It’s not our first rodeo! How to stay healthy this rodeo season
It’s time to saddle up for rodeo season, so don’t let yourself miss out on the action because you got sick or for some other avoidable reason. Drs. Chinwe Nwokocha and Yasmin Uzamere, assistant professors in family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, offer health tips to keep rodeo goers in good health.
Be prepared during spring virus season
Spring is a peak time for the common cold. All types of viruses can be spread, but the most common during the early spring include influenza, RSV, COVID and rhinovirus. Protect yourself against these by washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching the nose, mouth and eyes, staying home if you’re sick and getting vaccinated if you’re not already.
“If you feel comfortable wearing a mask, I encourage you to do so,” Uzamere said. “They’re great for reducing the spread of respiratory viruses.”
Wrangle in your food options
A lot of people come hungry for the seemingly endless sea of food options. Nwokocha recommends sticking to a diet plan that fits your lifestyle. Go for healthier options such as turkey or chicken as they have lower fat content and fewer calories than non-lean meat. If you’re going to the cook-off, choose your sides carefully, especially if you have food allergies. Some foods can have nuts or seafood components in them, so be sure to ask questions before eating. Make sure you have your EpiPens and Benadryl on hand in case of an emergency. If you have diabetes, skip sugary drinks and desserts. If you must, consume in moderation, check your sugar levels and follow up with your primary care physician.
How to buckle up for rodeo
There’s lots to see at the rodeo, so whether you’re a volunteer or rodeo goer, make sure you’re dressed for the occasion. Nwokocha recommends wearing clothes that are comfortable to walk around in and comfortable shoes. For skin protection, use sunscreen with SPF 30 and above and wear a hat while enjoying the outdoor portions of the event. If you plan on going to the concert, bring hearing protection devices such as earmuffs, noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs.
“Your hearing lasts a lifetime. Preserve it and try to stay away from prolonged exposure to loud noises like speakers, fireworks or cannons,” Nwokocha said.
Saying howdy to the herd
Some adults and children may be uncomfortable interacting with large animals. If you think someone in your party will experience fear or anxiety at the livestock show, there are some measures you can take to prepare them for this showcase:
- Discuss with them what to expect of the visit by searching the rodeo’s website to see what kind of animals will be present
- Be close by to offer support or words of encouragement
- Offer alternatives to seeing the livestock show
“There are so many other activities at the rodeo. You can bypass the animals completely, if needed,” Uzamere said.
Rodeo to take a break from the rowdiness of life
Whether you’re watching mutton bustin’, visiting the petting zoo or art exhibit or shopping at local vendors, Nwokocha reminds rodeo goers to have fun.
“The rodeo is huge tradition and a great break from the stresses of work, life and school,” Nwokocha said. “It’s a wonderful time to get outdoors, connect and be together with friends and family.”
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