A woman swimming a race in butterfly stroke.
August 8, 2016 | by The Polyclinic

The 2016 Summer Olympics are underway in Rio de Janiero. With more than 6,755 hours of programming available, you may want to watch all the action this month. To make the most of your Olympics viewing, here are some fun and healthy ways to celebrate the games and cheer on your favorite athletes:

Make It a Social Event

Invite some friends or family together for your own Olympics viewing party. For pre-game festivities, put together activities like an Olympic-themed trivia quiz, cornhole (bean bag toss) competition, or tug-of-war in the backyard. For healthy snacks and drinks, include options like a veggie platter with hummus, almonds and low-fat yogurt. Remember to drink plenty of water too.

Tip: Have your own Summer Olympics by awarding prizes and medals to participants. It makes for a more fun and competitive event.

Get motivated

Sometimes all you need to start exercising is some inspiration. What better way than to watch some of the best athletes in the world compete in their respective sports? Try the ones that interest you the most. Aim for gold, but remember to stretch and have a plan to build fitness over time. Whether sprints around the neighborhood or swimming laps at a community pool, set your goals and plan how you will you achieve them. If you’re just starting an exercise program or have health conditions, talk with your doctor about which activities may be best.

Tip: Find ways to make sport activities family friendly. If you are pregnant, try these tips and exercises from Dr. Jeremy Johnson.

Don’t Become Sleep Deprived

Prime time coverage takes place from 8 p.m. to midnight. While watching the games can be fun, make sure to get enough sleep too to stay rested and refreshed the next day. Once you’ve hit your time limit, turn off the electronic devices. The bright lights from a TV or other electronic devices mimic daylight and stimulate the brain. This can affect the quality of your sleep. Our sleep medicine specialists recommend turning off all electronics two hours before bed time.

Try recording the late night programming and watch it the next day so you don't have to stay up too late. You can also catch the games and reruns online at NBC or download the free NBC Sports mobile app.

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