Weekend Warrior, Monday Morning Sufferer

How to avoid the Monday Morning workout hangover

I can almost set my clock to the call; its 7:30 am on a Monday morning and one of my patients call my cell (I should really stop giving out my personal number). “Doc I played golf over the weekend and my back is killing me, can you help?”

As a physical therapist, I always try and put my patients first, and one of the things I hate more than anything is PAIN. So when one of my patients calls me in agony I will do my best to help them. However as they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so here is my take on this Monday morning phenomena.

Weekend warriors are a special type of athlete. I have had semi-pro baseball players, triatholon champions down to the runner wannabe. They all have one thing in common: The desire to be as active as possible but with little or no time to do so. As we get older and family/work obligations get in the way of our exercise routines, the only time we have to get back into it is the weekend.

This happens 2-3 times a month, even more often as the weather gets warmer. You would think the way some of these guys play sports they are on a professional level. While their skills may be, their bodies aren’t quite there anymore. While I do my best to accommodate my patients as best as possible, I try to impart the importance of taking just a few simple tips to help remove that Monday Morning Suffering.

  1. Stretch
    It’s a basic tenet of any workout regimen, yet many people do a quick 2-minute stretch and think they are all good. You need to really focus on those muscles that will be used; Here is a link for 5 quick stretches, that may take more than 2 minutes, but are well worthwhile.
  2. Hydrate
    The more the better, our muscles need water and electrolytes to heal properly.
    Gotta start slow and ramp up, don’t start running at full speed or go from sitting on a bench to playing 45 minutes of heavy basketball
  4. Keep it in perspective
    You may not be 20 years old anymore, don’t expect your body to recover as you once did. I find that any 50 year old can do as much as a 20-something, but they need that training and ramp up time to get there.
  5. Stretch!
    That post stretch is even more important than your pre-stretch. At this point your muscles are loose from running around, now is the time to get that extra length in the muscle fibers.

With these simple tips you can avoid needing to get that Monday morning call in. Trust me we will both be happier for it!

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