How the world cup may be affecting your health and what to do about it.
This year's world cup has no shortage of heartbreak. After the groups stages, teams with huge following like England, Italy, Spain, Ivory Coast and Ghana have all crashed out, some of them in dramatic circumstances.
If you support any of those teams, chances are your health is suffering. Here is what you need to do to stay healthy during the rest of tournament.
Are you more anxious ?
Anxiety may raise your blood pressure and lead to serious implications. If you are faint-hearted or have hypertension (high blood pressure), heart diseases, or related conditions, it is advisable you do not watch matches involving the teams you support.
You can make yourself busy during games or sleep during the match and get the score line later. You may also watch a repeat telecast of the match.
Are you eating right?
Many people suffer from an unhealthy increase or decrease in their appetite for food when their team wins, losses or draws. Some people end up eating more than is needed while others turn to comfort foods, which are mostly high in sugar, fat and salt . All of these pose risks to your health.
One solution is to make sure you do not stock your refrigerator or stores with foods high in sugar, fat and salt like fizzy drinks, sweets, crisps etc but rather with more fruits and vegetables. This will make you reach out for a fruit or vegetable instead of sweets, crisps etc.
Another solution is to eat before your team plays. This way, you will have a good appetite and be able to check the amount of food being consumed.
A third option is to get around and talk with family and friends who will cheer you up and help you forget the pain from the loss of a match so you do not seek comfort from foods.
Are you physically active ?
With two or three matches played each day and hours of analysis and highlights, it is easy for fans to spend about eight hours on nothing but non-stop football. This sedentary lifestyle (sitting in the couch or lying in bed for close to eight hours) poses risks to your health.
To deal with this, make it a point, whether you watch just one or many matches, to get up and get active (walk, dance (i.e. if your team is winning), skip, push ups or whatever activity works for) during half-time breaks.
Are you sleeping less ?
The scheduling of this year's matches and the timezones make it very likely for soccer fans to lose some sleep in order to catch the games in Brazil 2014.
Keep in mind an adult needs between 7 - 8 hours of sleep so take a nap before the match or watch a recorded broadcast.
Are you drinking or smoking ?
One more time, stress, anxiety, losing or winning may lead to the start of drinking, an unhealthy increase in alcohol consumption, or smoking, all of which pose risks to your health.
You can help yourself by refusing to stock your refrigerator or stores with alcoholic beverages. It is very important to know that the healthy lifestyle guideline for smoking is no smoking. If you do, seek professional help from a health centre. Also depending on the anti-smoking regulations in your country, you may come into contact with tobacco smoke-filled environments. In this case, you should simply avoid watching matches in pubs that are frequented by smokers in order to reduce your exposure to secondary smoking.
Finally, you should keep in mind
It takes 3 weeks to develop a habit (good or bad), the world cup is a month long. Let it end with developing a good habit.
Your team has a health practitioner to make sure players are staying healthy and each time your team is playing, the players are keeping active. Why don't you do same while supporting them ?
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