Healthy Tip: Let the beat drop

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Your guide to a heart-healthy festival

We’re in the heart of the festival season now with a calendar full of blood pumping events over July and August.  The use of illegal drugs and ‘legal highs’ has had a lot of attention in the news lately; more popular where there is a large gathering of like-minded lovers of music but carrying the risk of playing havoc with heart rhythm and blood pressure and all too often having fatal consequences. Whilst drug-related deaths at music festivals are on the increase, 95% of festival goers are supportive of event based drug safety facilities [Royal Society for Public Health] and seem keen to wise up on how to party hard without dancing with death.

Fans of music festivals will report a euphoric feeling of well- being simply from being in the open fresh air and hearing a rhythmic beat that brings crowds of old and new friends together to sing the same tune.  This can do your heart and mind a world of good and be a wonderful platform for improving public health on a large scale.  

If you love music and love your heart, follow our tips on how to ‘let the beat drop’.

1. Sing for your heart
Whether you sing like a foghorn, a strangled cat or a rock star, if you’re listening to some cracking tunes surrounded by friends in the great outdoors, you WILL sing and your heart will be happy you did.  Why?  Singing lifts your mood.  When your heart is happy and free from anxiety, blood pressure drops and your heart becomes much better at doing the job it’s meant to be doing- keeping you alive.  If you enjoy singing and you’re passionate about helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives, speak to our fundraising team about hosting your own Sing for Your Heart event.  

2. Dance to your heart’s content
Just as the phrase for dancing varies with age and style, the amount of energy you’ll burn moshing, bopping or jerking can range dramatically between age, gender, build, weight, level of fitness and style of dancing.  One thing we do know is that while ever you keep moving those dancing shoes (or wellies) you’ll be doing wonders for your heart and your waistline, helping to control blood sugars and cholesterol and keep your heart pumping for longer.  So what are you waiting for?  Get lively for a healthy heart.

3. You are what you drink
Festivals are very active places with all that singing, trudging through mud and dancing in the summer sun.  You’d have to be raving mad not to take bottles of water with you.  A slight drop in water levels will thicken the blood and make your heart work much harder to pump that life giving oxygen around your already tired body.  So drink up and wise up when it comes to knowing your alcohol limits.  

4. Don’t run out of fuel
Festival food should be tasty, filling, safe and easy to eat in one hand while you cut some grooves with the other.  There’s likely to be an abundance of deep fried over-priced snacks that rock up in a greasy van just for this purpose.  Be one step ahead with a selection of heart-healthy snacks.  Why not get the takeaway BBQ going with some corn-on the cob charred with paprika, or pop some corn in a pan with a light spray of rapeseed oil?  For picnics, canned tuna can easily be scooped into a hand sized wholemeal pitta and served with some heart-healthy veggie style crisps, bursting with fibre and antioxidants without packing a punch in your waistline.  Fill your boots with some heart-healthy recipes, starting with our recipe of the week 

If you’re planning a trip to a music festival this summer, stay safe.  Tap into the medical services available, go prepared with healthy snack and drinks, avoid risky behaviour and put your heart and soul into the abundance of opportunities for living a healthier, happier, longer life.

More heart-healthy recipes can be found at; HRUK/Sally Bee or albertbartlett/hearthealthy