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You’ve been sitting at a desk for the better part of each day; your activity may consist of getting in and out of the car as you run errands; perhaps you take a stroll around the block after dinner. Then the weekend arrives and you gear up for a marathon. Wait! Don’t do it! You could be causing harm to your body, not to mention your ego, as you struggle to eke out those last few miles.
Jumping into a sports activity or prolonged workout on the weekend, or even an intensive session of home improvement or gardening, has earned proponents the moniker of “weekend warrior.” Ironically, the heroic sounding title has a ring of truth. You are throwing your body into battle, a war that, unfortunately, you cannot win with this strategy.
When you exercise, your body builds bone mass. When you stop exercising, your body depletes itself of calcium and bone density. Regular conditioning is important to keep your body building bone. Without that conditioning, you put force on your joints that they are not prepared to handle, and you risk stress fractures.
Beware of resting on your laurels too! If you have been exercising regularly for a period and then an injury or a schedule change forces you on to the sidelines for several weeks, plan your comeback slowly in order to make it successful. Studies have shown that even fit athletes with regular training schedules can lose up to half of their conditioning if they stop exercising entirely.