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10 Fitness Tips to Physically Prepare for a Protest March

There seems to be a lot of people expressing themselves about one thing or another these days. The news and entertainment shows are filled with footage of political protests, the like of which has not been seen since the 60’s. Whatever the cause, it’s great to see people being inspired to get up, get out, and get moving!

However, I can guarantee that some of you on-a-mission marchers are feeling the pain of having taken it to the streets without proper consideration of preparing for a successful outing. Preparation is important and when you want to make a difference, preparation can make all the difference.

Here are the 10 Fitness Tips you should follow before you march

1. Fuel your body:

10 Fitness Tips to Physically Prepare for a Protest March

Just like filling your vehicle’s gas tank before a road trip, make sure your body is fueled for the task at hand. You would be wise to forego heavy foods, like meat and other foods high in fat content like cheese, eggs or dairy. Consider a small portion of fruits and nuts, cereal or energy bar. Simple carbohydrates providing quick energy. Blended smoothies, fruit juices, and energy drinks are perfect for fueling up and will prevent bloating and discomfort.

2. Stretch your body:

Stretching is crucial because it increases blood flow and nutrient supply to the muscles, which reduces the likelihood of developing muscle soreness. Stretching will prepare and protect your body. Protesting can be exciting and emotional, hence, adrenaline-producing, which can give you a false sense of energy. Your mind will also benefit from stretching throughout the process.

3. Carry only what you absolutely need:

It’s common for activists to attend a protest with a sign (or two) and a backpack or purse full of necessities. (Sunglasses, sunscreen, water, snacks, hat, etc.) Pack only travel-friendly items and avoid bringing excess materials that you don’t need. You’ll want to avoid the burden of excess weight, especially if you plan on carrying heavy and bulky signs.

4. Wear proper footwear and socks:

One of the worst things you can do during a protest is to wear shoes that aren’t suitable for walking long distances for a long time. Prepare accordingly with tennis shoes that provide padding to protect your feet while promoting correct alignment. Moisture-wicking or good cotton socks will help guard against blisters. Opt for health and comfort.

5. Check the weather forecast & dress (layer) accordingly:

Protesting is not a fashion show. Again, staying healthy and comfortable are the touchstones of successful dissent attire. If you’re not going to be at a microphone, there’s no need for you to dress up. Wear clothing you can move in.

6. Know your limits:

During a protest march your body will more than likely be exposed to long hours and distances. Throughout the day of the protest, it’s crucial to be able to distinguish discomfort from pain. Don’t overdo it! Be aware of how your body is responding and don’t push yourself to extremes. It’s okay to take a break, do some stretching, hydrate and resume once the pain dissipates. Your body will thank you for it!

7. Stay hydrated:

A common mistake many people make is not properly hydrating themselves. One to two hours before the protest, drink fifteen to twenty ounces of water and keep hydrating throughout the march. This will ensure you don’t experience fatigue, dizziness and dehydration, and allow you to stay active, energized and empowered.

8. Start slow and pace yourself:

A common mistake made by protester is to let the emotional excitement overcome common sense and try to do too much too soon. Although it’s great to be passionate, it’s better to be realistic so your body won’t experience exhaustion. Remember, it’s not a marathon; there’s no need to push yourself.

9. Medications and Medical Conditions:

Make sure to take your medications as usual. Those with HBP, diabetes, asthma, A-Fib or other heart issues should have emergency medications and ID with an emergency contact number and medical allergy info, just to be on the safe side.

10. Keep a cool head!

Conditioning is an important component of any physical activity. These tips will help you achieve the best possible outcome. While you’re at it, don’t forget to have some fun. Here’s to happy and healthy protesting!

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After over 12 years in nursing, caring for others has become key to my own personal happiness.

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