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Five ways to be healthy at the Minnesota State Fair 2015

Stay hydrated, go for a walking tour and choose carefully when it comes to fair food.
The Minnesota State Fair, notorious for its deep-fried food, may not seem like the healthiest environment. But University of Minnesota Health has a few tips to make your day out at the Fair more health conscious.

Quick: What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear “Minnesota State Fair”?

Midway rides? Food on a stick? 4-H exhibits?

‘Personal health’ probably wasn't on the tip of your tongue. For many, the Minnesota State Fair is a chance to indulge in new experiences and new deep-fried food. But if health is a priority for you, here are a few easy tips from University of Minnesota Health to help protect you and your family during Minnesota’s “Great Get Together.”

Be Germ Conscious
Let’s face it; with nearly 1.8 million annual guests and thousands of animals on display, the Minnesota State Fair isn’t the most sterile environment. Do yourself a favor and slather on some hand sanitizer as you make your way from the cattle barn to the nearest food stand.

Protect Your Skin
For many, the state fair marks the end of summer and the beginning of the school year, shorter days and cooler temps. So we understand why it’s so tempting to roll up the sleeves and work on that farmer’s tan while you still have the chance. But all that sun can put you at a higher risk for skin damage and skin cancer. Be sure to pack some sunscreen and apply it regularly.

To make sun protection even easier for you, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota; Vanicream Sunscreen and the Minnesota State Fair have partnered to distribute free SPF 30 sunscreen at all state fair information booths during the fair this year.

Stay Hydrated
Between all that salty food, walking and warm temperatures, it’s easy to become dehydrated at the Minnesota State Fair. Men need roughly three liters of fluids each day, while women should drink at least 2.2 liters of fluid daily. But when you’re active, you may need to consume a higher volume of water. Carry a water bottle, take breaks in the shade or find the nearest water fountain on the fairgrounds to avoid dehydration.

Strap on a Pedometer
The Minnesota State Fairgrounds cover 320 acres and stretch roughly one mile from north to south. With hundreds of attractions and dozens of permanent buildings, a dedicated fair-goer can log plenty of steps on his or her pedometer over a single day. To help hit your walking goal, try the Minnesota State Fair History walking tour.

Ditch Deep Fried Food
State fair attendees gobble up an average of 4.05 million mini-donuts, 2.6 million individual cheese curds and 500,000 corndogs every year. It may be hard to resist all the deep-fried products hawked at the fair, but ditching greasy, heavily processed food for a better option—like buttered corn on the cob, which has only 179 calories—is an easy way to cut back.