Ah, summer. Long days, vacations, the great outdoors. All the things we love about summer.
There’s also things we don’t love so much, like sunburns, bug bites, and too much heat and humidity.
Finding the balance between being outdoors and being safe outdoors is important. While being outdoors brings health benefits that are both physical and mental, you want to be sure you’re safe and protected when you head outside.
Especially in the mid-Atlantic region that we live in, the heat and humidity can be a threat to seniors if you stay outside for too long. Especially if you go on a hike, work out, or simply are in the sun for extended periods.
Here are guidelines and tips on what to wear, apply, and drink to make sure you get the most out of your outdoors summer experience.
Tip #1: Be Smart About Your Time in the Sun
Exercising outside brings many benefits. As long as you be smart about it. Take your walk, jog, hike, or laps in the pool in the cool of the day such as the early morning or evening.
If you are out walking or hiking in the warmer parts of the day, limit your time. Also, try to stay in the shade as much as possible and don’t exercise to excess.
Tip #2: Drink Fluids
Take in plenty of fluids such as water to stay hydrated. Especially if you are hiking in the outdoors on trails, pack plenty of water. Another tip is to eat fresh fruits and vegetables that have high water content.
Tip #3: Dress for the Weather
For summer, protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays by wearing clothes made of natural fiber such as cotton. Choose lighter colors and wear clothes that fit loosely.
For example, a loose-fitting, white, long-sleeve t-shirt is a good choice. It’s also important to protect your head with a hat with a wide brim. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays, which also helps you avoid getting cataracts or having other eye problems.
Tip #4: Use Sunscreen
In addition to covering your skin with loose-fitting clothes, apply sunscreen to exposed skin. This is important as you age because your skin gets naturally thinner and more delicate.
Avoid sunburns and the potential for skin cancer down the road by using sunscreen that’s at least SPF-30 or more.
Tip #5: Guard Yourself Against Bugs
Like us, insects love summer. And they especially love your skin. Guard yourself against potentially dangerous — and annoying at a minimum — bug bites by using insect repellent.
Especially if you head into the outdoors on a hike, into the woods, or are around shrubs or water, it’s important use insect repellent. Make life miserable for insects and not for you.
Tip #5: Safety First!
Safety considerations include carrying your mobile phone with you when you head into the outdoors in case you need to make an emergency call or contact a friend or loved one.
Before going out, whether it’s a day trip, a hike, or elsewhere, tell someone who’s close to you about your plans. If you’re going somewhere, be specific about your destination.
Before you leave, be sure to take your medications. Also, pack plenty of water and snacks such as fruits, vegetables or energy bars.
If you’re out and begin to feel symptoms of heat exhaustion such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or a headache, stop, rest, drink fluids and you may need to call for help. Stop exercising and move to a shady spot.
A CARING-FIRST ENVIRONMENT
Senior living communities like Auburn Hill Senior Living are precisely that—a community. Residents become friends and even family, and a caring team is there to help them maintain their quality of life.
At Auburn Hill Senior Living, we offer both Assisted Living and Memory Care and we care with Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Residents first and Teamwork. We like to call it Caring with H.E.A.R.T.™!