The Super Bowl Fitness Challenge

woman doing fitness at home...
woman doing fitness at home...

The Super Bowl is like the Thanksgiving Day of football: It's filled with friends, family, and, of course, lots and lots and lots of food. On average people consume 1,200 calories during the game (and celebrations around it). This is a day when sitting in front of the television for hours is totally acceptable, which makes mindless eating difficult to avoid.

The good news is that you don't have to sit back and let the Super Bowl undo the healthy lifestyle you work so hard to maintain. We've compiled several fitness challenges to play during the Super Bowl -- our alternative to drinking games for the active set. These workout games are designed to fit some fun exercise in between all the touchdowns and nachos. Ready? Break!

For A Fun, Simple Fitness Game:

With this exclusive Super Bowl workout designed by fitness guru and wellness expert Tracey Mallett, you'll be breaking a sweat in no time! Enjoy those chicken wings guilt-free after completing this routine.

1. Every Touchdown: 20 push-ups

2. Every Field Goal: 20 squats

3. Every Extra Point: 5 more push-ups

4. Every Safety: 50 jumping jacks

5. Every First Down: 10 abdominal classic crunches


For Family, Friends And Kids:

Scott Danberg, Paralympian and fitness director of the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa, is working to spread the word that even minimal movement can be significant. He points to the results of a recent study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: "The more hours [the study subjects] sat in front of the TV, the greater their risk of dying from any cause, especially cardiovascular disease," Danberg explained in an email to HuffPost Healthy Living.

Of course, the study looks at a lifetime of habitual couch potato time -- hardly the same as one day's indulgence. But why just sit there? Danberg created this fun routine to complement the rivalry between opposing teams. Here's the game plan: Divide everyone into two groups. For maximum rowdiness and fun, do your best to put each guest on the team that he or she is rooting for on TV.

1. Celebration Touchdown Dance

Each time one of the Super Bowl teams scores a touchdown, the same team in your living room does a Celebration Touchdown Dance, and (here’s the best part) the opposing team must copy the dance! Go all out! Chant your team's name, make arm movements symbolizing letters of your team's name or dance it up. Then kick the competition off the couch and have them copy it. (No shortcuts allowed!)

2. Field Goal Squats

Each time your team scores a field goal, get up from the sofa for 10 body weight squats. The opposing team then performs 15! Guests who have (or say they have) joint pain with squats can do seated leg marches instead.

3. Fumble Ball Push-Ups

For each fumbled ball, the retrieving team gets down on the floor for 5 push-ups; the opposition team does 10 push-ups! (Push-up-challenged guests can do wall, table or from-the-knees push-ups.)

4. Interception Arm Circles

For each interception, the retrieving team stands up and spreads out for 15 forward arm circles; the opposition gets up for 15 forward and 15 back arm circles! (For the arm-circle-challenged, any pain-free range of movement using the arms will do.)

5. Foul Marches

For each foul that results in a penalty of yards, the non-penalized team stands and marches in place for one minute. The penalized team hoofs it for two minutes! Seated leg marching is fine for those with ambulatory challenges. (Alcohol-induced challenges don’t count!)

6. Quarterback Sack Crunches

For each quarterback sack, the team delivering the sack falls to the floor for 10 abdominal crunches; the opposition then drops for 20 abdominal crunches. (Crunch-challenged teammates can do seated straight leg lifts.)

7. Half Time Whossiers

At half time, the team that's winning dances to a Who song ("Awesome band for us baby boomers," laughs Coach Scott). The losing team dances to two Who songs. If the game is tied, everyone dances two songs! During half time, everyone takes a few minutes to stretch and enjoy healthy snacks to fuel up for the second half.

8. Grand Finale Celebration Dance

At the end of the game, the winning team performs a rousing Grand Finale Celebration Dance that the losing team -- yep, you guessed it -- must match!


For Fitness Buffs:

Maybe the last two games weren't challenging enough? If you're craving a level of fitness that mirrors the NFL players on the field, check out this workout created by Angeles Burke, a Celsius sponsored athlete and certified group fitness instructor.

1. Interception Burpees

Every time there’s an interception, the retrieving team fans drops for 10 burpees.

Start standing, then bring your hands to the ground and jump your feet back so that you are on your hands and feet in the plank position for one second. Then jump your feet back in towards your hands, stand up, reach up and jump as if you are making that interception.

2. Half-Time Physical Relay

During half-time, opposing team fans face off for a mini-circuit competition incorporating 10 push-ups, 10 crunches and a sprint around the house or apartment. Each member of the team must go one at a time. The team that finishes first, wins!

3. Incomplete Squats

Each time there is an incomplete pass, the retrieving team's fans must complete 20 squats.

Keep feet wide with toes pointed out and drop LOW! Do not let your knees buckle and keep the weight in your heels. For more of a challenge, add in a jump at the top of each squat as if you were jumping for the ball.

4. Pushup Touchdowns

Every time there is a touchdown, the fans rooting for the opposing team need to complete 15 pushups before the next play.

Touch your chest to the ground full range of motion. No cheating!

5. Time Out Hustle

Each time there is a time out; everyone in the room must stand up and do high knees.

Bring alternating knees up to your chest as fast as possible. It will get your heart rate up, as if the game were not already stressful enough.

6. Referee Play Review

We all know these happen way too often and take way too long. During the play review everyone in the room gets up and does football drills.

Start with feet in a wide stance and pick them up and down as fast as possible. Keep upper body low with your hands up as if you were going to catch a handoff pass. Every 4 seconds jump in the air and turn 90 degrees to the right. Try to make it full circle around as many times as possible. Move those feet fast!

7. Coach’s Challenge Climbers

Every time one of the coaches throws the red flag, everyone drops on to their hands and feet into a plank position and does mountain climbers.

Bring alternating knees into your chest as fast as possible. Keep your hips low and your back flat.

8. Super Bowl Commercial Claps

When you see your favorite commercial air, do clapping jumping jacks.

Start with feet directly under you. Jump feet out and simultaneously bring arms up over head and clap. Return to starting position and repeat until the commercial is over.


For Yoga Fans:

Maybe the stacatto nature of football isn't for you. No problem at all. Ease into this Superbowl Yoga workout with the help of Anja Garcia, a certified fitness trainer at DailyBurn.com.

1. Tabata Squats

If you need to fire up your quads, glutes and hamstrings after an afternoon of sitting on the couch eating chicken wings, tabata squats are the perfect move to get your heart rate up and your legs working.

Stand up with your feet a little wider than hip width apart, and do as many squats as you can in 20 seconds. Rest for ten seconds. Complete 10 rounds, and challenge your friends and family to see who can get the most squats in a round.

2. Vinyasa Flow

Stretch out your body and relax your mind with a Vinyasa Yoga flow during halftime. Complete rounds of your Vinyasa (plank, chaturanga and upward facing dog) throughout until the game comes back on. This is an especially good exercise to calm down if your team is losing going into the second half!

3. Backbend Poses

Have you ever wondered which of your friends is the most flexible? Get the gang down on the floor and practice a backbend pose one at a time. Judge each person for height, form and flair. Cheers to the winner!

4. Handstand Contest

Practicing handstands is more fun when you've got people around to hold up your legs, or catch you if you fall. Challenge your friends and family to a handstand contest and see if anyone has what it takes to complete a true handstand. Hold a tie breaker to see who has the most skill by holding a handstand walking challenge.

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