Are You an Mathlete or a Weekend Warrior?

A weekend warrior, according to Merriam-Webster, is a person who participates in a usually physically strenuous activity only on weekends or part-time.

Because of the sporadic participation in a sport, and the enthusiasm for the game, weekend warriors are prone to injury.  Medscape.com lists the following as common weekend warrior injuries:  Achilles tendon rupture, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, ankle sprain, shin splints.  Once injured, the weekend warrior is temporarily, or sometimes permanently, unable to participate in the sport she loves.

To improve athletic skills, increase endurance, and avoid injury, an athlete will practice almost every day, sometimes for hours each day.  Athletes will also take breaks between workouts to recover from the exertion.

Math is like a sport.  There is a muscle in our brains called the Math Muscle.  When it is exercised only on weekends, or only on the day before a weekly class meets, it is prone to exhaustion or injury.  Once exhausted or injured it is unavailable, at least temporarily, for further exercise.

Of course the Math Muscle is fictional.  But the results of being a weekend warrior math student are not fictional.  How can the Math Muscle be strengthened?  How can we keep it in shape and learn more?  How can we increase our mental endurance?

Math is a set of skills that develop best when practiced many times a week.  Math students benefit from a training schedule similar to that which is effective for athletes.  Focused work time nearly every day and plenty of time for other activities will yield greater math skills with less exhaustion and fewer injuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Common Weekend Warrior Injuries

Brian Hamzavi, MS, MD; David A Forsh, MD  |  July 13, 2015

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