You all know what a big believer I am in any and every kind of physical activity - and sports activities are very much included in that recommendation. But when you are a “sports spectator,” not only are you sitting on your butt instead of working it - but you are typically chowing down on the wrong foods - a lot of the wrong foods!
A recent review noted that sports enthusiasts, esecially those truly committed to a sport or sports team-** have a higher BMI** than more casual spectators. They also eat fast food more often, have diets higher in fat, eat less vegetables, eat breakfast less often, and consume more refined grains. The more “excitable sports fan” also drinks a lot more** alcohol** than his more controlled spectator counterpart.
Experts want to target those zealous sports fans and somehow get them eating better and exercising more, since they are a significant part of the new obesity statistics. They feel that being a die-hard sports fan, though psychologically beneficial in some ways, is down right dangerous when it comes to health, obesity and disease prevention. And the experts feel there is a great opportunity for the sports participants themselves and health providers to team up and send a message to the fans.
For example the fans need to remember that their sports heroes work out, for the most part eat healthfully and definitely watch their personal health - so they can be best in their sports. If the fans started to emulate even just some of the healthier behaviors, they could reverse the obesity and associated poor health trends they are currently at risk for.
Be a healthier sports fan by:
- Having healthier fare during TV watching - veggies and bean dip, turkey and veggie wraps, cut up fruit, baked pita chips and hummus, veggie burgers
- Have less caloric drinks and control the alcohol - one glass of light beer and then seltzers and flavored waters
- Get up and move during commercials - how about some sit ups and pushups??
- Control the amount of food you eat - mindless eating during any TV experience is a bad health habit. Decide or pre-portion how much you are going to eat and make it last. Do not have bowls of food out for grabbing.
Known as The HealthGal, expert contributor Amy Hendel is a popular medical and lifestyle reporter, nutrition and fitness expert, columnist, and brand ambassador, as well as a health coach. Trained as a physician assistant, she maintains a health coach private practice in New York and Los Angeles. Author of The Four Habits of Healthy Families, you can find her on Twitter @HealthGal1103 and on Facebook at TheHealthGal. Her personal mantra is “Fix it first with food, fitness, and lifestyle.”