Shoot for Health During March Madness

4 Tips to Guard Your Health

March Madness doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your health. Use these 4 simple tips to stay ahead of the game and score some big points for your body and mind.

1. Plan ahead for healthy game-time snacks

  • Make your own dip using plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or sour cream for less fat and more protein
  • Use cut up veggies for dips instead of chips: try carrots, celery, peppers, zucchini - or use what you like best 
  • Add sliced fruit to sparkling water to replace soda or beer: try oranges, lemons, berries, apples or add your own faves
  • Plate your snacks to avoid multiple walks by the food table 

2. Get some pre-game exercise

  • Play (what else?) basketball or simply shoot hoops for a half hour to burn between 200 and 270 calories
  • Go for a brisk walk 30 minutes before tip-off
  • Take a 30 minute bike ride to burn off some pre-game adrenaline
  • For indoor exercise, try jumping rope, jumping jacks, or some stretching and yoga 

3. Stay zen like the Big Ten

  • Take deep breaths to lower your heart rate and trigger your body’s natural relaxation response
  • Put a limit on caffeine and alcohol on game days since they can increase stress levels
  • Get up and walk around during commercials and halftime to reduce tension in your body
  • Try to relax and enjoy the games. Don't lose sight of what the games are really all about: fun

 4. Know before you go (to a restaurant, that is)

  • Look for grilled or steamed options on the menu
  • Get dressing on the side instead of on top of a salad for portion control
  • Order fresh celery and carrots for dips instead of chips
  • Split an entrée with a friend to save half the calories
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