How can I keep myself healthy when watching sports?

Leopold D. Galland, MD
Internal Medicine
You can keep yourself healthy when watching sports by taking these simple steps:
  • If you take aspirin or a drug to control blood pressure or arrhythmia, make sure you don't skip your dose. Aspirin inhibits blood clotting and when a person who takes aspirin every day skips a few doses, there's a rebound increase in blood clots that's greater than if he never used aspirin.
  • A class of drugs called beta-blockers control blood pressure and heart rate by inhibiting the effect of adrenaline. Skipping beta-blockers can cause a rebound increase in sensitivity to adrenaline that raises cardiovascular mortality.
  • Watching sports is not a good time to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen. Their use is associated with significant increases in heart attack and stroke. Find other ways to relieve your headache: a warm bath, a massage, or even aspirin.
  • If you're hosting a Super Bowl party, ask smokers to take their habit outdoors. Secondhand smoke has the same adverse effects on the heart as active smoking.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation only. More than one to two drinks a day may increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmia and can damage the heart muscle itself.
  • Avoid cocaine and other stimulants, legal or illegal. They raise blood pressure, constrict blood vessels and increases blood clotting. And never mix alcohol with cocaine. Their combination substantially increases the toxicity of each drug, with potentially disastrous consequences.
  • Laugh. Finding the humor in stressful events can de-fuse them, increase enjoyment and protect your heart and mind.
  • Listen to music that makes you happy. Not only is it fun, it relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow. The type of music is not important, it is the positive emotions that the music produces that matter.
  • Choose your food wisely and flavor it with healthy spices. Sausage, steak, cheese and chips acutely increase inflammation and the tendency of your blood to clot. Fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts do the opposite.

The following list offers a few tips to keep yourself healthy while watching sports:

  • Perform calisthenics during the commercial break
  • Trade in chips and dip for fruit and vegetables
  • Every time your team scores a touchdown, drop and do push-ups
  • Alternate between sitting and standing throughout the game
  • Perform static or active stretching during the game
  • Perform self-myofascial release (foam rolling) during the game
  • Do single leg balance exercises during commercial breaks
  • Drink a gallon of water for the duration of the sporting event

And for the grand finale...

If your team wins take a victory lap (1 mile walk/jog/run)

But if your team lose, take a penalty lap (2 mile walk/jog/run) and cheer a little harder next game!!!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.