How to maximize your wellness—Stampede style
In Calgary, the first 2 weeks of July mean one thing: it’s Stampede season. This means 2+ weeks of cowboy hats, pancakes, weird deep-fried creations, rides, beer gardens, jeans and plaid, BBQ’s and live music. If you’re in Calgary, it’s an exciting environment because Stampede doesn’t end at the boundary of the grounds: the city embraces it. Everyone becomes slightly more relaxed, and stampede influences slip into almost every element of the city. It’s a very unifying effect that can suck in even the most ‘anti-country music’ individual. And when you live here, if you do it right, you can maximize your stampeding activities for almost 2 solid weeks!
Everyone “does” stampede in their own way. But it’s easy to get sucked into enjoying the treats, the outdoors, and the excuse to “kick back”, which after 10 days can leave your body, mind, and wallet feeling drained and unhealthy.
Here are a few tips for maintaining your wellness during the stampede:
* Eat before you go to the grounds. Have a healthy meal and don’t go hungry. This will help to limit the amount of food you purchase on the grounds, which is mostly expensive and deep fried. If you’re going to be there all day, take something delicious and healthy with you so that you’re not as tempted by the options there.
* Limit yourself to one treat per day. Take time to find that mid-way treat you want the most, and savor it rather than eating as much deep-fried creations as possible all in one go.
* Walk the grounds. There is plenty to see, so wear comfortable shoes and get your steps in.
* Sunscreen and bring your own water bottle! Everyone knows the grounds are hotter than the rest of the city. Stay hydrated and covered. Plus, bringing your own water bottle will save you money and encourage you to drink water, rather than purchasing a sugary drink.
* Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. There are free BBQ’s and pancakes everywhere. But free doesn’t have to be an excuse to eat it. Plus, free usually means lower quality and not as healthy.
* Give yourself some downtime. Stampede can be exhausting, especially if you’re fitting it in daily around work and the rest of your life. Build in some time to sit down and relax. There are quieter places on the ground where you can sit under a tree and people watch. Or get a stamp, and plan to grab dinner off the grounds so you get some downtime.
We’re lucky in Calgary to get to enjoy so many elements of the stampede. So enjoy it! Happy Stampeding!