Glastonbury's New Wellness Area Is Perfect For Gen Z Who Are Drinking Less Alcohol Than Ever
When you think of Glastonbury you might picture mud, cans of cheap lager and a lot more mud. This year it's become quite the opposite.
Temperatures at Glasto have soared and, when it comes to cheap booze, people are drinking less alcohol than ever. At least that applies to those under the age of 24 and with the most-populated age group at the music festival being 21-25 it's pretty easy to understand why a wellness area appealed.
So in an age of wellness over revelry and fitness as the new status symbol, music festivals are becoming more than just the hedonist's natural habitat. And yet I don't remember drinking a single soft drink at Leeds Fest back in 2013...
One in three young people under 24 are now teetotal and when it comes to Glastonbury, instead of focusing on how many bars can be erected, organisers unveiled its new wellness area.
It's called 'Humblewell' and it features free yoga classes, acupuncture, massage and access to Mind counsellors.
So with this healthier approach to festivals the new normal, we asked Bupa's resident Lifestyle Health Adviser Richard McVey how to stay active and well throughout your next festival.
For a start, Richard says, research has shown that festivals are great for your mental health in various ways. We all know how listening to music can instantly boost our mood so it's obvious why festivals are such feelgood events from start to finish. The release of endorphins from plenty of dancing are an added bonus too.
Plus, the feeling of togetherness which comes from enjoying music as one with a crowd instils a sense of belonging like no other.
It also allows you to connect with the outside world, probably enjoying some form of nature and increasing your sense of well-being. Stress levels will also likely be lowered by indulging in much less screen time and social media usage than usual, with limited signal, battery and far too much other fun stuff going on IRL.
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You probably won't have to give too much thought or advance planning to the exercise you'll manage to slot into your time at a festival. With all that time on your feet exploring the site, your step count is certainly in no danger of falling behind.
The NHS recommends a brisk 10-minute daily walk for numerous health benefits, including improved stamina, calorie-burning and a healthier heart, which translates as a speed of roughly three miles an hour.
And again, dancing is endlessly beneficial for your mind and body - it raises your heart rate and can burn over 400 calories an hour, strengthens your muscles and requires the use of numerous body parts at once, from head to toe.
With the plethora of choice available at most festivals, many of them health-focused (not least with the rise of veganism), being limited to greasy food vans is largely a thing of the past.
Glastonbury Festival has over 400 food traders offering an array of exciting eats for Festival-goers. There is also a large number of vegetarian stalls and more vegan ones than ever before.
Since 2015 Glastonbury has been championing their 'Food For A Fiver' scheme where £5 options can include a smoothie, muesli & coffee breakfast combination, a bowl of homemade ravioli, or a hearty vegetarian salad.
If you are drinking alcohol, just remember to stay hydrated, especially in hot weather, warns Richard.
He advises people to eat before drinking and try to stick within the recommended limits, not only for your own safety when navigating your way around or finding friends, but to preserve your health and energy levels.
Obviously, drugs are illegal and we don't need to remind you of the potential dangers to your health and safety. However, if you do end up taking something, just make sure your friends know about it.
Telling someone else is crucial because the information could be needed in a medical emergency.
First and foremost - stay healthy, safe and be happy.
Featured Image Credit: PA