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Get yourself to the fair.

I had an article ready to go but I was then reminded that the New York State Fair opens up soon. As a dedicated health professional I would be remiss if I didn’t have some diatribe against the artery clogging junk to eat at the fair. In fact, I know I wrote about this exact same issue previously…I could just go back and cut and paste and who would know or care. Sorry, that’s not the way I roll. This is fresh off the cerebral cortex stuff but it will be very familiar. If I am going to preach about the same lifestyle issues over and over again I better have that patter down pat…so to speak.

2828359194_0f03e2872c_oThe important principles of how profound an effect that diet and exercise can have in your life and health don’t change but the ways to approach and illustrate them sure can. What can I say to those that don’t go to the fair? It boils down to this…anyone who doesn’t go to the fair is hiding something. That’s right, hiding something. Maybe they say, “It never changes,” but they are hiding the fact that they are too weak to make it around the fair on their own. Oh, maybe they are hiding the real fact from you but I think they are often hiding the reason from themselves as well…Not wanting to acknowledge their debilitated status. Maybe they say, “All the food there is unhealthy,” but again they are really hiding the fact that they have a hard time making food choices. If you call them on this they will say…no…I just don’t like the fair…to which I have always countered with, “What’s not to like?” but now I see I will have to ask, “What are you hiding?” All those people who say I went for 30 years in a row…What made you stop? Did you start doing something else instead?NYS_Fair_Iroquois_Village_-_dance_20

The exaltation of the Fair is easy. First, is its proximity people! The damn fair is in our backyard and for that reason alone deserves a visit. As do the Zoo, the Everson, the MOST, Symphoria, Syracuse Stage, etc., but they are here year round. The State Fair is more ephemeral…here but a few days at the end of summer. Gone before you have even gone through your full list of reasons not to go. The Fair IS exercise! Walking, walking, walking…it’s exactly what I preach. You can walk miles at the State Fair and not see everything. There  is indeed always something new at the Fair …maybe not something monumental but always something new. There is always a lot of educational stuff at the Fair and you know I preach about feeding your brain. Free music…and you know how I preach music therapy. The midway, the crazy deep fried “what-the-hell?”, the animal barns, the Native American area, all have their own allure.

The Fair IS diet! Rather it’s a chance to test and challenge your diet. If you plan ahead you can easily modify your diet and exercise enough before and after the Fair that you can overindulge on your favorite fair food. Are you on some “diet” you have to adhere to rigidly to get results or do you have a “lifestyle” that allows you to go buck wild on thfries-1324337e deep fry but then rein it in the next day. Why would you go to the fair and look for a salad? That’s not just silly its insulting! I couldn’t find a green salad so I had to settle for the Blooming Onion!? People Please! Now, there is one caution about the Fair. If you are over 50 you are crazy to go on any of those vomitorium rides. You have had your brain jostled and giggled around enough already…don’t add insult to injury. Go ahead and do the Ferris Wheel and try your luck at one of the squirt gun games but avoid all the upside down, back and forth stuff if you want to stay out of the nursing home. So, overall the New York State Fair is good for your health. I will pit the walking against the fair food any day…the secret of course is to make it any day…any one day…not every day! Get out of your rut. Try something new. Try something that you “used to do.” Keep up those traditions whatever they may be….well ok…drunk and disorderly is not a good tradition but you know what I mean. Get yourself to the fair and challenge yourself!

Dr. Barry