If the winter months made it difficult to stick to a healthy and active routine, summer is the best time to get back on track. With the sun out and temperatures on the rise, many older adults find themselves exercising outdoors, going on more frequent walks, and perhaps indulging in a little more ice cream.
There are so many enjoyable activities to engage in this time of year that many of us find our calendars full. But summertime can also expose us to potential heat-related illnesses and ailments. Here are some strategies to help you enjoy a healthy and happy summer, no matter how warm the weather gets.
Tips for Enjoying a Healthy Summer
Take advantage of the longer days of summer to boost your mental, emotional and physical health. If you reside in a senior living community, such as Oak Trace, the community may host special summer events, fitness programs and serve seasonal food to enhance your summer experience. If you live alone, you can spend time with friends and family or take a relaxing vacation. But regardless of where you live, you can practice summer safety.
Protect Your Skin
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 5 million older adults experience some type of skin cancer every year. To reduce your risk, be diligent about applying sunscreen when you plan to spend time outdoors.
It is recommended that you apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside. Sunscreen with SPF 30 or above is more likely to block the harmful UVA and UVB rays that can damage one’s skin. Sunscreen will also help you avoid painful sunburn.
Your eyes need protection from the sun, too. Sunglasses with UV 400 level provides nearly 100% protection from harmful ultraviolet light rays. If you don’t safeguard your skin and eyes from harmful sun exposure you risk experiencing skin cancer, cataracts and other serious health conditions.
Wear Light Clothing
As an older adult, one may be at a higher risk of experiencing heat-related illnesses. As one ages, the body may have a delayed ability to cool down in hot temperatures. This leads to heat stroke and heat exhaustion, which can cause one to become dizzy, light-headed, nauseated or vomit.
One way to keep your body cool is to wear lighter colored clothing. Dark colors like black or brown absorb the sun’s heat and will make you warmer faster. Opt for lighter colors such as white. Wear more breathable fabrics such as cotton. Special moisture-wicking clothing absorbs sweat quickly and also masks unpleasant odors. Dressing appropriately will keep your body cool and mitigate your chances of experiencing heat stroke.
Keeping your body hydrated will also help you stay cool and avoid dehydration. As one becomes older, the ability to feel thirsty may fade, but that doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need water. Be sure to drink 8 or more glasses of water a day to keep your body from overheating or dehydrating. Long-term dehydration can damage your kidneys and cause urinary tract infections.
Summer doesn’t always have to be spent outdoors! During hotter days, seek out cool, shady areas or stay indoors in an air-conditioned room. Host an indoor summer party where you and your peers can indulge in ice cream, watermelon and other seasonal favorites. Inhabiting the cooler indoor areas will reduce your risk of experiencing the aforementioned summer ailments.
Experience Summer Life At Oak Trace
As a premier senior living community, Oak Trace curates an exciting lifestyle that promotes healthy aging in every season, especially summer. Oak Trace incorporates best practices to help residents live healthy lives. Award-winning chefs also integrate in-season produce to create classic summer favorites. Fitness classes and summer activities celebrate the warm weather, but can be enjoyed indoors.
Curious about what living at Oak Trace is really like? Schedule a tour to learn more.