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.
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!