Health experts advise football fans to remain calm during the upcoming Super Bowl in order to keep their heart rate in check.
Research over the years has shown there is a link between major sporting events and cardiovascular incidents. A study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology found the heart rate of ice hockey fans increased by 75-percent when viewing the sport on television. It was even higher in person.
“I see it all the time. People are coming in, especially when the playoffs start, very stressed,” said Dr. Ellen Slawsby, director of pain services at the Benson-Henry Institute in Boston.
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In between games and tailgate parties, Slawsby finds her patients are often losing sleep and gaining anxiety over whether their beloved Patriots fans will win.
Videos from YouTube shows football fans all across the country often lose their cool, leading to viral videos of their meltdowns.
However, Slawsby is well accustomed to the stressors thanks to her husband, a former Patriots player.
“People don’t like watching the game with me because I might hit them,” said Jim Boudreaux with a laugh.
A defensive end for the team in the 1960s, Boudreaux said he never imagined the Patriots would be so dominant today. It has made following their success both stressful and rewarding.
“It’s different when you’re a player because that’s a total focus. It takes over your life,” he explained. “But when you’re a fan and you’re an ex-player it’s pretty exciting.”
But his wife does encourage he and other fans keep their emotions in check. She recommends walking off any steam during or after the game to avoid getting too emotional.
“If you need to get physical, you should be doing a run in the morning to get that energy out,” Slawsby said, “Whether we win or lose it’s not going to fully change our lives. Have fun with it.”