If you’ve got a case of World Cup fever, you might find yourself attending watch parties or even kicking around a soccer ball with friends and family over the next few weeks. However you decide to join in on the excitement, try these tips from other sporting events that our Baylor College of Medicine experts recommend to stay healthy.
- Beat the Heat
Be smart about joining an outdoor soccer game by avoiding the hottest hours of the day and adjusting your expectations about the intensity of your workout, according to Dr. Theodore Shybut, assistant professor in the Joseph Barnhart Department of Orthopedic Surgery and a sports medicine expert at Baylor. Other tips include hydrating before heading outside and wearing lightweight clothing in light colors. Read more.
- Start slowly
If the matches are inspiring your fitness goals, it’s important to start any new activity at a low intensity level to get used to the training. Ramping up over time can help minimize soreness or injury, said Shybut. Read more.
- Try healthy food and drink swaps
If you’re hosting a watch party, consider healthy alternatives such as low-calorie mixers for drinks or 2 percent milk-fat cheese, said Roberta Anding, registered dietitian with Baylor. Ditch the tortilla chips and opt for bean chips instead to add fiber and protein to the meal. Read more nutrition tips for a watch party.
- Avoid heartburn
To ease the symptoms of acid reflux, keep an antacid handy and try avoiding peer pressure to binge drink or eat, go for a walk after eating and make healthy diet choices the next day, according to Dr. Hashem El-Serag, chair of the Margaret M. and Albert B. Alkek Department of Medicine and professor of gastroenterology and hepatology at Baylor. See more tips.
- Take care of your heart
If you have a known ailment such as hypertension, coronary artery disease or a family history of heart conditions, take medication regularly, according to Dr. Christie Ballantyne, professor of medicine and chief of the section of cardiology at Baylor. Research has shown that there is an increase in heart attacks following a heart-pounding sporting event. Be sure to check your blood pressure regularly, and head to the emergency room if you have chest pressure or tightness with symptoms such as sweating or shortness of breath.