7 ways to have a healthy festival
Nothing says ‘Great British Summer Time’ quite like a muddy weekend at a music festival. And it doesn’t have to be a dodgy burger, soggy chips and pints of cheap cider affair, either. Unless you want it to be (we won’t judge – 80/20 and all that). Follow our lead and have a happy, healthy festival season.
1. Get outside
After walking in the woods, participants in a Japanese study saw a 13 per cent drop in their cortisol (stress hormone) levels and a 56 per cent rise in parasympathetic nervous activity, including a lowered heart rate and relaxed system. Get involved in the Oxfordshire countryside with wild swimming and foraging tours at August’s Wilderness festival.
Healthy tip: Spend more time in the great outdoors and less messing about with tent poles with the Vango Sirocco tent. It’s up in 12 minutes and you can choose to pitch the inner layer only on hot nights or the whole thing together if you need hardcore protection from the elements.
2. Eat the good stuff
Forget soggy chips and warm beer. Foodies can dine at proper banqueting tables or DIY after buying the finest local Welsh produce at Festival No.6 in Portmerion, Wales (festivalnumber6.com). At this weekend’s Isle of Wight festival, we got a big old vitamin hit with a juice. To go easy on your teeth, choose a blend with more vegetables that fruit, and steer clear of the citrus. We went for carrot, ginger and apple.
Healthy tip: If you don’t have the budget for the posh stuff, keep you energy levels steady with a packet of Nairns oatcakes. Handy enough to keep in your pocket for mid-set nibbling or a decent breakfast smeared with a load of Whole Earth peanut butter. And hold the energy drinks – almonds are a solid source of energy boosting manganese and copper, that won’t leave you crashing.
3. …and then dance it off
Don’t sweat the calorie content. The average woman shimmies her way though over 2000 of ‘em in just one day at a festival. And going improv on your moves could actually pack more health benefits than your Zumba class. By forcing your brain to make quick-fire decisions about how you move, shaking your stuff can seriously boost your brainpower – reducing dementia risk by 76 per cent – which is more than any other physical activity, according to a Stanford University study.
4. Get your ‘OM’ on
Healthy ventured into the Bohemian Woods at this weekend’s Isle of Wight festival for a restorative hour-long Hatha session. Thankfully, our instructor Julie Cole from Earthways Yoga went easy on us, telling us that the key to festival yoga is not to push yourself too hard.
Her moves of choice? Forward bends and child’s poses to stretch out out stiff backs, and warrior poses to loosen hamstrings that were a little bit tight after loads of enthusiastic dancing. Just remember to pack your workout leggings. Yoga in denim cutoffs = not the best idea. Trust us on that one.
5. Check out some new bands
When we hear a song for the first time, the nucleus accumbens – the reward area of the brain – lights up, according to a report in the journal Science. It’s like when we eat chocolate or have sex just with no strings (or calories) attached. So don’t mourn the sold out Glastonbury tickets – Google smaller events in your area for some new sounds.
6. Keep it clean
Not up for showering in deodorant? Book in a proper shower, complete with fluffy towel and access to hair strengtheners with Bathing Under The Sky – after enjoying an authentic Scandi-style sauna with a glass of fizz.
7. Feel the benefits
Spend a weekend at a festival and you could come back with psychological boosts that out-last your Monday morning hangover. Researchers from the University of Queensland, Australia, found that participants felt ‘more positively about themselves, others, and life in general’ after attending a summer festival. Their conclusion? Music festivals provide a space for self-discovery and personal growth. We’ll take that!
Healthy tip: To be kind to your mind during the weekend, try a meditation session. Perfect for clearing minds made foggy by afore-mentioned cheap cider. It’s all about the balance.
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