HealthONE - May 06, 2018

Football season is rapidly approaching, which means that cases of hypertension are expected to increase. Hypertension, or high blood pressure as it more commonly known as, has been associated with sporting events for decades. A Munich study completed in 2006 showed that hospitals had twice as many cases of cardiac emergencies on days when the German men's National Soccer team played as compared to when they had no game. Among those who were diagnosed with heart health issues, the rate was quadruple their normal average. It has been found that American football is just as problematic. American football is a roller coaster of emotions and anxiety from kickoffs to fumbles. So, when an individual's blood pleasure soars, the chances are increased of a stroke or heart attack.

From the first preseason game to the championship, be sure to be mindful of these heart healthy tips on your game day to help keep your blood pressure in check.

  • Add arugula to your salad, as it contains nitrates that help lower blood pressure
  • Exercise for 30 minutes or more before you grab a seat to watch your sporting event
  • Lowering the amount of sodium your body takes in is a good way for you to manage your blood pressure. It is recommended by the American Heart Association that you limit your sodium intake to less then 1,500 mg per day
  • Grab hold of a stress ball (or other stress reliving object) and squeeze for those unexpected plays during the game
  • Stay away from processed meats, and instead eat game day dishes made with chicken or turkey
  • Substitute olive oil for saturated and trans fats, because it may help reduce up to 50 percent the need for high blood pressure medicine.

The most important thing to keep in mind, is that it is only a game. When your team does lose, we tend to take it personally. Depression and stress can take its toll on your health and behavior. Overeating and disrupted sleep patterns can be detrimental to your overall health, so it's important to keep things in perspective. Remember the old saying, there is always the next game, or next year!