There’s a chill in the air, it’s getting darker sooner and pumpkin spice lattes are on Starbuck’s menu. It all adds up to one thing—it must be football season! (You thought I was going to say fall, didn’t you? Tricked ya.)
Although football ushers in a lot of great traditions like family time and office-bonding fantasy leagues, it also encourages some bad behaviors like sitting in front of the TV for hours and snacking on empty high-calorie foods like pizza and potato chips.
Let’s cancel out those bad byproducts of football. Replace them with these healthy habits:
Trade in your tailgating favorites. Swap out the loaded nachos for tortilla chips and salsa. The latter is just as tasty but won’t weigh you down. Still hungry? Raw veggies with hummus is a great finger food that’ll keep ya lean and mean. What about your main course? I got you. Exchange that beef burger for a lean-meat turkey version. It’s more than 80 percent fewer calories and will fill you up.
Mimic your favorite athletes. The best form of exercise is play. So, in honor of the season, play a game of two-hand touch football. (Yes, I said touch football. We’ll leave full tackle to the pros. No need to land on the injured-reserve list this early in the season.)
Oh, did I mention Triple Creek Park has a football field with your name on it? It’s true. Leap off the couch, step out into some of this temperate Tennessee weather, gather some family and friends and huddle up. You’ll have a blast and burn some calories too.
Get motivated. I’m not a football fanatic, but my husband is. I’ll admit though, when Ryan is watching the game, sometimes I don’t mind. After all, there’s a row of muscle-y men in spandex on the 50 yard line. I mean ladies, have you seen Clay Matthews? What a hunk.
Clay’s quads of steel can you be yours—and you don’t have to leave your husband. Just, head over to the Gallatin Civic Center and start a sports-specific workout routine.
Don’t know where to begin? Talk to GCC Trainers Paul Jack and Rachel Griggs. They’ll likely give you a routine that consists of intense, but short, bursts of movement.
This workout strategy is the same football players employ because it prepares them for what they must do on the field. Think about it. Plays often last between 2-15 seconds. So players exert all their strength and energy into that short time frame. Then, they rest for a minute, and repeat the burst of explosive power. A sport-specific workout will push your body harder, but for a shorter amount of time.
To get yourself in the zone before your workout, run some eye black beneath your eyes and throw on a helmet. Hey, if you look like a football player you might work out like one.
*Originally published in the Tennessean Examiner and the Gallatin News.