With more than 200 food vendors, countless contests and shows and 285-acres to cover (445-acres, if you include the campgrounds), the Iowa State Fair is a site to see and an experience like none other.
If you're one of the million-plus people who still plan to attend the Fair this year, it's a good idea to come with a game plan. This Iowa heat can be a challenge, and we want you to stay healthy and happy all Fair long!
Stay safe and healthy at the Iowa State Fair by following these 5 tips from UnityPoint Health - Des Moines:
Walking around the Fairgrounds is not only tiring, but it's hot - especially mid-day. Beer, pop and smoothies actually dehydrate you, and dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Plenty of vendors sell water, and there are water refill stations and water fountains throughout the grounds. The most important thing you can do to avoid heat-related illness is to drink plenty of water!
Make healthy food choices
Yes, we know. The Iowa State Fair offers a plethora of 'deep-fried-this' and 'deep-fried-that', but it doesn't mean you have to eat them all. Rather than indulging in every item you come across, take time to do a little research ahead of time. The Food Finder App offers location and nutrition information for Fair food items on your smartphone, as well as a calendar of daily events. You can see just how many calories are in that turkey leg, or how much fat is in that bloomin' onion before you make an impulse buy. There are plenty of healthy food options available at the Fair, and the Food Finder App will help you track them down!
With all the walking and activities, make sure to pace yourself. Take breaks every hour to kick up your feet and get out of the sun. Whether you find a shaded bench and people watch, enjoy a free show at one of the stages or head into an air-conditioned building, you need to take breaks. This will help decrease swelling of the feet and ankles, prevent overheating and give you time to drink that water!
Remember sun protection
With so many sights and attractions, the Iowa State Fair is an all-day adventure. You'll want to make sure you apply sunscreen throughout the day, and dress appropriately for the hot weather. Even with the milder-than-normal temperatures we have in the forecast, that sun is still very hot and still very damaging. Hats, sunscreen and sunglass are must-haves to protect your skin and eyes from those damaging UV rays.
Listen to your body
Pay attention to the signals your body is sending, and listen to them. If you are feeling dizzy or faint, you may need to hydrate or eat something nutritionally sound for a boost of energy. If you heart begins to beat quickly, you begin to see spots or have ringing in your ears, it may be heat exhaustion or heat stroke. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, how healthy or unhealthy you are, or how many years you've been going to the Fair... don't ignore what your body is telling you!
Following these 5 simple tips can help you stay safe and healthy at the Iowa State Fair. There is so much to do and see, and UnityPoint Health-Des Moines wants to make sure that you and your family LiveWell and stay healthy in our comunity. After all, Nothing Compares to the Iowa State Fair!