13 seconds. In 13 seconds, an estimated 21.57 gallons of blood pumps through the heart. It just so happens to also be the time it took for hearts to break across Western New York.

For most fans, getting into the game doesn’t increase their risk of stress or have a lasting negative impact. Focusing on establishing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has the biggest influence over spectators’ cardiovascular and mental health.

“Being a Buffalonian, we eat a lot of chicken wings and a lot of pizza, and that affects our cardiovascular health. Exercising routinely, not smoking, making sure our blood pressure is good, our cholesterol is good, making smart decisions in our health style in general, whether that’s cardiovascular health, mental health, it is all connected. But it’s always a good idea to think about stress and stress management, especially on Sundays being a Bills fan.”

Emily C Battaglia, MD

Cardiologist, Sisters Hospital Cardiology Center

Ways Sports Takes a Toll on the Heart

While Buffalo Bills fans continue to grieve the loss of another season, it is important to remember that falling into a negative state of mind could have consequences for overall health.

It makes sense to feel sad the day after a big upset, but for those with preexisting conditions, strong emotions and intense reactions can trigger cardiovascular events. Stress cardiomyopathy can occur in response to stressful experiences. These experiences can also increase blood pressure, heart rate, and the risk of a heart attack, heart disease, or stroke.

Sports can also be very emotionally-charged events, making a win or loss feel much bigger than it is. Short-term depression is normal when your team loses, as is irritability, and anger towards the winner. Try to look after your mental health by remembering your daily life is unaffected and unchanged by these events.

Even Good Things Are Bad In Excess

Prolonged stress could lead to negative emotional lifestyle habits such as smoking, overeating, or drinking too much alcohol.

Tailgating and indulging in a cold beer with some chicken wings dipped in bleu cheese is something Western New Yorkers are all too familiar with. But without moderation, you run the risk of increasing bad cholesterol, blood glucose levels, and other factors for heart disease.

Bouncing Back

Diet and regular exercise are key to your well-being, and the same goes for your mental health. We are all recovering from the excitement and emotional toll that comes with the end of the football season, but we are in this together.

Stay social and connected with friends, family, and fellow fans, and always schedule regular checkups and visits with your doctors. Keep yourself healthy and remember this isn’t over yet, there is always next year!

Find a Cardiologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2113

Find a Cardiologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2113