happy festival season!
The weather is getting warmer and the crop tops, and bro tanks are are coming out to play! This time of the year, we are turning up the heat at gym sessions, and see the bohemian festival vibes in windows of every clothing store. It's important to look and feel good in your skin! This is a great time to use that momentum of motivation and work towards your health goals.
Beyond aesthetics, there are many more reasons why taking control of your health is important for the festival months. Keep in mind these tips and tricks to keep you at your body's best all season long.
1. Build Endurance
Festival hours will have you prancing around the grounds in sunlight, and dancing all night long. Incorporating strength training and cardio into your workout routine will benefit your festival endurance. If you build this endurance leading up to festival day, you'll have an increased amount of energy to exerte while there. "I don't want more energy" said no festival-goer, ever.
I've been switching between a variety of classes: weightlifting, plyometrics, HIIT, barre, yoga, totaling about 3-5 times a week. I switch up my workouts at Studiomix, a class-based gym located here in San Francisco. For me, this works because my workouts never feel monotonous and being in a class setting motivates me to push beyond my comfort level. Most importantly, have fun with it. Fitness should be fun! Get active the way you most enjoy it.
Tip: While there, take a morning yoga session at a festival! They are the perfect way to start your long day.
2. Get some rest
Getting rest is the first thing to get pushed aside once you get to a festival. I know it can get really exciting when you are there! One of the most common problems festival goers experience is going way too hard the first day. Don't be that person that tries to outdo every one, and end up exhausted for the remainder of the festival. Enjoying a festival is not a sprint, it is a marathon, especially at multi-day events. Pace yourself, and allow yourself to take a break every now and then. Let those FOMO feels go. Trust me, there will still be plenty to enjoy after you catch your breath.
Tip: Bring a hammock to hang in the trees. Another option is a lightweight sarong in your daypack for when you want to plot down for a break in the grass.
3. Protect your skin
This one is as easy as it sounds. Sun screen is an absolute must. Vitamin D is good for you, but you'll definitely want to protect yourself from painful sunburn.
Tip: Hats, visors and parasols double up as accessories! Remember though, dark colors will attract heat. If it's a really hot festival, and you're wearing a black hat, check-in with yourself periodically to make sure you don't overheat.
4. Eat to Energize
Leaning out for the Festival
Nutrition is key to a healthy festival body. Before heading to a festival two years back, I went on a strict 12-week diet that cut out all breads, sugar, and sodium. Sure, I saw results quick and felt good about how I looked, but because my body was not used to processing these foods, it immediately bloated after anything I ate, leaving me sick and groggy. From first hand experience, I learned NOT TO OVER RESTRICT PRE-FESTIVAL. Chances are there will be delicious food vendors you'll want to try at the festival too. Prevent yourself from making this mistake, and take your progress slow. There's nothing wrong with wanting to cut back on bad eating habits, so go for it. A popular and more flexible approach that works best for me, is tracking both calories and macronutrients. Check out Fit+Thick's guide to macronutrients for more information!
At the Festival
Always start the day with a solid breakfast. Do not skip meals. If festival camping, pack some energy boosting snacks for when you're on-the-go. Similar to foods you would take on hikes, great options to pick up are beef jerky, trail mix, granola bars and dried fruit. Easy to store, quick to throw in your bag, and no need to chill them.
Tip: Fruit smoothies! The smoothies are easy to drink and you can take them as you wander in the festival. Really though, anything light and fresh is a good choice, like slices of watermelon or fruit popsicles.
5. Don't Be Thirsty...Drink Water!
Most festivals occur when the weather is warm. If you aren't careful, the sun will show no mercy! Stay hydrated! Many festivals get a bad rep for other controversial issues and recreational activities, but one of the first things to send anyone to the medical tent is dehydration. Always carry water with you...for yourself and those around you. If you decide to consume alcohol, you'll need to up the water intake a little more. Check your festival's guidelines, but most now allow you to bring in empty water bottles to fill up throughout the day. Save yourself and the planet simultaneously! Keep those bottles filled and with you at all times and encourage your crew to take trips to refill together.
Tip: Getting in extra electrolytes will do wonders. Keep Gatorade and/or Pedialyte handy back at camp in addition to the cooled water.
6. Don't Stress! Make a plan, then Break It.
When you get the lineup and festival guide, it's good to have a game plan. However, there's no need to turn that game plan into an hour-by-hour agenda. Festivals are the perfect chance for let go from a strict routine, to have fun and just explore!
Sometimes, plans aren't always meant for keeping. Don't stress it if you miss an artist you were dying to see. Be present in every experience there, big and small. Enjoy the little things you may come across, like the foosball table in the corner, or a chance to dance in the water misters.
You shouldn't have to go home from the event feeling exhausted. Mental health is a huge important part of your health too. Music Festivals should be an escape, not something you take so seriously that you're drained at the end of your vacation.