Summer Safety for Seniors

Summer is one of the best times of the year for seniors as they have less joint pain, a decreased risk of illness, and improved levels of vitamin D. However, a sunny day can quickly become problematic if you don’t prepare yourself for temperature and UV exposure. Let’s review the best summer safety tips for seniors.


Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
 

Hydration goes beyond drinking tap water. Since you lose electrolytes in your sweat, proper hydration requires electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, and potassium. [1]

You can make your own electrolyte drink at home. Put the following into a blender or cup:

  • Two cups of water
  • Juice from half of a lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • Two teaspoons of raw honey

Blend it on high for 15 seconds or simply stir it vigorously for 20 seconds. Drink eight glasses of water daily, mixing in this electrolyte blend throughout the day.


Supplement with Healthy Fats

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for seniors. It increases immune function and promotes the health of cells, muscles, and bones. Stepping out into the sunshine can increase vitamin D production in the body. But you can do more to improve your absorption of vitamin D. 

Studies show that eating healthy fats increases the absorption of vitamin D, ensuring it gets to the places it’s needed for optimal health. [2] 

If you don’t eat enough healthy fats, we recommend an all-natural fish oil supplement such as O-Mega. 



Exercise Strategically

It’s important to continue your weekly exercise routine but do so with caution. Avoid exercising in the middle of the day and time your physical activity for the coolest parts of the day. For example, take your walks early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is setting.

If you need an exercise program, check out our article on everyday household items to help you train.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

While some sun exposure is a good thing as it promotes vitamin D production, too much can be bad for your health. Here are a few ways to protect yourself from excessive sun exposure:

  • Apply sunblock with at least 30 SPF (sun protection factor) about thirty minutes before going outside. Reapply as needed.
  • Wear clothing that is made with light material and is lighter in color.
  • Don’t forget to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Watch out for Hyperthermia

Excessive sun exposure can cause hyperthermia or an abnormally high body temperature. By familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of hyperthermia, you will be able to recognize when to call for help. Common symptoms of hyperthermia include the following:

  • Heavy breathing
  • Rapid pulse
  • Confusion, agitation, or mood swings
  • Flushed skin
  • Not sweating even in high temperatures
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Fainting 

The summer is a time to enjoy blue skies and sunny days, but it’s essential that you take a few extra steps to keep yourself safe. 

 

References
  1. Lara, J. J. Salinero, F. Areces, D. Ruiz-Vicente, C. Gallo-Salazar, J. Abián-Vicén, J. Del Coso. Sweat sodium loss influences serum sodium concentration in a marathon. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 2015; DOI: 10.1111/sms.12637.
  2. Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS, Lichtenstein AH, Dolnikowski G, Palermo NJ, Rasmussen H. Dietary fat increases vitamin D-3 absorption. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Feb;115(2):225-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2014.09.014. Epub 2014 Nov 17.
 

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