“Work hard, play hard” is the motto for Weekend Warriors. During the summer, people tend to be more active in the nice weather. Unfortunately, sometimes this can cause injuries for Weekend Warriors because of the long period of inactivity before their competition.

Here are some tips from Atlantic Spine Specialists to prevent summer injuries:

Don’t overexert yourself– Whether it be competing in a Tough Mudder, running a 5k, or even doing multiple activities in a triathlon, people need to cognizant of their fitness level. If you lead a sedentary life and aren’t actively training for a competition or performing an activity, then you shouldn’t jump back into it all at once. If you haven’t jogged in six months, you shouldn’t immediately run 6 miles.
Always warm up– Stretching and doing a pre-workout activity, like jumping jacks, should be performed before any workout. Stretching loosens your muscles, and a pre-workout activity increases blood flow. Both are important for optimal performance and results.
Build up– If you plan on running a marathon, you need to build incrementally toward a goal. Consider running only 1 mile the first few times while your stamina increases.
Be Safe– A major injury that can have devastating effects is caused when people want to cool off in the pool from their Weekend Warrior competition. Sometimes people don’t make sure that the body of water that they dive into is deep enough to allow them to jump in safely. Always test a pool, creek, lake, etc to see how deep it is.

If you do get injured, here are some ways to alleviate your pain:

Ice– The tried-and-true method to easing pain works very effectively.
Over-the-counter medications– Pain relievers will help provide temporary comfort.
Rest– You need to give your body time to recover. You should stop doing whatever activity caused you pain. Don’t try to live up to the Weekend Warrior namesake too much by powering through an injury.
Schedule a Consultation– Request a consultation with Atlantic Spine Specialists. Atlantic Spine Specialists feature fellowship-trained, board-certified spine surgeons Carl Giordano, M.D. and Richard Nachwalter, M.D..