From fall to spring, sports enthusiasts revel in the thrill of watching their favorite football teams compete several nights each week. It’s more than a pastime; it’s a way of life for many Americans. Unfortunately, that lifestyle often includes unhealthy habits such as extensive sedentary time on the couch, eating more junk food, and excess alcohol consumption. New Jersey Sports Medicine offers these tips to keep football season from derailing your health goals.
- Rethink the Menu. The typical football night cuisine cues up images of deep dish pizza, nachos piled high with beef and cheese, chips with high-fat dips, and lots and lots of beer (we’ll get to that later). The good news is that there are lots of creative and satisfying ways to modify your football snack favorites into healthier, lower-calorie versions. Check out this delicious nacho pizza from Everyday Health, along with a dozen other recipes that clean up your football season cuisine.
- Run a Victory Lap. The adrenaline jolts you experience when your team scores is the perfect fuel to squeeze in a quick burst of exercise–and so is the anger you experience when the other team scores or the ref makes an unfair call. Take out your energy in health-promoting ways. When your team scores, do twenty jumping jacks. When the opponent scores, hit the floor for ten pushups.
- Hold the Booze…Mostly. Completely avoiding alcohol during football season is probably not a desirable goal, although any reduction in alcohol intake will benefit your health. Instead of abstaining, choose one football night per week to indulge. Maybe it’s Thursday night out with friends at the bar, or maybe it’s Sunday afternoon with your buddies. Whichever day you choose, placing this limitation will substantially cut calories and detrimental health effects from alcohol during football season.
Football season is a fun and memorable time to come together with friends and family. You don’t need to take away from your time together by constantly worrying about making healthy choices. Make healthy plans ahead of time so that when the game comes on, you are ready to enjoy it.
To learn more about how to improve your eating and physical activity habits, request an appointment with New Jersey Sports Medicine today!