It’s March Madness! The time of year when millions of people across the country live vicariously through college kids running up and down a court with an orange ball.
If you spend the month of March parked on the couch with a beer in one hand and the remote control in another, it’s time to change the way you enjoy the excitement of college basketball. Rather than packing your stomach full of carbs and moving only when it’s time to scream at the TV, may I suggest these six unique ways to stay healthy during March Madness? Trust me: your burgeoning spare tire will thank you!
Your friends may laugh at you at first, but a healthy potluck is a great way to enjoy the game of the night with those who are as crazy about the sport as you. Instead of chili-cheese dip and a six-pack, require your friends to bring along healthy fare.
Tip: try to encourage your lazier friends to do more than run to the grocery store and grab a vegetable tray!
If you’re going to watch the game by yourself, do it at the gym! College basketball is no reason to let your fitness regime fall by the wayside. Don’t warm up the couch; warm up your muscles on the treadmill or elliptical trainer while you cheer on your favorite team.
Tip: try not to scream and yell at the television while you’re at the gym; someone may think you’ve hurt yourself and come running to your aid.
There are three weeks of games; don’t turn your partner into a basketball widow! Instead of heading to a party every night, limit yourself to two a week. Better yet, limit yourself to one a week. Partying every night will ensure that you are exhausted by the end of the month, and probably five pounds heavier.
Tip: if you absolutely can’t skip the festivities, try to at least limit your drinking to one night a week.
The chances are high that you’ll be doing a bit of betting during March Madness. Instead of betting money, bet your physical fitness. Bet miles of running, weeks of eating healthy or days of abstaining from alcohol. What you bet on is up to you, but by betting your health instead of your money, you’ll come out richer in more ways than one.
Tip: if you can’t get any friends in on this new betting routine, make the bets with yourself!
Whether it’s at the park or in your driveway, host a pre-game basketball game to get everyone in the mood. It doesn’t matter if you play with your kids, friends or extended family; just play!
Tip: have each player wear a T-shirt or jersey displaying their favorite team to get them even more involved.
Many spouses or boyfriends/girlfriends know the heartache of becoming a basketball widow or widower for three weeks out of the year. Promise your significant other that, if he or she lets you enjoy the games in peace, you’ll start walking the dog and, here’s the kicker: you’ll follow that crazy new diet with him or her.
You don’t have to come out of March Madness a softer, heavier version of the person you were in February. Follow one or all of these tips and you’re guaranteed to emerge from March Madness fitter than 95 percent of your fellow fanatics!
A basketball enthusiast, guest author Georgia Baker is a member of the National Basketball Shooters Association, and practices basketball shooting whenever she has free time.