Hello sunshine! With summer rapidly approaching it’s time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. So while you are busy having fun gardening, traveling, walking or simply enjoying your favorite pastime in the sun, remember to stay cool and follow these 6 tips to keep your skin and body healthy in the hot summer heat.
- Be aware of the weather conditions.
Before going outside, check the News or Internet for the day’s weather predictions. Is it going to be a hot day? Will humidity levels be high? Then prepare each day's activities, outfits and accessories according to the temperature and humidity levels. For example, if it is going to be a clear sun day -wear light weight clothing; bring a hat, water bottle and your sunscreen, which brings us to tip two.
- Wear sunscreen.
Always wear sunscreen. Even if it’s a cloudy day, the sun’s rays can still reach your skin. Daily use broad-spectrum SPF 15+ or higher is recommended when sun exposure occurs briefly and periodically throughout the day. When you are planning to be outdoors for extended periods, opt for an "Active" sunscreen or minimum of SPF 30 water resistant broad-spectrum coverage and re-apply after every 2 hours of continually sun exposure. Broad spectrum coverage will help protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Most importantly, don’t forget to put it on your face, nose, ears and any area that will be exposed to the sun 30 minutes prior to exposure, as it takes about half an hour for your skin to absorb it.
- Review your medications.
Do the medicines you take cause side effects like increased sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays? If so, then you may burn easier while outside. Read all of the information provided with your medications and take extra precautions if so.
- Drink fluids.
As we age, the feelings of thirst naturally decline. This means you may not feel thirsty, but your body could still be dehydrated. Make sure you’re drinking enough cool, non-alcoholic fluids every day. Check with your doctor to see how much you should be drinking when the weather is hot, especially if you’re taking certain medications.
- Understand the warning signs of heat stroke.
People over 65 are more likely to experience a heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Signs of heat stroke include an extremely high body temperature, red, hot and dry skin (with no sweating), rapid, strong pulse, a throbbing headache, dizziness, and nausea. If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Heat strokes are dangerous and can lead to death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not sought.
- Seek shade or air conditioning when it is.
Especially on hot days, it’s okay to stay inside in the air conditioning. If you can’t stay inside, opt for a shady spot where you’re out of direct sunlight. This not only protects you from getting too hot, it may also protect you from sunburn and skin damage from the sun’s rays.
While we all know the risks sun rays can have on our skin, it’s important to remember the adverse reaction our bodies can have to heat. Our bodies may not always react well to extreme heart due to sudden changes in temperature or a medical condition which can changes the body’s normal response to heat. That is why we recommend these 6 tips to keep you active and healthy all summer long!
Other methods of pro-activity include being aware of all of your health risks, including risk for conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and more. Learn more about staying on top of your health here.