Weekend Warriors

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What type of exercise 'Warrior' are you?

I had heard the colloquial term 'weekend warrior' thrown around, but I never knew it had such varied meanings?
warrior: a person aggressively, courageously, actively engaged or energetically involved in an activity.

I was inspired to write this week's blog after going for a run around the Mount Henry and Canning Bridge loop on Sunday. It was a typically warm Perth summer morning, and the water had an awe-inspiring 'glass-like' stillness to it. Around the banks of the river it was a hive of activity, as a varied army of 'Weekend Warriors' were out in full force. Some walked with dogs; some without. Some cycled with lycra; (thankfully) some without. Some ran with Ipods; some without.

It became evident that the 'weekend warrior' variety come in many shapes and sizes. It was truly inspiring to see so many people getting out and getting active. This lead me to want to find out more about this special breed of 'weekend warrior.'

I started by conducting a new-fashioned investigative Google search on the definition 'Weekend Warrior.'

The Urban Dictionary defined the weekend warrior as: 'A person who regularly parties on weekends. When you drink or smoke up on the weekends you can be considered a weekend warrior.' (OK....so that wasn't the definition I was looking for?!)

An American College of Sports Medicine journal described the 'weekend warrior' as follows:

'Some individuals may choose to compress their exercise into fewer days, such as during weekends only, giving rise to the term "weekend warriors." Although weekend warriors exercise only once or twice a week, each activity session can be prolonged, generating sufficient energy expenditure to fall within the current exercise guidelines.'

I would like to bring rise to a new type of modern-day 'weekend warrior' which I have witnessed to conquer all! I will call him... (no not 'mini me!') I will call him/her the 'Whole Week Warrior.' In their very essence the 'whole week warrior' leads a consistent path of structured exercise on weekdays and weekends. I have witnessed the benefits for the 'whole week warrior' to be truly 'whole-ranging':

*Healthy weight management

*Happier & healthier

*Improved energy levels

*Improved stamina & endurance

*Decreased risk of lifestyle diseases (eg. diabetes, cardiovascular disease).

For some of our Mind Body & Soul clients, I would already endorse them as 'whole week warriors.' For others it is a matter of picking up a weekend activity of two. For example, a couple of my clients have purchased bikes recently and committed to riding for 2 hours every weekend. During weekdays they complete 2x Group Training & 1x Personal Training sessions. They have now become 'whole week warriors' and are fully reaping the rewards.

From my experience, just one extra exercise session in your week can make a massive difference to your health & fitness. If you are not exercising at all, then yes even one exercise session is better than none at all. If you are doing 3 sessions during the week but nothing on the weekend, then the answer is to incorporate an active pursuit you enjoy on the weekend (eg. hiking, swimming, kayaking, cycling, running etc.)

The weekend is the prime time to get out and get active! We truly are in the 'lucky country' in Australia when it comes to outdoor exercise options. Minimal pollution, spectacular beaches, world-class cycling and walking tracks, great local parks and reserves; and stunning scenery to match.

It's time to get your 'Whole Week Warrior' on!

Brett Smith, Wellness Coach (Mind Body & Soul Fitness Studio).

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