5 winning ways to enjoy a healthier Derby

The sun’s shining bright on our old Kentucky home, dogwoods and tulips are in bloom, and it’s getting warmer; Derby season is here.

The sun’s shining bright on our old Kentucky home, dogwoods and tulips are in bloom, and it’s getting warmer; Derby season is here.

It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities and overindulge, but you can enjoy a happy, healthy Derby, whether you celebrate at home, at a party or at Churchill Downs. Here are five easy tips to help make that happen.


  1. Protect yourself from the sun.

After a cold winter, it’s tempting to soak up the sun. Although the sun’s warmth feels good, its ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Exposure to the sun can result in premature aging, changes in skin texture and skin cancer.

Wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and an SPF-containing lip balm, even if it’s slightly cloudy or cool at the track. Be sure to reapply both several times throughout the day. Protect your eyes by wearing wraparound sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection.

And don’t forget your Derby hat! Wear one to keep cool, protect yourself from the sun and, of course, to look fashionable.

  1. Do indulge – in healthy foods!

Enjoying the Derby whirlwind of events, activities and parties takes energy and fuel. Rex Lagerstrom, M.D., internal medicine physician with Norton Community Medical Associates – Mallard Creek, advises not to skip meals! Instead, plan to eat small portions of healthy foods throughout the day.

Be sure to choose foods rich in protein, and the fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables now available. For delicious, heart-healthy meals, check out Norton Healthcare’s healthy eating tips.

  1. Drink wisely and well

Dr. Lagerstrom also says alcohol quickly dehydrates your body, so be sure to alternate drinking water with other beverages.

You can easily make, drink and serve alcohol-free mint juleps. You can find a variety of recipes online, including some made with sugar alternatives.

  1. Be kind to your feet!

Our feet bear the brunt of all the walking we do at Derby time, so those cute flip-flops aren’t going to cut it! Keep your feet comfortable by wearing leather shoes or shoes made from mesh fabrics, both of which allow your feet to breathe.

Always wear well-fitting shoes to avoid blisters. And be on the lookout for hazards like broken glass.

  1. Be well informed and plan ahead

If you’re attending the Derby in person, plan ahead! Check Churchill Downs’ website for lists of permitted and prohibited items. These lists change from year to year, so don’t assume you already know.

When you arrive at the track, check your surroundings and designate a meeting spot to connect with your friends between races. Don’t leave your food or drinks unattended, and always keep an eye out for friends who overindulge.

Most important, know that Norton Healthcare’s trained medical staff is just a short drive away in the event of an accident or emergency. For quality care, visit one of our 13 neighborhood Norton Immediate Care Centers.


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