Is Football Season Causing You Unneeded Stress? You May Need a Break From You Favorite Pastime

If you’re a hardcore football fan, your favorite pastime may contribute to unwanted anxiety and stress, according to several studies.

Already, physicians diagnose 20% of adults over the age of 55 with a mental health condition. Football season, unfortunately, could add to this problem.

In 2014, for instance, Brazilian football fans were highly upset over their home team’s defeat to Germany. Researchers discovered that the fans experienced intense levels of distress while watching their team lose – so much so that they faced an increased risk of having a heart attack. Unfortunately, this kind of angst is not lost on American football fanatics.

Sports Is Big Business

Nearly everyone knows that athletes make a lot of money, as do the companies that endorse them.  However, you may not know how far those purse strings stretch. For example, analysts forecast that North American spending in the sports market would increase to near $80 billion in 2017, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The sports industry presents phenomenal opportunities for marketers and academic sports programs alike. By 2020, for instance, the vertical will generate:

  • $23.8 billion in media rights
  • $21 billion in gate take
  • $20 billion in sponsorships
  • $15.2 billion in merchandising

It’s no easy feat generating this kind of coin. Marketers go through painstaking effort to understand the way that sports fans think.

Various marketing studies, for instance, show that fans who have a positive experience are more likely to come back again. Resultantly, corporate sports stakeholders roll out the red carpet for fans, including providing attractions such as halftime shows, mascots, technological innovations and even exciting lighting and music.

Franchise owners make sure that the fans have comfortable seating and plenty of team traditions to hold onto. The athletes do their part as well by playing their best game. Of course, fans bring passion to the arena all on their own.

However, fans who are afflicted with obsessional passion cannot control their urge to participate in watching – and reacting – to their favorite games. When their team wins, they’re satisfied and happy. When their team loses, however, obsessional fans are downright miserable – and some are even enraged.

For these individuals, sports are the core of their existence. Unfortunately, the condition often results in poor relationships in their personal lives.

When Fun and Games Lead to Stress

As it turns out, you may want to choose a physical activity as an alternative to watching football to relieve your stress. Exercise is a great way to do just that. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, which helps you to relieve stress.

Physical activity helps you to forget about your problems and clear your head. Examples of activities that can help you relieve stress are:

  • Aerobics
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Pilates
  • Martial arts
  • Kickboxing
  • Team sports
  • Outdoor activities

Outdoor areas with beautiful aesthetics do an especially good job of helping you to relieve stress. Many people enjoy spending time outdoors in the spring and fall when it’s easy to allow the beautiful weather to lift their spirits.

As next September’s NFL season slowly approaches, however, a growing number of researchers are becoming concerned about the effect of sports on fans. Case in point, during the 2014 World Cup Oxford study, researchers realized that adrenaline-fueled fans faced an increased risk of a heart attack. During the study, researchers discovered that fans’ cortisol levels skyrocketed.

Elevated cortisol can lead to increased blood pressure and place an extreme strain on the heart. Researchers also discovered that women and men were afflicted with the same heightened cortisol levels during the event – dispelling any misconceptions that men are more affected by sports compared to women.

Football Might Get Your Heart Pumping, but It May Not Be Healthy for Diehards

As NFL season moves closer, the tailgate parties will begin. Passionate sports fans will start taking in plenty of excess cholesterol such as bratwurst, burgers, chili bowls and other great tasting – but not great for you – comfort foods. Couple that with intense sports action, and you have a recipe for heart trouble.

This kind of threat isn’t limited to Brazil and America. Researchers have found that sports fanatics around the world face similar risks, for example, World Cup Soccer and Rugby World Cup fans. Some World Cup fans have even tweeted that they received a warning from their smartwatches about heart rate spikes while they were watching the match.

If you’re a diehard fan whose heart gets to palpitating during your favorite sporting events, you’re not alone. Instead, maybe you should take a break from sports and focus on you. Specifically, maybe it’s an excellent time to work on easing your stress, getting in better shape and leading a healthier lifestyle.