On Sunday, Feb. 2, Super Bowl XLVIII, the first outdoor, cold weather NFL championship in 40 years, will kick-off right here in the New York/New Jersey region at MetLife Stadium. The Super Bowl is one of the world’s most anticipated and watched annual sporting events.
Should you be a local or a visiting football fan of the New York/New Jersey area with a ticket to the big game, or if you plan to watch it on television with family and friends, here are some healthy tips from leading experts at The Mount Sinai Hospital to keep top of mind when enjoying this year’s Super Bowl festivities.
Going to the Game? Dress Warm
Extended exposure to frigid, outdoor cold temperatures can be hazardous to your health if you do not dress appropriately. Vascular medicine experts Peter Faries, MD, Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery, and Rami Tadros, MD, Assistant Professor of Vascular Surgery in the Department of Surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital, urge all Super Bowl fans this year to take the following precautions seriously to maintain their body’s core temperature above 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) to prevent the potential for dangerous hypothermia and frostbite:
- Remember to dress in layers. Wear thermal clothing, ideally thermals made out of water-wicking and breathable material to maintain your body’s temperature
- Hands, feet, and head should be covered at all times. This allows your blood to stay warm which helps your body’s core remain warm.
- Make sure to wear gloves, warm socks, waterproof boots, and a hat.
- Keep moving your muscles regularly during the game to generate heat.
- In addition, try using hand warmer products to stay even warmer.
- Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol may make your skin flushed and temporarily make you feel warmer short-term, but actually alcohol can interrupt your body’s ability to maintain its core temperature.
- Beware if your fingers or toes start to feel painful from extended cold weather exposure or start to turn purple in color. These are early warming signs of possible frostbite. Seek warmer shelter indoors from the cold and rub your skin to increase blood flow to the affected areas. If your skin color isn’t restored seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Having a Super Bowl Party? Eat Heart Healthy
The Super Bowl is a big game day to enjoy with friends and family in person or together on television, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the game with healthier food choices. Mary Ann McLaughlin, MD, Medical Director of the Cardiac Health Program at The Mount Sinai Hospital, recommends that we all remember to make heart healthy choices every day including during Super Bowl fun. To help you continue to maintain a healthy cholesterol, blood pressure, and ideal weight level Dr. McLaughlin recommends abstaining from the traditional high-fat and high-sodium tailgate or football game watching foods by preparing the following options for you and your guests:
- Instead of chicken wings, make skinless chicken cutlets with a low-fat, low-sodium hot sauce.
- Instead of beef chili, try a vegetarian or turkey based chili recipe low in fat, and with low-fat cheese.
- Skip fried potato chips, and choose healthier baked potato chips.
- Instead of a high-fat dip, choose a fresh yogurt based dip using fresh garlic and low-sodium seasonings.
- Avoid soda, and choose to drink water or other low-calorie and low-sodium beverages.
- Try to limit excess intake of alcoholic beverages. The American Heart Association recommends no more than one drink per day for women, and no more than two for men to remain heart healthy.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven member hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.
The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians, 12-minority-owned free-standing ambulatory surgery centers, over 45 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island, as well as 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report.