Thursday, June 6, 2013

Keeping Your Senior Active While Avoiding the Summer Heat

By Joanne Pizzuto

Staying physically active is important for people of all ages, but for seniors, in particular, it is crucial that they are able to engage in physical activities that promote their wellbeing, maintain their range of motion, and help to keep their cardiovascular and other systems healthy. During the cooler months, strolls around the block and other outdoor activities are wonderful options for elderly individuals who are looking to stay fit. But during the summer the heat can prove exceptionally dangerous. The following suggestions can help you to guide your senior toward physical activities that keep them fit without subjecting them to the soaring summer temperatures.

Indoor Athletics
If your senior enjoys working out, such as walking or doing water aerobics, help them to choose a gym that suits their needs and allows them to engage in these activities indoors. There are many athletic complexes that offer indoor facilities, and your loved one will also benefit from having the support of a trained gym staff on hand.

Active Pastimes
Instead of sitting at home watching television or reading, get your senior out of the house and moving around. Go to the mall and walk around for an hour or so to get in some cardio and peruse the latest merchandise. Likewise, you and your elderly loved one may opt to visit the local museum to check out the latest exhibitions. Choose somewhere that is air conditioned, offers places to rest, and has access to water and food. This will allow you to enjoy an active and fun afternoon out while beating the heat.

Outdoor Activities in Moderation
If your senior is bent on spending time outside, say if they want to tend to their garden, it is important that they do so during the coolest parts of the day. Have them get all of their outdoor activity done during the early morning hours, before the heat of the day. This will allow them to benefit from the cooler morning temperatures while staying out of direct sunlight.

Summer is a season that many people look forward to after a long winter, but it is important that elderly individuals stay both active and safe during these warmer months. These activities can help your senior keep their activity level up without risking too much exposure to the heat.

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