Dr. Campbell: Health effects of watching football

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Today is the first Sunday of NFL action and many of you will be glued to the TV set for multiple games today.

Millions of Americans watch NFL games and some health experts have concerns about the health effects of binge watching.

Any time we sit for long periods of time and consume lots of calories, it can take a toll on our bodies. Specific risks include:

  • Sitting too long—it can put you at risk for blood clots called DVTs or deep vein thromboses.
  • Stress—allowing the stress of a competitive game get the best of you can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke. It can also raise your blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Unhealthy eating and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Strained relationships—don’t forget about your spouse and kids during football season.

Some health experts also claim that football season can also come with some health benefits. Social interaction and the engagement with others that football season and game parties promote can have long-reaching health benefits.

Football can bring together people from diverse backgrounds. In addition, football viewing can provide a much needed diversion from daily life and provide an opportunity for you to relax.  Football can also provide life lessons for both adults and children. Watching coaches and players cooperate, remain calm and produce under pressure can provide inspiration for you own life.

Here are some tips to stay healthy during the football season:

  • Watch the game with others—being with other fans can help you avoid prolonged sitting and may keep you more active during a game.
  • Eat healthy and exercise before the game—maintaining a healthy lifestyle allows for the occasional binge on the couch for football.
  • Take breaks—walk around and even go outside during commercial breaks
  • Surround yourself with healthy foods and water—while having some traditionally unhealthy football snacks around is OK, it is important to also have healthy choices and lots of water around as well.
  • Keep proper perspective—no matter how important the game is, make sure to remember—football is just a game. Don’t let the stress of the competition get the best of you. Enjoy family and friends.

To get in touch with Dr. Campbell, you can head to his website, Facebook page or message him on Twitter. If there’s a topic you’d like to see Dr. Campbell cover, let us know by sending an email to newstips@wncn.com.

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