Health and Fitness – Keep Your Proud Self Safe

It’s coming! It’s coming! The Pride festival hearkens! The exhibitionists are ready for The Full Monty, and the queens are ready for their Priscilla, Queen of the Desert close-ups! There should be plenty of shenanigans under the Kansas City sun. And with that sun can come some powerfully warm weather! This is the perfect opportunity to review the basics of summer safety and wellness.

You’ll probably see more than your fair share of shirtless, fair-skinned guys at Pride wearing sunburns that will promise to hurt for days. Be good to your skin, and grab the bottle of sunscreen. Most dermatologists are recommending an SPF 30 or higher to combat the intense rays. The sun is fun to bask in, but repeated exposures will wrinkle you and keep the Botox docs dancing to the beat of your dollars hitting their hands. Proudly slather the stuff all over yourself and your friends at all the gay affairs this summer.

The festival medics will likely see some dehydration cases. Everyone loves a firefighter and wants to fall into one’s arms, but a case of severe fluid loss is not the solution. Serious dehydration is really painful to recover from! Each day you need eight cups of water, and much more than that when you’re in hot environments. Proudly start making it a habit to drink your daily share of water during the sizzling summer weather.

Alcohol can make you do some goofy things, and Pride just has a way of bringing out the goofy in us all! Alcohol is a diuretic, pushing water out of your system. This will dehydrate you even faster than normal. If you’re going to drink in the hot summer sun, then do it double-fisted. Proudly keep one hand on the mug of brew and one hand on the bottled water.

There should be plenty of interesting clothing choices at the festivities. I wonder what the emperor’s new clothes will look like this year — probably wacky, wild, and wonderful. It’s best if the choices include light-colored and lightweight clothing. The lighter colors will help reflect the sun’s rays and help you stay cooler. You don’t have to keep it as skimpy as the girls with the bikini bottoms and pasties on their pretty parts. But the general idea still works. Proudly exclaim, “Lighter wear is better!”

Stilettos and 300 pounds of camp drag can put a person’s feet into the danger zone. A good pair of shoes can minimize the likelihood of ankle, knee, and hip problems. This is the time of the year we all start wearing flip flops and sandals. Flip flops are better than the barefoot option, but they provide no cushioning. Proudly grab a decent pair of cushioned sandals and enjoy the open-toed experience!

Beware the festival food! You’ve got the nachos, dripping with cheese, as an appetizer at a price of 2,000 calories. Then there’s the main course of a deluxe hamburger and all the trimmings, including plenty of mayonnaise, with a price tag of 1,700 calories. Finally there’s the dessert — maybe a double brownie explosion with ice cream, fudge, and sprinkles with a price tag of 1,800 calories. Add it up and you’re out of cash and notches on your belt! Be proud about your food choices!

Now get out there, have some healthy fun, and make us all proud! It will be nice to see you back happy and well for many more festivals to come!

This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy beaming with pride. That guy with the rainbow-flavored personality is Ron Blake and he can be reached at

Ron Blake

Ron Blake, a personal fitness trainer in Phoenix, has been training individuals and groups for 15 years. He has also coached high school cross-country and track teams in Indiana and California. He was born in Gary, Ind., and Indiana University awarded him bachelor and master's degrees (as long as he agreed to quietly leave the state!) Visit his website, for more information.

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