March 1, 2024

Football tension: Protect your health during football matches with these tips

Nigeria fans during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations match between Nigeria and South Africa held at Peace Stadium in Bouake, Cote DIvoire on 07 February 2024 ©Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

In the wake of recent tragic incidents where individuals with high blood pressure suffered fatal consequences while watching football matches, it becomes important for patients who are struggling with HBP to be guided about their health, especially at this time when the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations has reached the final stage.

No fewer than four Nigerians died on Wednesday night while watching the semi-final match in the ongoing AFCON in Côte D’Ivoire.

The deceased include a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh; Deputy Bursar, Kwara State University, Malete, Ayuba Abdullahi, and a corps member serving in Adamawa State, simply identified as Samuel.

Anambra-born businessman, Osondu Nwoye, based in Cote d’Ivoire, was also reported to have collapsed inside the stadium, while watching the match and died later in hospital.

Dying in such a circumstance was painful and it was unfortunate it could not be avoided at this time.

To prevent a possible re-occurrence, here are the guidelines for fans with similar health concerns.

  1. Stress Management Strategies: Experts emphasize the importance of managing stress levels during intense sporting events. If a patient will see a tension-soaked match, then techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness should be adopted. They can help mitigate the impact of heightened emotions on blood pressure.
  2. Dietary Recommendations: Health professionals advise individuals to be mindful of their sodium intake, particularly during football games where salty snacks are commonly consumed. Opting for healthier snack options and limiting alcohol consumption can help control blood pressure levels.
  3. Hydration Awareness: Staying hydrated is crucial for individuals with high blood pressure. Experts recommend drinking plenty of water and avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which can contribute to dehydration and elevated blood pressure.
  4. Physical Activity: Prolonged periods of sitting can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Fans are encouraged to take regular breaks during halftime or timeouts to stretch and move around, promoting circulation and reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system.
  5. Emotional Regulation: Being aware of emotional reactions and practicing mindfulness can help fans with high blood pressure manage their responses during tense moments of the game. Deep breathing exercises and staying calm can prevent spikes in blood pressure associated with excitement and stress.
  6. Consultation with Healthcare Providers: Individuals with pre-existing heart conditions or high blood pressure are urged to consult with their healthcare providers before watching high-stress events like football matches. Personalized advice and precautions can be provided to ensure their safety and well-being.

As football fever continues to grip fans worldwide, prioritizing health and well-being is paramount. By following these guidelines, individuals with high blood pressure can safely enjoy the excitement of the game while minimizing health risks. Stay informed, stay safe, and enjoy the game responsibly.

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