When football season arrives, there seems to be a different type of energy floating around in the air. Rivalries between friends pop up for 18 weeks (give or take depending on playoffs) and Sundays are filled with large quantities of beer and food; not to mention, sitting front of the TV most of the day.
Your waistline won't be affected if you skip a workout or indulge every now and then. However, for 18 plus weeks indulging in football style food (chips, dip, pizza, wings...you know fattening food) could lead to weight gain.
Instead of sabotaging your healthy routine, why not do something about it. Create healthier snack options and incorporate exercises throughout the day. Give these seven ideas a try next time you find yourself glued to the couch watching football.
Veggies GaloreWe all like to munch on crunchy snacks while watching football. (Maybe it's just me, but it helps ease my nerves when my team is cutting it close). However, chips and dip is not the best option, especially when the whole bag can be devoured in the span of a few hours. Why not swap the chips for nutritious veggies? Put all sorts of bright colors on the table. It's eye catching and full of flavor to lay out carrots, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes or broccoli. If you want to use a dip make sure it's reduced-fat.
Grill MasterSwap the Buffalo wings for lean chicken breast. Chicken breast (without skin) is a great source of protein and a better option than fatty, breaded wings. To get your Buffalo wing fix, grab your favorite hot sauce and drizzle it on the chicken as it grills on the BBQ.
BeveragesBeer and football seems to be the trendy thing. However, for every beer you drink have a glass of water. Try to limit your beer intake as beer packs on your calorie intake. Have water with fruit slices in a pitcher. It's easy to make and it's full of flavor.
Get MovingDuring commercial breaks try these four moves. You might feel ridiculous at first, but after a while people will start creating competitions out of these exercises. Trust me, every time I throw a football gathering everyone knows there will be a pull-up, plank and push up competition. It's now a tradition at my house. Winner gets to take home a prize (usually it's a pot of money from everyone who bets on a winner).
1) Football SprintsJust stand in place and sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Challenge yourself, every five seconds touch the ground with either your right hand, left hand or both. (This gets really fun when others start to get involved).
2) HeismanYou know the famous Heisman Trophy pose? Arm out, one knee up as the other is out. This is precisely what you do. Except, you'll do a three step shuffle to the right, then do the Heisman pose. Hold for three seconds and repeat. Three step shuffle to the left and Heisman pose with the opposite leg. Do this for 30 seconds.
3) Push-UpsArms a little wider than shoulder width, make sure hands are aligned with your chest. Legs are straight out, core and gluteus are tight. Lower your body, hold for two seconds and push up. (Option: Drop to your knees if a traditional push-up is a bit challenging). Start with 10, eventually you will be able to do more. Keep pushing yourself.
4) Mountain ClimbersIn a plank position—hands under shoulders, legs out, feet touch, squeeze your gluteus and core. Hold for 20 seconds. If you do a competition, see who can hold it the longest.
By this point the commercial break should be over. But, at the next break repeat these moves. If the commercial break comes back in the middle of this circuit, just pick up where you left off.
Stay on top of your diet with a nutrition plan.
Fara Rosenzweig is an online editor for Active.com.