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Super Bowl: 4 Tips for a Super-Healthy Game Day

Hummus and olives on a plate
(Image credit: <a href=''>Olives and hummus photo</a> via Shutterstock)

Diet and exercise may not be the first thing on your mind on Super Bowl Sunday, but there are a number of easy steps you can take to make game day a little healthier.

Here are four tips for a healthy Super Bowl.

Stay active

The super bowl can be 3.5 to 4 hours long, and if you spend that whole time sitting down, that's a lot of time on the couch. Mounting research suggests that spending too much time sitting down is bad for you, and may increase the risk of such conditions as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

But there are ways to stay active during the big game, with the American College of Sports Medicine recommending that when you watch TV, you should stand up and move during every commercial break.

And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests incorporating push-ups into your Super Bowl party games — for example, when one team scores a first down, the fans of the opposing team have to do 10 push-ups.

Serve wholesome snacks

Rather than sticking to chips and soda during the Super Bowl, try to incorporate some healthful snacks into the menu, such as fruits and vegetables, the CDC says. And look for foods, dips, salad dressings and beverages that are low in fat, calories, sugars and sodium.

The watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest also suggests some wholesome Super Bowl recipes and snacks, such as vegetables and hummus.

The CDC also recommends avoiding binge drinking at your party, or mixing alcohol with energy drinks. A study published last year suggested that consuming energy drinks with alcohol increased a person's desire to drink more alcohol.

Keep warm

If it's snowy or cold where you are, make sure to dress warmly if you'll be watching the game or celebrating outside, the CDC says. For example, wear layered clothes and water-repellent outer garments. Drinking warm liquids is a good idea, but the CDC recommends that you avoid alcohol because alcoholic drinks cause the body to lose heat more quickly.

Take steps to avoid the flu

It's still flu season, so it's a good idea to take steps to avoid catching or spreading the flu at any kind of gathering, the CDC says. Getting a flu shot can help prevent the flu, and covering your nose and mouth when you cough, and washing hands frequently, can help reduce the spread of germs.

Follow Rachael Rettner @Rachael Rettner. Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Rachael Rettner
Rachael has been with Live Science since 2010. She has a masters degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.