Another Memorial Day has passed and you know what that means, it is officially summer! Warmer weather, perhaps more free time - the options are endless. With gardening, cook outs and more time outside, it is important to think about how increased heat poses health risks as we and our loved ones age. 8 easy tips:
- Drink Up - Dehydration is a something to be concerned about as the temperature rises. But don't wait until you feel thirsty before reaching for a drink. The negative effects of dehydration can occur without feeling thirsty. Drink water and a variety of other beverages through out the day. But....
- Cut Out the Caffeine - Decrease the amount of hot and iced coffee and tea in the summer. Caffeine works on the kidneys as a diuretic which depletes a body of needed liquid. Stick to water or flavored water instead.
- Wear Layers - To prevent the hot/cold that happens when going back and forth all day between scorching summer heat and frigid air conditioning, dress in layers so you will always be comfortable. Wear light colors that will reflect the sun in breathable, natural fabrics like cotton that will always be comfortable.
- Don't be a Sun Worshiper - On excessively hot days, avoid being outdoors to prevent overheating, dehydration, and sunburn. If your home doesn't have air conditioning, head to a friend's house, to the movies or to the mall, or go your local senior center to take advantage of their air conditioning.
- Rinse Away the Heat - Jumping in a pool or taking cool shower or bath can help bring down your body temperature when things have gotten a little too hot. A small towel or cloth soaked in cool water and draped around your neck or on top of your head can also help to cool down.
- Block the Sun - When you do spend time in the sun, make sure you wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your skin from sunburn. A hat and sunglasses are also important.
- No one wants to stand over a hot stove in the heat of the summer. The stove and oven will heat your kitchen in addition to your food. Switch to cooler dishes like salads or sandwiches or order take away and let someone else do the cooking!
- Cool Home Sweet Home - Keep the temperature in your home at a comfortable temperature so you don't over heat. If air conditioning isn't available, open the windows and use fans to circulate the breezes from outside.
Have a safe and happy summer with these tips from Ease Living. And don't forget to check on older neighbors and friends that may not have the benefit of this knowledge.
Now get out there and have some fun!