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The guide you need to stay healthy at a festival

The guide you need to stay healthy at a festival

Here in NOLA, we’ve got the festival life down pat! There’s a festival nearly every weekend, with something for every person’s taste. You might be a veteran festival-goer, but do you know how to stay healthy at a festival?

We promise: It is possible! While these big events like your favorite music festival often present us with potential potholes on the road to staying healthy, you can steer clear of them. Keep reading as our University Medical Center New Orleans team breaks down the details below.

How a festival can derail your health goals

During springtime in the Big Easy, many of us answer the call of the Great Outdoors. It’s that small sliver of time between the cooler temperatures of winter and the blazing hot temperatures and high humidity of summer, so we want to soak it all up.

Our abundance of festivals provides a great opportunity to do that, but the time spent outdoors also exposes us to some health challenges caused by time in the sun. In addition, festival food isn’t exactly known for being healthy.

These factors combine to present a few common health issues:

  • Dehydration
  • Heat-related illnesses
  • Overindulging
  • Sunburn

Fortunately, taking a few simple steps can help you stay healthy and happy this festival season.

5 tips for staying at your healthiest during a festival

You don’t have to steer clear of the fun to stay healthy at a festival—you simply need to steer clear of the hazards. These tips can help:

1. Slather on the sunscreen. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are powerful even on cloud days, so be sure to protect your skin at an outdoor festival. At least 20 minutes before you go outside, apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to all exposed skin. Reapply at least every two hours or more often if you’re sweating. Top your outfit with a pair of sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat.

2. Choose your food wisely. Festival food is often salty, fatty and greasy. Look for healthier options such as grilled or barbecued meats or fish, along with fresh fruits and veggies. You can also take along a few safe and nourishing options, such as trail mix, or crackers with peanut butter or another nut butter.

3. Don’t forget your water bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re spending time outside in the sun, so drink plenty of water throughout the day.

4. Take extra care when drinking alcohol. Bringing along a water bottle is especially important if you’re drinking alcohol. If you have an alcoholic drink, follow it with water or a sugar-free sports drink. If you drink alcohol, don’t drive. Have a designated driver or an alternative plan for getting home.

5. Pay attention to how you’re feeling. The sun can quickly become overwhelming, and you can develop heat-related illnesses without realizing it. Check in with yourself about how you’re feeling and keep a close eye out for indicators of problems with the heat, such as excessive (or no) sweating, dizziness, lightheadedness or sudden weakness. Seek the shade or go indoors if you’re feeling out of sorts.

These tips can help you make this festival season your best season. Put your health first, the vibes second—and all the fun will fall into place.

Feeling under the weather right before the big event? Schedule a primary care appointment with University Medical Center New Orleans today to get back to your best.