things you should consider before you go all out in a pick up basketball game with your old high school friends.
First of all, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The last thing you want to happen is for your calf to cramp up in the middle of a jump shot. You should be consuming water even hours before and after the game as well. During the game you should continue to hydrate whenever possible. If the sport is strenuous or lasts more than an hour, you may want to have a carbohydrate beverage, such as Gatorade, to help you refuel.
Second, you should eat a sufficient meal before, during, and post workout. Before strenuous exercise you want to have a meal that is moderate in protein and carbohydrates, low in fat, low in fiber 1-2 hours before your workout. If you are participating in a lengthy sport such as soccer you might want to bring some oranges or fruit snacks for health time to help you keep pushing through the game. As for a post workout meal, you are looking to have a meal that is balanced in terms of protein, fats and carbohydrates. Protein is necessary in terms of repairing of the muscle and carbohydrates are necessary to repair muscle glycogen stores.
A dynamic warm-up is also very beneficial for the weekend warrior- you want to avoid injury. This type of warm-up helps you prepare mentally and specifically for the game ahead. A dynamic warm-up also increases your core temperature and increases your heart rate to get you ready to workout. Save the static stretching for after the game.
It is very important to protect your skin, so don’t forget to wear sunscreen! Remember we all have to go back to work on Monday; be safe rather than sorry, but most importantly have fun!
By Sally Leahy