A.C.L. will be here in Austin, TX during October 6-8 and 13-15, 2017
I have never really been a big music festival goer, it's just not my cup of tea; but there will be thousands of music fans visiting Austin, TX for the Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend and next. I would like to share a few tips on how to enjoy the festival without wrecking your body.
This may sound obvious, but you may not realize how much fluid you lose during more active situations like festivals involving lots of walking, dancing, possible alcohol consumption, and let's be honest, other drug substances too. You may lose as much as a litre of fluid an hour, but that varies depending on how energetically you're expending, how much you sweat and how hot it is.
How to determine if you may be dehydrated:
a. If your urine looks dark, or dark yellow, you need more fluid.
b. The skin test. Sit comfortably and hold one of your arms out in front of your body. With the other hand, carefully grab the skin above your wrist between your thumb and second finger. Now gently pull the skin upward away from the body. It should extend away from the arm. Next, suddenly let go of the skin. It should promptly snap back to the surface of the arm. If it moves back slowly, it generally means you are dehydrated.
c. Feeling of fatigue, leg cramps, headaches, poor concentration, dizziness, pain in the area of the kidneys, constipation, dry mouth, light-headedness, etc.
How much to drink
Debate is out on "how many glasses of water one should drink," but a simple guideline I like to follow is about 1.5-3 liters a day, give or take depending on my energy output. There is such a thing as drinking too much water, hyponatraemia, so never overdue water intake either!
2. Heat exhaustion (sun/heat exposure)
Sunburn can be avoided by wearing a large brim hat, seeking shelter or bringing an umbrella if allowed, and you can wear sunscreen. Heat exhaustion can cause extreme tiredness, profuse sweating, light-headedness and feeling sick. Try to get out of the heat when you can, resting and drinking plenty of fluids.
Heat stroke can be more serious because your body loses the ability to cool itself down and becomes dangerously overheated. Symptoms of heat stroke include confusion, severe headache, dizziness or fainting, muscle cramps, intense thirst and rapid shallow breathing. If you sense you have heat exhaustion, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
With a combination of dehydration, alcohol or drug consumption, walking and dancing, you are almost certainly going to feel tired by the end of the day. It is important to rest well before the day of the event and of course the days after. Treat this music festival like a marathon race. Bring snacks if allowed, drink water with electrolytes, and eat a nice, nutritious meal before going to the event.
Claustrophobia is extreme or irrational fear of confined places. Alcohol and particularly recreational drugs make you much more prone to panic attacks and claustrophobia.
Symptoms include an intense feeling of anxiety, thumping heart, shortness of breath, dry mouth, sweaty palms, feeling hot and cold, chest pain, feeling sick or dizzy and sometimes pins and needles in your hands and around your mouth.
What can you do to prevent a panic attack?
Focus on your breathing and taking very slow, deep breaths can also help. If you suffer from regular panic attacks or claustrophobia, you may want to see you doctor about possible treatments like "exposure therapy."
5. Ringing ears/temporary loss of hearing
It may be wise to wear ear plugs at some point throughout your listening activity to reduce the ringing you may experience later on or the next day.
6. Swollen Feet
Since fluid goes against gravity to get back up the legs when you're standing, this can lead to fluid accumulating, causing achy and swollen lower legs.
One idea to prevent swollen feet is to keep your lower leg muscles working by exercising your legs, by walking or dancing, or even by tensing the calf muscles regularly when you're standing. The second idea is to use gravity to get the fluid out of the legs. I know this may be difficult at a festival, but if you can bring a towel or blanket, lay down on it periodically and raise your legs gently toward the sky, or bring your knees gently to your chest. This will also feel nice on your low back.
Hopefully you find some of these tips helpful for your festivities.
If you do end up feeling drained and sore from your day of music and fun, however, I am here to help!
Thanks for reading, and as always, please message me with questions, comments or concerns.
Disclaimer: This information is written as suggestion, not treatment of serious illness or other factors. Seek medical treatment if you suspect any serious health complication.