Visiting Angels Fort Worth TX Blog

Keep Active During the Hot Summer Months with These Four Tips

July and August are often marked with the hottest temperatures of the year. The heat and humidity can quickly reach dangerous levels, making it dangerous for any senior to maintain an active lifestyle. In fact, temperatures outdoors do not even have to reach beyond the 80s for seniors to be susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

According to the National Institute on Aging, seniors can have the most difficult time coping with hot weather and high humidity. Age-related physical changes in their bodies, as well as chronic health conditions put them at risk for developing heat-related illnesses. Even some prescription medications seniors take to manage chronic health conditions can increase their risk factor.

Couple exercising outdoorsYet, maintaining an active lifestyle is important for seniors, especially those who want to keep chronic health conditions in check or at bay. Research continues to support the need for all children and adults, including seniors, to exercise regularly and move more throughout the day. A sedentary lifestyle only leads to further medical complications later in life. So how can seniors keep active during the hot summer months? Here are four tips for seniors to keep active while staying safe as summer heats up. 

Move Indoors

When the heat index climbs, it’s best to stay indoors in the air conditioning. However, staying indoors doesn’t meant that seniors need to give up their exercise routine or sit around idly all day. Beat the heat by literally moving around indoors. Walk laps around the kitchen or bedroom while talking with family or a friend on the phone. Use the heat as an excuse to try a new senior fitness video from the comfort of your living room. Make a habit of standing up every hour during the day and doing something productive, such as folding a load of laundry or washing the dishes. Find fun ways to add more steps into your day when you can’t get outdoors to go for a walk.

Avoid Peak Hours

Another option to keep active during the hot summer months is to time your daily walk or outdoor activities for non-peak hours of the day. Enjoy an early morning walk as the sun rises. Wait until late evening to work in your garden or mow the lawn. Remember to wear reflective clothing made from light-weight fabric to protect you from the sun, keep you visible to cars, and help keep you cool. Always carry a cell phone with you as you head outdoors, even if it’s for a short walk or in your own backyard. The heat and humidity can be deceptive, making it difficult for seniors to judge just how hot it is outdoors.

Slow Down

When it’s extremely hot outdoors, it’s important to slow down your movements. Warmer temperatures mean your body is already working hard to compensate for the heat and keep you cool. When you decide to go for a walk or do yard work on a hot day, it means your body has to work even harder to keep cool. Give your body space to adapt by slowing down. Go for a leisurely walk instead of power walking. Take longer breaks between weeding or mowing the lawn, or mow half the lawn one day and the other half another day. Practice yoga indoors when it’s just too hot to go outdoors. Slowing down doesn’t mean that you’re living a sedentary lifestyle. It means you’re giving your body the time it needs to adapt to your movement in relation to the temperatures outdoors.

Drink Up

Finally, keep active during the hot summer months by staying hydrated. Dehydration is the first health problem that is often caused by exposure to too much heat. Seniors are at a higher risk for dehydration due to a diminishing thirst response that happens with age. Combine age and heat, and seniors are at a significant risk for dehydration. Ward off dehydration and other heat-related illnesses by drinking plenty of water and other fluids throughout the day. Aim to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and before each meal. Take a water bottle with you outdoors and drink water during exercise or other strenuous activities. Supplement your water intake by eating juicy fruits and vegetables.

As summer heats up, know that Visiting Angels Fort Worth is here for you. We offer a variety of senior home care services that help seniors maintain an active and independent lifestyle in the comfort of their own home. Whether you need a little help around the home, require assistance with basic hygiene, or want a friendly face to keep you company this summer, our compassionate caregivers are ready to meet you where you are. If you’re ready to take that next step and make this your best summer yet, please contact us by calling 817-877-1616.

 

 

Visiting Angels of Fort Worth, TX

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