I can hear you moaning already, ‘who wants to be healthy at a festival?’ I know I know, I’m that person that sucks the fun out of everything. The whole sentence is basically an oxymoron, fun AND healthy, how is that even possible right?
True, a festival is one of the only places where you can free yourself from the shackles of adult-life and go shower-and-inhibitions free for a weekend, but it doesn’t automatically mean you have to have a super unhealthy weekend and come back 10 lbs heavier. Some of us work really hard to stay in shape and look after ourselves, so why shouldn’t we enjoy a sprinkling of health over our leisurely activities?
Last weekend I went to Lost Village festival, which was easily one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to. Although I had an amazing time, I managed to stay on track and didn’t do too much damage to my health. For the first time in a long time my diet is completely ontrack and I’m making huge progress with my fitness – my heart rate has dropped to 50 bpm resting now and I’m finally starting to see my abs again! Wooop woop! Plus I beat a man at a pushup competition, so if that isn’t progress I don’t know what is!
Let me tell you, being healthy at a festival is possible and I’m going to prove it! Here is my festival health strategy!
Get enough sleep
Nobody wants to be a cranky pants at a festival. Lack of sleep causes us to be irritable and restless, but also triggers more of the hunger hormone ghrelin which encourages us to eat more the next day. Research has also found that sleep deprivation increased our desire to eat rich calorie dense food.
Festivals aren’t usually associated with a good night’s kip, so I came well prepared. An inflatable mattress and a cosy sleeping bag is a must, plus a sleep mask and earplugs will drown out idiots chatting 24/7 next to your tent (you know who you are.)
Drink LOADS of water
Cans of cider, Lucozade and cups of tea = dehydration city! This year I made sure I drank loads of water when I first woke up in the morning and before bed and I felt 100% better for it.
Alcohol dehydrates you, as does caffeine, so you need to be drinking even more water than you would usually to ensure your body is hydrated otherwise you’ll feel tired, dizzy, hungry and a bit shit. Plain water isn’t the easiest thing to drink when you’re hungover, so I took one of those squeezy concentrated juice things to P.I.M.P up my water throughout the day.
Shopping for festival snacks is a difficult choice. On one hand you want to bring food that will keep you full, satisfied and provide you with the right energy. Yet you’re also torn between bringing loads of crisps, sweets and chocolate, because it’s easy to carry and that’s all you crave when you’re hungover.
Lost Village had loads of great food vendors which I had budgeted for, so I got my main sources of energy from that (I had two burritos and a hot dog) plus I bought loads of nuts, bananas, peanut butter and tins of tuna with me. Avocado is also a great option for those healthy fats and if you have access to hot water then you could easily make protein porridge or brown rice with beans.
Release your inner crazy horse
Festivals are all about having fun and letting go, so take the opportunity to dance as much as you can and enjoy it! You’ll burn loads of calories, keep your body moving and make some amazing memories!
Take your fitness tech
I walk, dance and run so much when I’m at a festival that I couldn’t bear to let my steps go untracked, so I brought my trusty FitBit watch with me. I got some really great stats from my weekend, including some interesting outdoor bicycle exercises which I presume was when I was dancing? Plus it gave me the motivation to walk around a bit more because I could track my steps. However, I wouldn’t recommend this if your wearables falls off easily or if you’re prone to losing things though.
Wear sun cream
Health is about looking after your skin too. Last weekend was super sunny and warm and I got quite burnt. Wear your cream kids or you’ll end up coming home as a pinchy red lobster!
Have you got any festival health secrets? Share them with me in the comments or on twitter @hannahgetshench