Beware the Heat of Summer

It’s getting nearer that time of year when we again start to spend more time outdoors. After all, summer is a wonderful time to have fun and enjoy the many activities that we could not participate in when we were cooped up all winter. It is even more enjoyable to go on vacation in the summer time than it is in the midst of winter, especially if you live in colder climate.

While spending more time in the great outdoors sounds wonderful, there are certain restrictions that we need to be aware of depending on our age. We have to accept the fact that our body is not as flexible and willing to cooperate as in the past. Play Frisbee in the park may sound like fun, but the older you get the less likely your body will agree.

Seniors should not take lightly the effects of the summer heat on their health. In this article we cover the negative effects of the summer heat on one’s health and provide tips to “beat the heat”, as the common cliché goes.

If you spend too much time outdoors in the midst of the heat of summer, you may experience a number of negative responses. For example, summer heat can cause strokes, cramping due to lack of proper fluid intake, headaches, nausea and exhaustion. Underestimating the damage heat can do is a very serious mistake, one that should be avoided at all cost.

What people may not be aware of is the fact that seniors are more vulnerable to the effects of heat because age renders them insensitive in comparison to younger people. Many times younger family members don’t realize how heat is affecting their older loved ones, and it can become easy to miss the warning signs of heat related health problems until it is too late.

The following tips should help keep senior healthy all through summer.

  • Staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do when experiencing heat, whether indoors or outdoors. Drink as many as 8 or more glasses of water daily and minimize or stop the intake of alcohol completely. Alcohol acts as a diuretic and you can lose more fluid than is healthy without realizing it.
  • Eat as much fresh fruit as possible and replace caffeine with fresh fruit juices or plain water.  Make it a practice to keep drinking water all through the day and it will soon become a lifelong habit.
  • As much as one would like to deny the signs of aging it is best to be sensible and reduce any strenuous activities to a more reasonable level during the summer months.
  • Stay out of the sun, preferably in a cool place or an air conditioned room during the hottest part of the day. If you must venture out into the sun, wearing a sunblock is the best way to go. Cool cotton clothing is also a must and clothes that are light in color are ideal for those hot summer days.

Just because you have reached your senior years is no reason why you can’t still enjoy being outdoors. You just need to remember to take precautions that will keep you safe from the strong spring and summer rays and the heat of the dog days of August.

Stay hydrated and lightly covered, especially with one of those beautiful summer hats, and use common sense as to how long you stay outside during hot days, and you will likely be able to enjoy the wonderful summer activities going on around you.



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