Game On! The Super Bowl is a fun time to get together with family and friends. Here are five healthy game plan tips that you can champion on Super Bowl Sunday. These are resourceful for any fun and festive get-together.

Whether you’re hosting a party… enjoying the game (and commercials) as a guest, or lucky enough to travel to the big event in Santa Clara, remember these tips can help you and your loved ones enjoy the big day – to the fullest!

Tip #1 | Protect your ears

Focus on lowering the volume.

  • Often commercials ‘crank up’ the volume even though you haven’t adjusted any settings, so be aware of unwelcome noise intrusion.
  • Plan ahead. If hosting, set up an area away from the screen for chatter, so guests aren’t constantly increasing the television volume to drown out other noise. If you’re a guest, look for areas away from the screen so you can comfortably step away for conversation, and to give your ears a well-deserved break.
  • If listening to the game with earbuds, be careful of the volume setting and decibel (db) levels. Since the combination of volume and length of exposure can cause hearing loss, practice the ‘60/60 rule’: listen for 60 minutes at 60% of max volume and then take a break from it.
  • Use headphones when you can.
  • If watching in a stadium or in a large venue setting, take protection to avoid permanent hearing loss. Many smart phones allow you to monitor the db reading, so you can better recognize when something is too loud. Choose wisely when to add ear protection.

Tip #2 | Stay steady on your feet

For our friends and loved ones that experience balance and dizziness issues, they may have special diets and will appreciate a variety of beverages.

  • It’s important to remember to avoid sugary, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks.
  • Drink lots of water; there are many flavored choices available today.
  • Avoid drinks with unknown alcohol content or mixing alcohol with energy drinks.
  • Most importantly, stay hydrated and don’t overindulge.

Let a friend know in advance that you may have some unsteadiness. You can plan some type of signal or check-in so they can come to your aide discreetly.

  • If motion on the television or other screen makes you dizzy, take a ‘breather’. Remove yourself from the immediate surroundings and ask for assistance from friends.

Enjoy the commercials, but use it as a great time to take a ‘balance break’. Get some movement to maintain healthy balance.

Tip #3 | Eat healthy and have fun

Offer, pack or shop for a variety of healthy snacks that include fruits and vegetables.  Many foods have antioxidants and values that boost blood flow and help to maintain vision.

  • There are plenty of seasonal choices, but apple slices and carrot sticks are definite pleasers…they can be topped or dipped, too.
  • Many toppings are low in sugars, salt and sodium.
  • Snacks, like almonds, that contain Vitamin D and B-12, and many selections of fish that are rich in Vitamin E – essential for hearing wellness.

Tip #4 | Stay comfortable and warm

For those who consider tailgating or plan on celebrating outdoors, know that it can turn cold quickly.

  • Whether inside or out, dress warmly and wear loose-fitting clothing, layered clothes.
  • Drink warm liquids that do not contain caffeine or alcohol, as alcoholic drinks cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.
  • Remember to keep heat sources at least three feet away from any furniture or drapes.

Tip #5 | Be safe, and keep your friends and family safe too.

  • Plan ahead. Encourage the selection of a designated non-drinking driver. Take steps or make arrangements to ensure you and other guests avoid driving under the influence of alcohol.

Enjoy the game and your health!