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Weekend Warrior Wellness Training

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Getting and staying active has reached “motherhood and apple pie” status. And though wellness is important for the workplace, since well workers generally are more productive and have fewer absences and healthcare claims than unwell workers, weekend wellness warriors can suffer injuries. Today’s Advisor gives you valuable wellness training tips to protect employees.

Carly Day is a sports medicine physician at the Cleveland Clinic. “We see a variety of active patients from 6 years old to 106—from a high school or college athlete to a 40-year-old who plays softball on the weekends or an 80-year-old who likes to go for walks.”

According to Day, there are two chief types of injury associated with physical activity.

1.     The first is trauma. For example, a volleyball player jumping for a ball lands on her ankle, or a baseball player is hit by a ball and fractures a bone.

2.     “The other thing we see, which is more typical of working-age people, is overuse injury,which often comes in the form of tendonitis or muscle soreness,” says Day. An example is someone who is relatively inactive and decides to go on a 6-mile run on a Saturday afternoon. “These are preventable to some extent especially if we catch them early and get them under control.”

Day’s formula for prevention is “start low and go slow.” For example, if you want to start running, go out for a half mile, then increase by half miles. The same applies to team sports—don’t go from couch potato to four games of weekend basketball. “Ease your way into any activity so your body can accommodate and get used to the motions you’re going through,” she advises.

What about stretching? In the past, some experts have discouraged stretching before exercise. But that advice was based on experiments with elite athletes “who might lose a little power on a 100-meter dash” if they stretched first.

For average folk, Day recommends a “dynamic warm-up” to prepare the body for more vigorous activity. This could be anything from light jogging to picking up your knees several times or swaying back and forth.

One of the most common questions for those starting to exercise is how much they have to do to reap the benefits. Day agrees with federal guidelines that call for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week. She emphasizes that it is OK to break that half hour into 10-minute blocks.

“As much as you can get it in your day is what I recommend. If you need to be creative and do squats at the computer or take a walk or stretch break during work, do it.” Day strongly advises those who are overweight to drop the extra pounds. There are many advantages, including reducing the chance of injury during exercise. When walking or running, the force on knees and ankles can be several times one’s body weight.

Why It Matters

·         According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.”

·         Getting fit can help to:
-Control weight.
-Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
-Reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
-Reduce the risk of some cancers.
-Strengthen bones and muscles.
-Improve mental health and mood.
-Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls in older adults.
-Increase your chances of living longer.

·         However, weekend fitness buffs must take precautions to avoid injuries.