Visiting Angels Jenkintown, PA Blog

How Seniors Can Keep Active During the Dog Days of Summer

The “dog days of summer” historically refer to the days between July 22 and August 22, when Sirius, also called Dog Star, appeared to rise just before the sun. The term has since referred to the hot, sultry days of summer that occur between mid-July and last until mid-August. The hottest days of summer can be challenging for anyone to maintain an active lifestyle, but particularly present an obstacle for seniors.

Seniors are already at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, due to physical changes that occur with age. Aging bodies take longer to sense and respond to rising temperatures and humidity. They also produce less sweat and aren’t able to regulate body temperature as quickly as younger adults. As summer heats up, many seniors are at a loss when it comes to staying safe while maintaining an active lifestyle. Fortunately, the dog days of summer do not mean that seniors need to sit around idly until the heat has past. Here are five practical tips to help seniors stay active in the midst of a heat wave. Elderly man drinking water

Slow Down

When the heat and humidity reach their peak highs, it’s important for seniors to remember to slow down. Staying active doesn’t mean that you need to work up a sweat everyday. Use the heat as a great excuse to try yoga for seniors or work on your balance. You can continue to go for a walk or work out in the garden, just slow down your pace to give your body a chance to respond.

Engage Your Brain

Extremely hot and humid days have a way of draining all the energy out of you, making it challenging not only stay active physically, but mentally as well. Push through the mental fatigue on hot days by keeping your mind active. Find a cool spot indoors and pick up a good book. Spend an hour working on word puzzles or coloring in an adult coloring book. Meditate or journal instead of zoning out in front of the television. When you choose to keep your brain engaged during dog days of summer, it will be easier to pick up your exercise routine once the heat wave has passed.

Revisit Home Organization

Keep active indoors by revisiting home organization projects that may have been left incomplete when the warmer weather first arrived. Finish cleaning out closets or reorganize the pantry. Sort through drawers that you keep putting off for a rainy day or spend time organizing important documents. Home projects are a great way to engage your brain and keep your body moving, while you stay safe from extreme temperatures.

Plan Around the Weather

If your daily walk or other outdoor active pursuits are a must for your emotional and mental well-being, then make sure you are planning around the weather. Avoid strenuous activities during the peak hours of the day. Consider the weekly forecast and select the days with the lowest temperature and humidity to go for a walk or work in the yard. Let your body rest the following day so that your body has time to recuperate. Stay inside when the temperature and heat index are predicted to be extreme.

Keep Cool

Finally, it’s important to keep cool as you strive to maintain an active lifestyle during the dog days of summer. Set yourself up for success by wearing appropriate clothing for the weather. Choose light weight fabrics that offer UV protections. Wear a wide-brimmed hat so that you always have shade with you. Take a small water bottle with you and keep yourself hydrated. Know where there are safe places to sit along your walking route so that you can rest should you need it. Rinse off afterwards by taking a tepid shower.

As summer heats up, know that Visiting Angels Jenkintown is here to help you stay cool while maintaining an active lifestyle. Our senior home care services allow many seniors to remain safe and independent in the comfort of their own homes. We also provide families with peace of mind as they rest assured their aging loved one has a friendly caregiver to keep them company, while looking out for the safety and well-being. Don’t let the dog days of summer catch you off guard. Contact us today to get started with our amazing senior home care services, and make this your best summer yet.







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