o Tackle those late-night cravings. Inviting everyone over for a well-balanced meal before the game can ward off those late-night cravings that can lead to calorie-packed food choices. Have light snacks prepared and easily accessible during the game to avoid reaching for quick, fatty fixes that could throw off your weight management game. Keeping your body mass index under 25 is just part of a winning strategy.
o Use halftime to take the game outside. Studies have shown sitting for long periods of time can be bad for your health. Get that blood pumping with a quick game of your own outside. Physical activity is key to optimal heart health and can help you maintain a healthier weight which, in turn, minimizes your risk for diabetes — a major risk factor for heart disease. It is recommended everyone gets at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Simply vowing to get off the couch and go for a walk during halftime gets you to your goal.
o Don’t let the game break your heart. Is your team losing? Try not to sweat it. Stress management and keeping your blood pressure in check are important components to a healthy heart. Keep your cool by walking it off or taking a moment to meditate during commercial breaks. Also, don’t turn to cigarettes to calm those nerves. Smoking is another risk factor for heart disease and doing so increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
o A higher score doesn’t mean you’re winning. When it comes to cholesterol, a higher score is not a good thing. Several factors contribute to high cholesterol including family history and diet. The winning scores are typically less than 200 and for those with a history of heart disease, less than 160.
o Don’t take yourself out of the game. Consuming too much alcohol or mixing energy drinks with alcohol is never a game-winning move, especially when it comes to your heart. Moderation is key. Limit yourself to one drink per hour and match each drink you consume with at least one glass of water. Making sure you’ve had enough to eat to offset the effects of alcohol will keep you in the game.
Information: visit www.piedmontheart.org and take a free, online heart assessment.