Staying fit at a festival
You can have fun all summer without sacrificing your health. You can come home from a festival feeling rejuvenated, instead of worn out, if you have healthy tricks in your bag.
If you’ve spent much time at festivals like I have, you’ve probably spent your share of time preparing. You pack bags, and camping gear, and the kids’ bags. You pack up the car. The preparation seems endless sometimes, doesn’t it?
If your health is important to you, then you need to prepare for that, too. First, plot your route to the festival. Include abundant walking. If you plan to arrive early, to set up chairs or base camp, then walk a few blocks once you’ve staked your claim.
Exercise is a crucial part of festivating. The benefits of exercise will offset unhealthy activities. Plan an early morning walk before the festival, or an afternoon hike. If you are cramped in a vehicle over the weekend, stretch at every rest stop. If you are sitting for the parade, or to hear music, get up and stretch regularly.
One of the greatest opportunities for exercise at festivals is … dancing! Shake it loose, with your friends, your family, or by yourself. Be jammin’!
When you return home from the festival, exercise immediately. Often, we return from vacation feeling like we need a vacation! Moderate exercise is refreshing and invigorating.
Next, plan your meals. If you prefer to snack all day, do not assume you need to eat regular meals. Snacks can be greater calories than meals. Also, choose snacks with fresh fruit and vegetables.
Bring healthy snacks with you, nibbling on them often. Apple slices, carrot and celery sticks, and other healthy choices, will keep your cravings for junk down, while keeping you crunching.
Drink plenty of water. If you feel thirsty, you are dehydrated. Sometimes dehydration can be mistaken for hunger, or cravings. When your tummy talks, respond with water first.
Keep sugary drinks to a minimum. Electrolyte drinks are often unhealthy. Since sugar is considered an electrolyte, drinks may claim to restore electrolytes simply through added sugar. Stick to pure water. If you think your electrolytes are depleted, seek medical attention from the first-aid booth.
Apply sunscreen liberally. Plan to reapply sunscreen. One application is usually not enough. If you become burned, it is not too late to apply sunscreen. Burns can worsen; they may require medical care.
As you scope the grounds, spend extra time at the booths that promote health. You may learn something about the human body. You may get motivated to improve your health in some way.
Your fantastic festival can be part of a healthy summer! See you at the fair!
Nina Schnipper is a nationally certified fitness trainer and massage therapist. She will co-host a healthy booth at Strawberry Days. For a private consultation, call her at 948-0179.
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