4 Ways to Burn Calories During the Big Game 

The championship game is the closest Americans get to celebrating a national football holiday. Each year, family and friends gather to watch the season’s two best National Football League teams try to beat each other on the gridiron. But the annual football showdown is about a lot more than scoring touchdowns and kicking extra points. You don’t even have to like football to join in the fun. It’s become a time to celebrate with lots of food and drinks – and the football game sometimes becomes just the backdrop to the party. But with all this indulging, what are some ways we can burn calories during the Big Game? 

Fat and calories. It’s no secret that these watch parties are all about the food. Beer, wine and other alcoholic mixed drinks are usually on the menu, too. Since the football game can last for hours and food at these parties typically is left out for grazing during the whole event, it’s been estimated that the average person ends up consuming more than 2,000 extra calories just during party snacking – more than the amount of calories an adult would normally nosh through in an entire day.  

And these party snacks and buffet items are not typically fresh veggies and salads. Among the most popular Big Game foods are pizza, mozzarella sticks, chicken wings, chips and cheese dips.  

Raise your heart rate. But this calorie fest doesn’t have to confine you to being a couch potato. With a little planning, you can add in some fun ways to get mini-workouts during the game. Here are our best suggestions: 

  • Dance along to the halftime show. The halftime show also features a short but exciting concert of great musical performances. So, push back the furniture and spend halftime busting out your best dance moves. It will raise your heart rate and help counter some of those extra calories. 
  • Get outside. If you’re ready for some fresh air, DVR the halftime show while you bundle up and head outside. Even a brisk walk around your neighborhood will feel good after the hours spent indoors. 
  • Commercial-break planks.  The commercials are sometimes more anticipated than the football game itself. These 30-second marketing spots are typically huge conversation starters. One way you can stay glued to these gems while still getting a mini-workout is to do a series of 1-minute planks during each commercial break. With roughly 50 minutes of commercial air time, you can get a serious abdominal workout. Want to make it more fun? Invite your fellow party goers to plank with you.  
  • Team challenge. The Big Game typically brings out a little friendly rivalry between sports fans. Before the action starts, set up some challenges guaranteed to get everyone’s heart beating a little faster. You can make up your own fun rules for these. For example, when one team scores a touchdown, the other team’s fans do 20 sit-ups or push-ups. Each extra point kicked can translate into 50 jumping jacks. The trick is to make the team challenges fun, and something all age groups can join in on the exercise. 

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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