Tips For the Weekend Warrior

Tips for the Weekend Warrior in US All.
Spring brings us plenty of reasons to take our physical activities outdoors.
And why not? The benefits of exercise are well documented. Exercising outdoors also proves to be beneficial to our brains, as well as, our bodies.
For those who lead a fairly inactive lifestyle (desk job) during the week, and then try to fit in a week’s worth of exercise during the weekend, may result in some very sore muscles at the very least. Injury is also a common factor.
Even those of us who are advanced exercisers, may find moving our activities outside may result in DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. New activities often use different muscles than we are accustomed to using.
Activities that are known to create soreness may be:
  • Jumping
  • Step Aerobics
  • Hill Walking or climbing
  • Jogging
  • Strength Training Exercise
“Any type of activity that places unaccustomed loads on muscle may lead to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This type of soreness is different from acute soreness, which is pain that develops during the actual activity. Delayed soreness typically begins to develop 12-24 hours after the exercise has been performed and may produce the greatest pain between 24-72 hours after the exercise has been performed”
–The American College of Sports Medicine.
What can be done to help ease these symptoms?
  •  Progress slowly with any new program or activity.
  •  Proper Warm-Up before exercise is essential
  • Recovery
  •  Stretch after muscles are fully warmed up (after exercise)
There is little evidence that proves warm-up, recovery, and stretching will eliminate DOMS completely, but can help prepare the muscles for future exercise.
No Pain, No Gain?
Pain should not be present in any exercise program and is not an indicator of fitness gains. In fact, pain is an indicator that we need to reduce activity to avoid further injuring the muscle or joints.
Keeping active is one of the best preventative measures in eliminating the ‘Weekend Warrior’ soreness.
30 minutes of moderate physical activity performed a minimum of 5 days per week is recommended. Moderate activities equate to hard enough to break a sweat, but easy enough to carry on a conversation. If performing vigorous activities, 20 minutes or more 3 times per week is recommended. These types of activities would include aerobic activities such as; walking, running, cycling, rowing, swimming or stair climbing. Strength Training should be performed on alternate days.
Keeping our bodies moving in a safe way is not only enjoyable, but beneficial.  Asking our bodies to perform beyond it’s capabilities may lead to injury and setbacks.
Just remember; when we push our bodies too hard; they push back!
The Thoughtful Voice in Lifestyle
#DOMS #SoreMuscles #WeekendWarrior #HealthyBody #WomensFitness #Exercise #Optoutside

High Blood Pressure and Exercise



blood-pressureMore than 75 million Americans have high blood pressure today. Of those people, three out of four over the age of 60 has hypertension. These are very dangerous statistics. If left untreated, high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, as well as peripheral arterial disease. It is well documented that exercise improves the overall function of the cardiovascular system. It can also be very effective against lowering blood pressure. Often, hypertension is treated and controlled with medication. A sound exercise program can help decrease blood pressure even further. In many cases, mild and even moderate hypertension can benefit from embracing healthy lifestyle changes, such as increased exercise, less salt intake, managed weight and overall healthier dietary choices.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise, 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or a combination of both. That means the aim should be for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week. Most studies confirm that the hypertensive client should be exercising twenty to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise at 40-70% VO2max. This aerobic exercise may be performed three to five times a week. Heavy weight training should be avoided for the person with hypertension. This is because it can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. This depends on the amount of weight that is lifted. Since resistance training is known to have long term benefits to blood pressure levels, it can be included if you lift lighter weights with more repetitions. Always get the approval from the client’s physician prior to including any weight training in the program. A sound exercise program can decrease the systolic and diastolic values by as much as five to seven points when followed consistently. It may take up to three to four weeks to begin seeing these improved numbers.

A sound exercise program will also assist in weight management, which can in turn improve blood cholesterol and glucose levels which can lead to health issues if not addressed.

Some examples of aerobic activity that may be included in the client’s exercise program:

Treadmill walking

Stair climbing




Mild aerobic exercises, such as walking or cycling, have the capability to help reduce blood pressure as much as more vigorous exercises, like jogging. The client should be able to carry on a conversation while engaging in these exercises. Many hypertensive clients will be on medication that may alter the blood pressure response to the exercise performed. Always be aware of the list of medications the client is taking and how these drugs may interact with exercise. It is also very important to allow for proper warm-up to avoid a sudden rise in blood pressure during the activity. This is essential. Just as important is the cool-down for the client. Always include an adequate cool-down in your exercise program so the client’s heart rate, and cardiovascular system can safely return to pre-exercise condition.

When including resistance training in with the program follow these guidelines from the American Heart Association:

Single set of 8 to 10 different exercises such as chest press, shoulder press, triceps extension, biceps curl, latissimus pull-down, lower back extension, abdominal crunch, leg press, leg curls, and heel raise.

These resistance exercises may be performed two or three days a week. These moves may be added slowly and monitored carefully. Never include isometric exercises. These strengthening exercises can be incorporated along with the aerobic activity two to three times a week with the physician’s approval.

This web site is for informational purposes only. Consult a physician before performing this or any exercise program. It is your responsibility to evaluate your own medical and physical condition, or that of your clients, and to independently determine whether to perform, use or adapt any of the information or content on this web site. Any exercise program may result in injury. By voluntarily undertaking any exercise displayed on this web site, you assume the risk of any resulting injury.

by Terri L. Pouliot