Question: I feel 'stressed' when I watch my favorite sports team in action. Can this be dangerous to my health?
Answer: Watching sports teams is something that's fun, it's exciting, it's part of our social and recreational environment here in America, and it's wonderful. I'll put in a plug for, Go Michigan Wolverines!
But what can definitely happen is that when individuals get really worked up, even if it means that they're watching a competitive sports game, they're still having the same physiological response to their body that can happen if they're in an extremely dangerous situation, which means their cardiovascular system is going to be activated, their heart rate, their blood pressure's going to go up, they might have impact on their digestive system or their immune functioning. So while watching sports is very exciting, individuals also want to be careful that they're taking care of themselves in their general lifestyle.
There are some studies that do suggest that individuals watching the World Cup have a greater incidence of heart attacks than individuals who aren't watching competitive soccer games.
What you also want to remember is that when individuals are watching the Super Bowl and the World Series, we also tend to engage in really unhealthy heart behaviors, like eating fattening foods, consuming a lot of calories and drinking alcohol.
So you want to make sure if you're putting yourself in a stressful situation, and you're getting really worked up about your team, that you're also talking care of yourself by watching what you eat and moderating your alcohol consumption.