Oktoberfest - ein Fest der Landeshauptstadt München
Photo: Sebastian Lehner

Gesundheit! How to stay fit and healthy at the Wiesn

Five tips on how to avoid the Wiesn flu

The Oktoberfest has barely opened its doors when it strikes again – the annual “Wiesn flu”. Here are five practical tips on how to stay fit and healthy at the Wiesn.

What is Wiesn flu?

The beer tents open, the rides start, and already it’s on the loose in Munich – the annual “Wiesn flu”. It’s no wonder, considering the Wiesn attracts over six million visitors every year. Along with their excitement and thirst, all these people bring a few viruses with them to the Theresienwiese. What’s more, in late September and early October, it is often warm during the day and cold at night, a challenge for the immune system at the best of times. “Wiesn flu” is not the real flu, of course – it’s merely a colloquial term that encompasses all the sniffles and hangovers that occur during the Wiesn. We have five tips on how you can avoid it.

Tip 1: It’s all about dressing right

Finding the right outfit for the Wiesn is not so simple. In the tents, the atmosphere gets hot and you can easily work up a sweat. Outside, however, it can get really chilly in the evenings. Autumn boots don’t go so well with a dirndl either. Nevertheless, you should follow the old saying: “Keep your head cool and feet warm, to keep the doctor from your door”. It is also wise to dress in layers, so that you can adapt to the temperature as you go.

Tip 2: Don’t forget to wash your hands

That not only applies at the Wiesn but in general: To keep viruses and bacteria at bay, you should regularly wash your hands with soap. It also helps not to share too many kisses and to avoid shaking hands where possible. Thankfully, clapping along to the beat is completely safe!

Tip 3: Get plenty of vitamin C and zinc

The Wiesn is a busy time for your immune system. You can give it a boost with plenty of vitamin C and zinc. As well as in orange juice, you can also get vitamin C from a portion of sauerkraut, served with sausages at the Wiesn! Soluble tablets from the pharmacy will also do the trick. Zinc is particularly abundant in animal products, such as meat, fish, eggs and milk. However, this is also available in concentrated amounts in products from the pharmacy. Little sachets containing a powdered mix of vitamin C and zinc are especially practical.

Tip 4: Take a break in the fresh air

Although it’s cozy and fun inside the tents, your immune system will benefit from a stroll through the Wiesn. Sunlight stimulates the production of vitamin D, which in turn has a positive effect on the defense mechanisms of the body. The fresh air also keeps the nasal mucous membrane moist. This helps defend against harmful pathogens. Nasal sprays containing natural salts can also help.

Tip 5: Take care of yourself: sleep, exercise and no stress whatsoever!

Nervous tension is harmful to the immune system. That’s why you should reduce any stress factors and make sure you get enough sleep. Seven to eight hours a night is ideal. Then your body will be equipped for all the extra exertion. Moderate exercise will also strengthen the immune system. Regular exercise like jogging or cycling makes your defense cells more agile and effective. However, don’t overdo it before the Wiesn: If you overexert yourself, you will be more vulnerable to infections for the next 24 hours.