What’s summertime without a few hot days and cool evenings spent at the ballpark? Going to baseball games is a great family-friendly activity, however, it’s not so diet-friendly.
How can we keep our healthy habits in check while attending baseball games? Here are a few tips to take with you to the next game.
Plan your meals.
Seek out better options and do your research ahead of time to ensure you stick to your nutritious regimen. Go online and see what vendors are at the stadium.
If nothing aligns with your meal plan, consider packing a small cooler with healthy options. This way, you’ll be able to reach for something nutritious instead of that greasy burger – no matter how appealing it looks.
Bringing your own food to the ballpark will not only help you stick to your health goals, but it will save you money. Ballpark food and drinks can add up quickly, so avoid overspending by packing a meal and snacks to bring with you.
Be smart about your food and drink choices.
However, if you want to treat yourself to some old-fashioned ballpark food, be conscious about the foods you’re selecting.
If you cannot do without that ballpark hotdog, watch the toppings. Enjoy your hotdog with a little ketchup and/or mustard and skip the chili, cheese, and all the fixings.
If all you want is a snack, be conscious of the sugar and salt content. Enjoy some unsalted peanuts instead of popcorn or cracker jacks.
As for drinks, stick to water or sugar-free iced tea and stay away from sugary drinks and beer.
According to the USDA, one can of non-caffeinated soda contains about 39 grams of sugar. The daily recommended amount of sugar per day is 25 grams, so be sure to steer clear of soda whenever possible.
However, if you’re craving an ice-cold beer, there are ways you can indulge while staying in line with your health goals.
Drinking water or sugar-free iced tea will also help to ensure that you are staying properly hydrated on a hot, sunny day.
Watch portion size.
Ballpark meals are HUGE! Sharing a meal with friends and family is a great way to not only cut back on your calorie intake for the day, but it can also save you money.
You might find that eating only half of a hot pretzel or hot dog is all you needed to fill up. If you’re really hungry still, opt for the healthiest options you can find such as unsalted nuts, reduced fat chips, or fruit if available.
Do not eat or drink mindlessly.
Think about what you are eating while you eat. If you are more focused on the game than your hotdog, your brain does not register the meal the same way.
More often than not, distracted eating results in a lingering appetite. Also, waiting a few minutes after you finish eating to see if you’re still hungry is a great way to gauge your appetite. More often than not, you won’t feel as hungry as you did after you wait.
Stay active at the ballpark.
Along with eating healthy, staying active is also very easy at the ballpark. There is usually an extensive walk to get into the park and to find your seat, so capitalize on that by seeing how many steps you can get in.
Also, be mindful of how long you’ve been sitting in your seat. Chances are, the more intense the game, the less likely you’ve been moving out of your seat. Take a moment to stand up, stretch, and walk around. Nowadays, there are TVs everywhere in baseball stadiums, so you won’t miss a thing while you walk.
If you are getting food, make a full lap around the stadium to get your steps in. Keep those legs awake by standing and stretching during intermissions. Stay moving to stay healthy!
UCHealth Medical Fitness (MedFit for short) aims to promote an active, healthy lifestyle for those in the Windsor and surrounding communities. MedFit strives to prevent and lower the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as to help those recovering from illness or injury. As a medical fitness center, MedFit identifies and utilizes a person’s unique medical profile to design a safe, medically supervised fitness program as a necessary component to achieve optimum health, prevent and treat disease and/or injury.