Staying Cool in the Hot Summer Sun
As the temperatures rise, there is no better time than now to refresh our readers on the risks older individuals face by staying in extreme heat for too long. As recognized by the CDC, “people aged 65 years or older are more prone to heat-related health problems” than their younger counterparts. This can be attributed to anything from chronic medical conditions that affects how the body normally responds to heat or even perhaps the medications prescribed that can counteract the body’s ability to control its temperature or sweat.
6 Quick Tips to Beat the Summer Heat
- Plan outdoor activities in the morning or evening.
To ensure that your activities aren’t cut short, plan to go outside when the grueling midday heat isn’t in effect. As we all know, it can be dramatically cooler outside in the early morning, so being outdoors in the morning may be more comfortable.
- Limit sun exposure.
Plan activities that allow you to step inside and cool off, if need be. Going to see the newest summer blockbuster or doing some light shopping at your local outdoor mall or shopping center are excellent options.
- Avoid overexerting yourself.
You might be quite literally “taking a walk in the park,” but when temperatures are above 85 degrees, that walk becomes much more difficult. Stay close to home and always go outside with a friend. The buddy system is key!
- Stay hydrated.
It is extra important to drink more than you typically would, and to not wait until you are thirsty. Additionally, stick to water as your primary form of hydration; drinks with caffeine, like iced tea or soda, will actually dehydrate you.
- Shade is your new best friend.
When spending time outside, it is important to utilize shade provided by awnings, umbrellas, and trees. Even though the temperature doesn’t actually “change” when you’re in the shade, the lack of solar radiation can make you feel about 10 to 15 degrees cooler.
- Utilize extra protection.
Hats with brims on them, sunglasses, and sunscreen will all help keep you protected from the extra heat. Although sunburns might seem like minor inconveniences, that isn’t the only thing you need to protect yourself from. The chart below, provided by the CDC, goes into greater detail on specific heat-related illnesses and the symptoms to watch out for.
At Waltonwood, your health and safety are always a priority. Please stay safe, and most importantly, have fun. After all, summer is the best time of the year for a reason.