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Super Bowl Spread: Making Sure You’re Not the Loser

By Sara Butler

Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots

No matter who you’re pulling for this Super Bowl Sunday, there’s one thing for sure -- your team doesn’t stop in its pursuit to be at its best and neither should you. Your health and wellness is something you have to strive for 365 days a year. You may not always succeed in that endeavor (much like your team), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shoot for the moon when it comes to your health.

So on Super Sunday, let’s take a moment to huddle and discuss our game plan for a healthier Super Bowl.

The First Quarter

OK, you’re just starting out and you’re feeling good. You’re feeling limber, feeling positive. The game stretches out before you and the possibilities are endless. You got this. But what about the snacks you’ve got on the sidelines? Like Matt Ryan, you’re thinking touchdown, touchdown, touchdown.

First of all, there is a time and place for the playing field of food before you. Don’t go all in at once. You need to remember to take your time. The wings don’t have to go with the pizza right now. You can’t show your whole game plan to everyone from the outset. You’ve got to finesse it, if for no other reason to avoid a hellacious case of heartburn later. Because, you know, there may be heartburn later.

The Second Quarter

In this quarter, concentrate on the good stuff. After you’ve had just a bit of the things you crave, go for the fruits, vegetables, and nuts on the buffet. Remember, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits is a diet that helps you to keep at a healthy weight -- and that’s good for your spine and other joints.

Half Time

Now is the time to get up and stretch. You’ve been tense over the past 30 minutes of gameplay, holding tension in your shoulders. So, relieve that tension with a few simple stretches for your sanity. Don’t worry, Lady Gaga won’t mind if you:

  • Do the twist – This one doesn’t even require standing. Simply stay seated as you sit tall and place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Then, use the left hand as leverage as you twist your torso to the right. Take a few deep breaths, come back around to the middle, and then go the other way.
  • The Opener – For this one, sit at the edge of your chair (or couch) and clasp your hands together behind your back. This stretches out the chest and shoulders as you inhale deeply. Repeat a couple of times.
  • The Hip Flexor – Your hip flexors take quite the beating with all that sitting. Give them some relief by stretching them out. Sit at the edge of a chair or the very end of the couch and extend the leg behind you, keeping the knee straight. Sit tall as you feel the stretch in your hip, and then move go to the other end of the couch and repeat on the other side..

The Third Quarter

Things are getting tense now. Maybe the game isn’t going to the way you think it should -- don’t worry. You need to focus on the ways you can control your stress reaction. Too much stress in your life, whether caused by a football game or not, can have a huge impact on your health. Your muscles tense, your blood pressure rises, and stress hormones flood your system. In the long run, this can be detrimental to your overall health, so now is the time to practice some of those stress control techniques; Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks don’t succumb to stress, and neither should the best armchair quarterbacks; after all, you’ve still got to get through the fourth quarter, where champions are made.

In the moment, get up and walk around a little bit. Yelling at the television gets you nowhere! You have to realize the outcome of this game isn’t something you control. You got a good night’s rest last night, so all there is left to do is remember to breathe and work on healthy coping strategies for your stress. Your chiropractor is a great resource for this, so make sure to ask about them the next time you’re at The Joint Chiropractic!

The Fourth Quarter

Anything that’s been out on the buffet since the first quarter should be passed over; anything that’s been left out for more than two hours will probably sack you. Such are the dangers of bacteria-laden food. For safety purposes, two hours is about the maximum anything should stay out before spoiling begins setting in, so unless you’ve had the hostess with the mostest that has been constantly refreshing food or keeping things at the appropriate temperature, you should forego any of the dregs that are still on the bench.

No matter who wins and who loses Super Bowl LI, let’s all remember one thing: Caring for your own health may not involve a fancy ring, but it is the most important thing. Sure, Tom Brady completing a touchdown pass may provide an inflated sense of importance at the moment, but in the long run, your health and wellness is what needs to be front and center.



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