It’s officially football season, which means for sports fans everywhere, Sundays are now dedicated to game day rituals like wearing lucky underwear and chanting at the TV. But let’s be honest, for some of us the snack spread is just as exciting as the game, and the downtime spent with family and friends is what makes it so special. So whether you’re rooting for your fantasy football team or just kicking it with your squad, keep your fitness goals on track with these healthy game day strategies.
Snack smarter. This one’s easier said than done, we know, but if you want to watch the game and your waistline, here’s your path to victory. First, try to add in as many better-for-you options to your game day snack spread as possible. Don’t fumble over the queso or tumble into a bucket of chicken wings. When it’s time to execute your play on the grub, make yourself a small, healthy portion on a separate plate and stick to it. Also, avoid the rookie mistake of going to the festivities hungry. Consider eating a healthy meal beforehand, which will keep your snacking to a minimum.
Hydrate. There’s no bigger party foul than forgetting about your nonalcoholic drinks, and no one wants to start a five-day work week with a hangover. We suggest alternating every boozy bev with water to stay hydrated. This will keep your calorie consumption low and allow you to have better judgement when going back for seconds. Having a hydration strategy is vital to keeping you in the game and your designated drivers will thank you as well.
Keep moving. Who says the players should be the only ones breaking a sweat on Sunday? Try to sneak in a quick yoga session or workout before kickoff. Or, if you’re up for it, work out while watching the game. That’s right! You can take Sunday Fun-day to the next level by challenging yourself (and friends) to 25 push-ups for each touchdown, ten sit-ups for each field goal, holding a plank for the duration of a play, and so on. You can even fit in a quick jog around the block in between quarters. Tag me in, Coach!
Use this veggie tray tactic. Create the veggie tray dream team that goes beyond baby carrots and diet-crushing dips. Toss together a colorful spread of steamed asparagus, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, multicolored peppers and edamame. And of course, it wouldn’t be a true football fiesta without a hearty (and beautiful) bowl of guacamole. Whether you consider yourself a good cook or not, try whipping up your own instead of buying from the store. Not only is guac super easy to make, but you’ll feel happier knowing you’re eating a fresh batch, rather than one pumped with preservatives and artificial ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need–a few ripe avocados, salt, lime or lemon juice, cilantro and some optional jalapeño peppers if you really want to bring the heat.
Take several self care time outs. Oftentimes when we’re so focused on the game we forget that hours can go by without actually stepping away from the TV, which is enough to put anyone on the bench for days to come. So how do we tackle the benchwarmer brain fog? Try fitting some self care techniques into your Sunday that’ll help reduce anxiety, such as walking outside during commercial breaks or trying a few breathing exercises during half time. If you own a Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Inspire HR, Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Versa or Fitbit Versa 2, your tracker can also walk you through a guided breathing session, which means no matter the outcome of the game, your mind will appreciate you on Monday.