Now that we are officially in the Spring season, many of you will be gearing up to hit the festival circuit, if you haven’t already! While most of us didn’t get a chance to go to SXSW this year in Austin, there is a real chance that you already have tickets to see the queen herself Beyonce, at Coachella. Next up is Stagecoach in Indio, California, then the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, where at that point we into Memorial Day. Now don’t be sad if you are not planning on attending one of these festivals as many are too busy to go or too cash poor purchase the expensive ticket. However, that is no reason to forgo getting festival ready! You absolutely never know when someone might surprise you with a ticket and a free trip… or more realistically, festival season is great reason to step up your health and wellness game.
Festival ready tip #1 // Clean up your diet!
As you are trying on your new festival wardrobe, you may not like how your body is looking in all of that festival gear. I’m sure you look fabulous, but if you are feeling a bit self- conscious, cleaning up your diet is a great way to feel and look great. For the next two weeks, try eliminating processed foods from you diet. This includes protein bars and skinny pop popcorn. I know, it is very tough. However, there are several benefits to restricting processed foods in favor of a clean diet.
A diet of whole, nutritious, minimally processed foods, lean protein and complex carbohydrates is full of antioxidants, omega- 3 fatty acids, and vitamins & minerals. Aside from weight loss, consuming a clean diet yields many benefits including strong hair and nails. Vitamins C, E and biotin that are prevalent in fruits and vegetables will help you grow your hair and maintain durable nails. On top of having super shiny festival ready hair, eating more whole foods, will also increase your energy. Make sure your meals and snacks are jam packed with protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats to help fuel your energy reserves. Get a good nights sleep every night, and feel yourself wake up more energized. Added benefit, eating balanced meals such as these, will help you to feel fuller longer, reduced bloating and prevent overeating.
photo credit: CNN Money
Festival ready tip #2 // Hydrate more & no, I don’t mean with bottomless mimosas!
Along with a clean diet, make sure you are properly hydrated. Throughout the day its important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids to maintain and replenish water levels. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, lemonade-colored urine is a sign of appropriate hydration, while dark colored urine, indicates dehydration. When you are dehydrated, your heart, brain and muscles do not function properly. You may also experience changes in mood and decreased energy levels when dehydrated. Staying hydrated will help you to maintain energy throughout your day and increase brain performance which will help improve concentration and mood. Adequate hydration also increases satiety and boosts metabolism all thew while helping to cleanse your body of toxins. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends over the age of 19, men should drink 3.7 liters daily and women should drink 2.7 liters. This value includes any water containing foods and beverages you consume throughout the day.
Festival ready tip #3 // Tone it up with HITT training
Okay, so you’ve purchased all of your festival outfits, and now want to make sure you look your festival best in all of it! Well high intensity interval training is going to be the most effective way to slim down and stay sculpted. High intensity interval training includes repeated bouts of short to moderate duration exercise completed at an intensities which are performed at anaerobic levels greater than your threshold. In other words, you ‘go hard’ for a specific duration of time and then have a short recovery. Think of a sprint in cycling— for 30 seconds you are going as fast as you can and then you recover, only to perform another shortly after. Higher exercise intensities with longer durations produce higher degrees of EPOC; however, research has shown that intensity has a greater impact on exercise post oxygen consumption than duration. Exercise post oxygen consumption or EPOC refers to the calories expended above resting values after exercise. Essentially, it represents the increased amount of oxygen above resting level that the body is utilizing to return itself back to its pre-exercise state. So if you want to maximize your post workout calorie burn, look for speed interval training (i.e., running on a self propelled treadmill, alternating 30 of sprinting with 30 seconds of rest), rather than circuit based HIIT. However, it should be noted that both speed interval and circuit based HIIT are more effective at increase caloric expenditure than steady state exercise.
Festival ready tip #4 // Find mindful moments to destress
The worse thing you can do is carry your stress with you to the festival you’ve been looking forward to for weeks. Self care is so important to relieve stress. I know so many of you are working a main job and either have a side hustle to make more money or are going to school to obtain a masters degree. The millennial generation is burning the candle at both ends and is much more stressed then older generations. The pressures to live up to perfection, both self imposed and societal, is pushing us to working even harder to reach our goals. Within all of the hustle, we need to set aside time to decompress, and practice some self care. What are some ways to practice self care you ask? Well you are already tackling your diet and workout regime with the aforementioned tips. Go further with self care by employing some mindful mediation or “grounding exercises” such as deep breathing or going for walk to clear your mind and destress. Take stock of your physical and emotional state and find methods to release tension and anxiety. For me, sometimes a long hot shower and a good cry helps me to release tension. It’s not that I’m sad, but I have some built up anxiety that needs to be let out. Find what works for you and go for it. Making self- care a regular ritual will help you to navigate more of the stressful moments in your life.