Whew! Summer is in full gear now, and those warmer temps can create many problems for anyone going outside. We’d like to share a few tips that might make your life a bit cooler during the hot days of summer.
Increase liquids – Increasing liquids is always a good idea for seniors but even more so during the hot summer. If you’re heading outside, be sure to drink extra liquids leading up to, during and after spending time outside. Ideally, you want to choose unsweetened beverages such as water, iced tea or fruit flavored water over sweetened beverages. Make sure to pack a water bottle to take with you anytime you’re spending time outside in the summer.
Stick with light, loose clothing. Wear the right clothes. Avoid wearing dark or tight clothes outside in the summer. Dark material absorbs the heat while lighter will better reflect it. This will also help the body regulate temperature and release excess heat.
Wear suntan lotion. Any time spent in the sun can quickly cause sunburn and more. We’re talking about 15 minutes or more. Excess exposure to the sun can cause confusion, weakness, cramping, heavy sweating, sunburn, and more. Wear a lotion with a higher sun protection factor, known as SPF. We recommend an SPF of 30 to 50.
Eat for the heat. In other words, try to focus on lighter meals, and add plenty of fruits and vegetables to your normal diet. Heavier foods make the heart and stomach work harder to process with the additional heat. Fruits and vegetables are much easier and less stressful for the body to process. Now we also know that summers are also the time for outdoor potlucks and barbecue. So try to eat those items in moderation.
Be aware of new surroundings. This is because of falls. If you’re traveling, it’s easy to be taken in by a breathtaking view. However, because you’re concentrating on the beauty around you, you’re more likely to miss that step or not watch where you’re going. Be sure to look around you when walking about.
Start each day with a healthy, heart friendly breakfast. Higher temps can diminish your appetite. You’re also likely not to eat until later if you’re busy traveling. So have a good, healthy breakfast for each new day. Pair up fruit and veggies with whole grains, lean proteins, and heart-healthy fats. This could include omelets with veggies, whole grain toast, or a smoothie with fresh fruit, with a handful of healthy nuts.
Finally, keep your medications cool. Please do not keep any meds in a car or outside. The heat can destroy their effectiveness. Keep them inside, or in a cooler that you know will keep cool for a long period of time.
These tips will helpfully serve you well this summer. Take care and enjoy all the good that comes from summer!