A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, Toronto.
We’ve all done it, stayed up late or woke up far too early during a work day just to catch that football match we’ve been waiting for. But the World Cup only comes once every four years, and late nights cheering on one’s favourite team from halfway around the world becomes the norm this month.
In Indonesia and other Asian countries, the latest live matches of the “day” are at 1:30 in the morning, the day after. With matches on nearly every night for a month, weekends and weekdays, and with at least two matches per night, most people are getting less and less sleep than usual, especially those who have work or school the next day.
So recently, Indonesian health experts (and employers) are growing concerned about the increased rates of actual fevers and fatigue-related illnesses caused by these late nights which, n most occasions, stressful and full of excitement, but also usually accompanied with cigarettes, booze, caffeine or sodas and energy drinks to stay alert during the match.
Indonesians don’t mind a little fatigue, a cold, or a few unproductive mornings at work (just don’t ask the boss!)—as long as they can watch their favourite teams play and cheer them on. Fatigue, however, can cause a host of other health problems, including some fairly serious ones. Not only that, but in many countries, there is a concern about productivity in the work place declining because of the World Cup and World Cup related illnesses.
Indonesian medical professionals are used to it, and doctors have given advice through the English-language paper The Jakarta Globe and the Indonesian-language Kompas with some tips to keep healthy so they can cheer on their teams.
You might not be in a country with such a drastic time difference, but we should all keep these tips in mind so we can keep up with every match. The tips are fairly basic and easy, but in all of the excitement in between our regular responsibilities, our healthy diets could be the first out the window.
- Try catching some sleep, at least a few hours’ worth a day. If you can, six hours is great.
- Limit your snacking during matches.
- Cut down on cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, sugary soda pop and energy drinks.
- Drink more water!
- During the day, complex carbohydrates should be consumed.
- Don’t forget your fruits and vegetables—snack on those during the match.
- Take your vitamins daily.
- For some, to combat increased stress from the anxiety of watching a closely fought match, a few minutes of relaxation and meditation or yoga is beneficial.
- If you feel like crap, go to the doctor or stay home—don’t spread it round the pub!
It’s not just the athletes representing our favourite nations that need to follow a healthy lifestyle. As fans, we do too! And remember: once the World Cup is over, most of these guys get a holiday. As fans, our bosses wouldn’t be too happy with World Cup recovery sick leave.
- Office work gets the boot during World Cup games (seattletimes.nwsource.com)