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  • Writer's pictureJo Soria

Super Bowl Stress is Real. Here’s How to Manage It

February brings us American Heart Month and the biggest game of the year. Unfortunately, studies show that Super Bowl-related anxiety and habits can have a significant impact on our cardiovascular and mental health.


Huddle up with the #TRN team as we look at maintaining a heart-healthy game day this year.


People cheering at game; Super Bowl; Super Bowl Stress


High Stakes Sunday: How Super Bowl Stress Affects Sports Fans

Many may see professional sports as a fun pastime that brings our family and friends together. But for die-hard sports fans, gameday emotions may run high enough to increase their risk of high blood pressure and cardiac events. Spectators who already have a history of heart disease or present other risk factors are especially vulnerable to adverse cardiovascular outcomes in the wake of the game.


"It's Just One Day"

And while gameday stress is real, we're also not doing ourselves any favors when we pile on excessive habits that further aggravate it.


"There are behaviors that can be associated with the Super Bowl that are not heart-healthy. You might think, 'One day doesn't make a difference, right?'" says cardiologist Dr. Tamara Horwich. But even one day of spiking our heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol—think alcohol and heavy, fatty foods with a side of tense arguments—could be putting us at serious risk.



Quick Tips for Sidelining Your Stress on Gameday

So, what can we do to reduce our cardiovascular risks on Super Bowl Sunday or similar events? Experts say it's all about moderation, particularly if you already have other risk factors working against you. Here's how to hold on to your gameday traditions while also keeping it heart-healthy.


Mind Your Menu

Ease up on your alcohol intake and fried or fatty foods, especially later in the evening. Consider filling up on a balanced, heart-healthy meal before heading to the Super Bowl Party or sports bar. You can still snack on all your favorites in moderation but try to balance it out with plenty of water and some lean protein or veggies.


Minimize Financial Stress

When we're distracted by the game, it may be easier to lose track of our financial constraints and inadvertently create problems for ourselves later. If you're on a budget, be mindful about betting, bar tabs, and buying rounds. Set a spending limit ahead of time and stick to it.


Take a Time Out, Really

We get it: the refs don't know what they're doing and your Facebook friends have no idea what they're talking about. Even so, save yourself some stress and avoid escalating social media or in-person arguments. If tensions run particularly high post-game, take a breather and stay off social media; it's not worth sacrificing your mental health.


Focus on the Fun

You can still spend your Super Bowl Sunday doing your favorite things with your favorite people. Move around, dance, cheer, and keep the mood light. Movement and laughter are good for your heart.


We've Got Your Back on Gameday

With some simple safeguards in place, Super Bowl stress can be managed, and today's gameday can be an exciting event that gives you something to root for and guards your health at the same time.


Happy Super Bowl Sunday from your #TRN team!



 

Want to be a part of the #TRN Team? We are looking for guest writers to contribute to our blog. Reach out to jo@trustedreferral.org to learn more.

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