How Seniors Can Beat The Heat: Tips for Staying Active and Safe
(Efrem Castillo, AARP) Older adults are especially vulnerable to dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke due to the body’s natural aging process, underlying chronic conditions and side effects from prescription drugs.
The best defense against heat stress and related illnesses is staying informed, prepared and alert.
Know the signs.
Be alert for common signs of heat exhaustion, which include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, and fainting. Seek medical attention right away if you notice any of these symptoms.
Your body needs more water than you may think – and you need to drink before you are thirsty. Ask your doctor how much you should be drinking if you are directed to limit your fluid intake due to certain medications.
Time it right and take plenty of breaks.
Make the most of early morning and evening hours when temperatures are cooler to do outdoor activities such as gardening or walking. Take regular breaks from the heat in air-conditioned areas.
Take it inside. Don’t let the heat keep you sedentary.
When it’s too hot for your usual outdoor jog or bike ride, explore indoor-based activities at the gym or your community center.
Use the buddy system.
If you choose to do an outdoor activity when it’s hot, bring a friend. Besides enjoying each other’s company, you can help each other stay alert to any signs of heat stress or get help if necessary.
Skip the stove.
Cooking can heat up your living space quickly, so avoid turning on the stove or oven when it’s very hot. Cold foods like salad, fresh fruit and yogurt can be healthy, convenient and refreshing options when the mercury rises.
Read the full story at Times of San Diego.