How to stay active in the summer heat

elderly woman waving herself off with a fan to stay coolIt seems more trouble than it's worth... unfortunately, not true.

Staying motivated to move your body can be hard in the summer months when the temperatures are on the rise. When the AC's nice cold air tempts you to stay inside drinking ice tea, remember these tips to keep active. But, how to stay active in the summer heat?


Daily Activities

Daily activity is vital to senior health. Seniors who stay active tend to have less chronic health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. However, the summer months can make it hard to do some of the regular activities we're used to, especially when temperatures reach the upper double digits and beyond. When the sun is blazing, even normal outdoor activities like gardening can pose a risk for heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Know the signs to keep safe when keeping active. 


Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion symptoms include excessive sweating, feeling faint or dizzy, nausea or vomiting, a rapid pulse or a weak pulse, cool, pale, clammy skin, and muscle cramps. If any of these symptoms occur, get inside or to a shaded place, drink water, and, if possible, take a cold shower or use a cool compress to lower your body temperature.

Heatstroke Symptoms

Heatstroke symptoms are more severe and include a throbbing headache, no sweating, feelings of nausea or vomiting, strong rapid pulse, red, hot, dry skin, and a temperature above 103°. In cases of heatstroke, you may also lose consciousness. It is vital in cases of heatstroke to call 9-1-1 and take immediate action to cool before help arrives.

To avoid heat exhaustion and heatstroke, plan strenuous outdoor activities such as gardening or working out for the first thing in the morning before temperatures reach too high. In the summer, when the sun sets later, the evening may be another option. However, take care to ensure there is enough light to see and avoid any fall risks.


Swimming Pools

Seniors with access to pools may find swimming and aerobic pool exercises a good option for the summer months. Pools provide great full-body low-impact workouts. Many cities and gyms have programs targeted at seniors. However, be aware that there may not be access to pools in many areas with the coronavirus still on the rise.


Low Impact Exercises

Low impact exercises such as neighborhood walks are another way to keep active during the summer months. If you have a neighborhood park nearby or someplace with bench seating, you can rest in the shade during the walk if the heat becomes too much. Sticking close to home is also a good idea in case you need to rest. Always bring water with you when you go on a walk and remember to keep hydrated. Hydration is imperative to stay active in the summer heat. For particularly hot days, look for battery operated fans that you can carry with you or look for cooling towels that can be run under water and placed on your neck to keep you cool.


Stay active in the summer heat!

The most important thing to do is to keep moving. It may make it hard to stay active in the summer heat, but with a few adjustments, it's possible to beat the heat and move your body.


Related Articles:

Here is a video from the National Institue On Aging - Exercising Safely Outdoors

Visiting Angels - How Seniors Can Maintain an Active Lifestyle When It’s Too Hot Outdoors Healthy Living and Safety Tips


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