TAILGATE, HAVE FUN, BUT WATCH YOUR ABS!
By BRIAN LANGE
It’s that time of year. Summer is over; fall is in the air and Oh yeah… It’s Football Season!!
Here we go people. Fire up the grill, drag out the coolers and grab your favorite chips, dips and wings.
I’m just not talking on the home front either. It’s time to get up, load up and get out to a game.
…it’s time for some tailgating!
I must admit. Besides hanging out with the ones you love and supporting your favorite team, Go Birds!… food is tops on my list. Now we typically don’t eat the healthiest on game day… did I mention wings already??, but there are a few things we can do to decrease the guilt about all the calories we consume and a few ways to burn off the ones we do.
BTW, some look at tailgating as a manly, belly belching, “Tim the Toolman” grunt gathering. But women enjoy it too. I think half the food preparation and event planning would go out the window if it wasn’t for our “better half” keeping us in line and on task. And yes… many know the game just as well.
Here are a few suggestions for the game day, parking lot ritual:
THE MEAL PLAN:
Think substitution. If you are having burgers, make sure the meat is lean. Chicken is a great alternative. Going skinless will help as well.
* If you are eating hot dogs, think chicken as well… but hey… they’re hot dogs.
* Think about hummus, salsa and guac as your dipping agents. Will save some calories and better for you.
* Also, use veggies rather than chips. Ok, no more “you’re ruining my day” in the food category.
Forget everything I said above. Call an audible, throw your diet to the wind and eat whatever you want.
Hey, everyone has a cheat day right? Why can’t this be yours? Besides, I am going to give you a few calorie burn options.
* We’ve all indulged in the favorites: cornhole, Frisbee or a toss of the pig skin. (after all, you are at a football game)
These are great ways to stay active, hang out with others and kill some time.
* If you plan to tailgate the entire game, here is a great idea for burning calories and the makings of some fun competition.
* Pick a few “what just happened” during the game and attach an exercise to it. For example, your team scores a touchdown, 10 “victory” pushups. The opposing team scores… 20 “loser” pushups.
* Your team gains a first down, 10 “nice work” sit-ups. Opposing team… 20 “you stink” sit ups. You get the idea. You can challenge extra points, field goals, or the point spread at the end of each quarter. * Pick whatever you want to do and attach an exercise to it. Be creative, stay active and have fun.
* Now for you serious fitness fans who despite hanging out in the stadium lot, section F, parking spot 154… (ok, maybe that’s not where you park) want something a little more challenging.
Here are a few core and upper body exercises that will help the ladies maintain that “beach body” and keep the guys from just getting beached.
* Some of the pictures hold a “higher degree” of difficulty. The same exercises, unless shown already, would be best done on the ground for the beginner.
* Pick a couple or try them all. Take it easy and enjoy the workout. After all, you’re at the stadium, not the gym.
* Very common “core” exercise to start out with. Arms bent at a 90 degree with elbows directly below shoulders, (I encourage you to put a blanket or towel under your forearms.)
* Keep a straight line from your head to your feet. Get up on your toes with your feet 3-6 inches apart.
* No… not the sound the chips make. Lie on your back, feet flat (about hip width apart) knees bent.
* Fingers behind (not grabbing) your ears and chin tucked towards your chest. Slowly lift your chest towards your knees and then back down to the ground.
* Same as the “plank” position but with your arms fully extended, a little wider than shoulder with, palms facing down and thumbs facing slightly in.
* Lower your arms until they are bent roughly 90 degrees at the elbow and then extend back up to starting position.
* Again, the starting position is the same as a plank. Gradually raise your hips up in the air. Don’t round your shoulders. Gradually lower yourself until you are back in the flat, “plank” position.
* Well, there’s a few ideas on healthy eating, games and exercises that go great with one of the most popular pastime no matter what the sport…tailgating.
Be safe. Eat, drink and exercise responsible. Enjoy the game, the season and the friendships you develop. Winning and losing is up to the team. Your job is to support, cheer and you guessed it… Tailgate!!
Brian is the manager of the Gym Source in Villanova, PA. He writes on fitness/sports specific training and has been working with athletes of all levels for over 25 yrs. You can reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.