10 Healthy Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

The most celebrated holiday of Mexican culture in the United States commemorates May 5, 1862, the Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. Since then, the holiday has taken on more meaning outside of Mexico and is a popular day for enjoying family time, good food, and other festivities. When people in the United States think of Cinco de Mayo, festivities involving mariachis, parades, piñatas, fireworks, cervezas, and dancing may come to mind. Coincidentally, some of these activities may not be the best for our health, but we can always tweak certain things to accommodate for a healthier day of celebration. Here are 10 ways you can be health-conscious and have a fantastic Cinco de Mayo.

  1. Prepare a Healthy Mexican-style Feast

    There are plenty of healthy ingredients and recipes in preparing a genuine Mexican meal. Make a fresh salsa or black bean dip, incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meal, and choose lean meats for those enchiladas. The American Diabetes Association offers many healthy recipes so you can splurge on a feast without adding on extra pounds and fats.

  2. Be Part of a Parade

    Many festivals celebrating Cinco de Mayo include parades and mock battles. With all the long, colorful attire of celebration dresses and costumes, it may be quite a thrilling challenge to finish the entire parade, dancing and active the whole time. Treat it as a fun opportunity to get a workout roaming the streets with others in celebration.

  3. Play a Challenging Piñata game

    If you think about it, whacking a piñata takes some strength and endurance. Now, if you place the piñata at an especially challenging height, it might take you a while to bust it open blindfolded. It might be a fun (and rewarding) way of testing your arm strength and using those muscles.

  4. Wear a Large, Traditional Sombrero

    The wide brim of a sombrero will give you enough shade, blocking out harmful UV rays. This is particularly useful, as many Cinco de Mayo festivities take place outdoors. Furthermore, these sombreros add quite an amount of weight on your head, forcing you to balance and improve your back posture. Challenge yourself and don’t take off the sombrero the whole day!

  5. Drink Tequila and Cerveza (in moderation)

    The plant used to make tequila is blue agave (cactus), which has many medicinal properties such as treating ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, and reducing colon cancer. For those who enjoy an ice cold cerveza, you’d be happy to know that it’s healthier than you realize. The many health benefits of beer include reducing the risk of osteoporosis, supporting healthier joints, and producing antioxidants. However, don’t overdo it or you’ll make your liver work extra hard.

  6. Wrestle Lucha Libre Style

    In Mexico, Lucha libre refers to a form of professional wrestling that is more freestyle and amateur with loose restrictions. Since it requires great upper body strength, skill, endurance, and agility, this would be a challenging way to explore Mexican culture and its popular sport.

  7. Learn to Folk Dance

    With so many rich and different regions in Mexico, there are many traditional folk dances that represent each unique region’s culture. The Mexican Hat Dance (Jarabe Tapatio) and the Deer dance (La Danza del Venado) are great examples of folk dances that involve endurance and constant movement.

  8. Get a Designated Driver

    An event or festivity involving alcohol means there should be a designated driver if you are commuting from place to place. This makes sure you and your friends make it home safely to celebrate many future Cinco de Mayos.

  9. Grow a Mustache for Charity

    Many of us (especially men) are familiar with “Movember,” which designates November as the official month to grow out a mustache in the name of charity. Applying this same concept towards the month of May, you can grow a mustache (and show it off during Cinco de Mayo) to raise awareness and funds for many charities like The Prostate Cancer Charity and Mustaches for Kids.

  10. Ride a Mechanical Bull

    Bull riding traditions are prevalent in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and many other Latin American countries. Why not give yourself a total core body work out and celebrate Mexican culture at the same time? Many people don’t know that riding a bull (even a mechanical one) can increase strength, improve your flexibility, and balance as you flex your core muscles in many changing positions.