The Super Bowl Workout

We’re just a few days away from America’s favorite unofficial holiday: Super Bowl Sunday.

Did you know it’s second only to Thanksgiving for the amount of food consumed?  The average viewer (and last year’s game was the most-watched TV program ever with 111 million tuning in) consumes 1200 calories in snacks and beverages while watching the game, including 450 million chicken wings and 14,500 tons of chips.

I would never tell you not to enjoy some refreshments during the game, but there are ways to counteract what you consume by making the viewing experience more active than just fluffing up the couch cushions.

The sack dance. The New York Giants are known for their fearsome pass rush, and the Patriots D are no slouches in this department either. When either Eli or Tom drops back and gets sacked, expect the player who wrapped the QB up to dance exuberantly afterwards. Match their enthusiasm with your own sack dance; bonus points for creativity. Just don’t knock over the guacamole.

Commercial crunches. Super Bowl commercials receive nearly as much hype as the game, but almost always follow a similar script in terms of content. Use the chart below for every time one of the following things happens in a spot:

  • A man is portrayed as an idiot: 10 sit-ups or crunches
  • An animal talks: 10 jumping jacks
  • A man gets hit in a sensitive spot or is otherwise physically “injured”: 10 full-body grimaces
  • A washed-up B-level celebrity appears: 10 seconds of running in place (or for the entire length of the Matthew Broderick / Ferris Bueller Honda commercial)

Madonna dance-off. The Material Girl is this year’s halftime entertainment so challenge your viewing companions to get into the groove during her performance.  Bonus points for Vogue-ing.

Instant replay challenge. In the Super Bowl, every call on the field is of the utmost importance, so expect a few challenges from the coaches. When this happens and the referee heads to the sideline booth to look at the replay, get up and pace. Pace hard and fret. If you’re a die-hard Pats or Giants fan, you’ll be doing this any way.

Touchdown and field goal signals. As good as the defenses are, both teams have explosive offenses and points should be plentiful. Every time a team finds the end zone or a kicker boots one through the uprights, stand up and emulate the referee, reaching your arms as high to the ceiling as possible.  Hold the stretch through at least the first commercial unless required to do one of the “commercial crunch” exercises above.

Post-game workout. If the team you’re rooting for wins, get off the couch and do your happy dance. Bonus points for spiking a pillow (just don’t knock over the empty guacamole bowl). If you backed the losing squad, collapse to the ground and commence full-body wailing and flailing. Continue until exhaustion sets in or until the NFL Draft in April, whichever comes first.

With these tips and exercises, you shouldn’t have to worry what the number on the scale might read on Monday morning. Enjoy the game and may your team win, as long as your team is the New England Patriots. (We claim no neutrality here at the Massachusetts home of Lisa Johnson Fitness.)