OK so summer's been a bit slow in coming this year but we are still having hot spells and the real heat is still on it's way (according to the weather man!). Health and how it is affected by heat should be a consideration for all ages, particularly those a little older who are more prone to heat related diseases so here are a few tips to help beat the heat:
Keep hydrating: Have plenty of water intake, have at least 4 and if you can up to 8 glasses of water a day even if you aren’t feeling particularly thirsty. Minimize alcohol and caffeinated drink intake. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can also help hydrate the body. You know if you have enough hydration as your urine will be clear in colour.
Avoid too much sun: Use sunblock with at least SPF 15 or higher when going outdoors especially for prolonged length of time, even on cloudy or hazy days.
Wear cool clothing: Light coloured and loose lightweight clothing can help normalise the body temperature.
Reduce strenous activities: When the heat rises stay in cooler places such as air-conditioned rooms and lessen particular strenous, physical activities.
Icecream: If you are feeling like the body temperature is rising or high enjoy a cool treat like ice creams, popsicles or frozen drinks. These help reduce the body temperature and it’s always good to have an excuse to enjoy an icecream!
Find Shade: If you are heading out with a group and know you will be outdoors make sure there will be areas with cool shade and ventilation such as gazebos or shaded trees. If you aren’t sure ask, or bring along a beach umberella which you can sit under.
Have support: If you live alone make sure you have someone to check on you regularly particularly when the weather is very hot (or cold)
Be aware of medication: Particular medications can have side effects of fluid and electrolyte loss which can accelerate dehydration when the body temperature rises. Also some medications, particularly antibiotics and diuretics, can block the body's natural ability to cope with the sun and heat. Also if you are on a low carb diet, make sure to drink plenty of fluids, as the additional proteins in this diet can cause the body to heat up more quickly.
Be aware: If you feel signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration such as weakness, nausea, no or heavy sweating, rapid pulse, and/or fainting, let someone know, move immediately to the nearest cool shade and get ventilation and hydrate with cool drinks or water. If you can get hold of something cool such as a cold compress or perhaps a wet towel if on the beach or by a pool and if necessary don’t hesitate to call for medical assistance.
For many, gardening is one of life's simple pleasures it is also a great way to stay fit and healthy and continue to appreciate the outdoors as we all age! That is, until pain overrides the joy. For most older people living with arthritis, high blood pressure or diabetes, gardening is often a pastime left as a memory. However, with just a few changes, you too can enjoy the pleasures of pain-free gardening.
· Say goodbye to your aching back. With just a few minor modifications, a garden can be an easier place to work. Instead of bending over and planting in the ground, build raised beds to a more comfortable height. Stand with your arms to your side. Where the tips of your fingers hit is the perfect height for the top of the flowerbed. Either enlist help in building of the flowerbed or make sure to wait until later in the day when the sun is not so hot. Always have a water bottle and a proper straw hat.
· A centralized water bucket keeps you from lugging heavy containers to water your plants. Fill a larger container and carry smaller water pots to where your plants are. Or, if economically feasible, consider installing sprinklers. The ease of use will far outweigh the cost.
· Think perennials, shrubs and trees instead of annuals. With a proper mulching program to stave off weeds, perennials are a plant-it-once, love-it-forever plant. This cuts back on your replanting season after season. It also gives you a budget-friendly way to expand your garden. Using native plants is also a good idea, as they are properly suited to your area and will be easier to grow. This is both convenient for you and better for your environment.
· Mulch is not merely a decorative touch for your property. It's meant to keep plants cool, to conserve water and to help provide a barrier to weeds. A small layer of newspaper under the mulch of choice will also provide an organic, biodegradable landscaping fabric. Mulch will break down over the season and will help enrich the soil.
· Propagating your perennials will yield a multitude of new plants each year. Go online or consult a gardening manual in your region to gain the proper times to take cuttings or do divisions of the plants you purchase. Consider a single daylily: one clump will easily provide you with more than 10 new plants each year. This shows you the wealth of plants you can have in just a few short seasons.
· Invest in the right tools for your garden. Have oversized rakes and shovels with ergonomic, padded handles. Investing in proper tools will be cheaper in the long run than purchasing tools that hinder your movements, break from poor construction or fail to work without causing you pain. Less strain for your hands will give you the ability to work longer without pain. A large-wheeled cart will help you move plants and mulch around without having to carry them. Make sure your cart has wheels that rotate 360° and are not locked into a mere front-to-back motion. This makes it much easier to move around without binding.
With just a little foresight, most “older” gardeners can bask in the glory of a wonderful, colorful garden without putting stress or strain on the body. Getting older doesn't mean you have to lose out on the things you love or risk injury to enjoy yourself. By following the above tips, you'll be sharing floral arrangements with the neighbours in no time.
So the Christmas holiday is over but the kids are still on holiday. If you are looking after them and wondering what to do why not bake and cookies are always a hit! Here is a fabulous recipe from The Chunky Chef you will all find irresistible!
The ultimate white chocolate macadamia nut cookies... baked to soft and chewy perfection!
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes - Cook Time 8 minutes - Total Time 1 hour 18 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
** if you use salted butter, omit the 1/4 tsp of salt from the recipe.
** dough should be kept cold between batches.
** dough can be chilled for up to 5 days.
We have to thank The Chunky Chef for this fabulous recipe. For more great recipes visit her website at www.thechunkychef.com
Our passion is to support those older folk in our community by providing information and advice and we just love your feedback on this too!
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