Particularly for the elderly community, hot and humid summer weather unfortunately comes along with an increased risk for heat-related illnesses.
Related: How to Prevent Heat Exhaustion
Being more susceptible to overexertion and dehydration, seniors should take extra precautions when engaging in any type of physical activities during the summer months.
Linda Phypers, R.N., L.N.H.A., director of health services at Wake Robin, Vermont's first Continuing Care Retirement Community, says for everyone, but especially seniors, it’s important to take extra breaks, remove gear and clothing to let the body cool down, drink lots of water and give your body extra time to recover after any type of exercise in extreme heat.
Below, she shares six low-key, but still entertaining, activities that are great options for seniors during the summer.
1. Take a morning walk. “Changing your daily walk from afternoon to morning not only gets your blood active and moving right away, it also helps to keep you out of the hottest temperatures (and strongest sun) of the day,” Phypers explained. “Be sure to still take along a bottle of water, and wear protective gear.”
2. Find some water. “Check to see if there is a community pool in your area that offers free swim times or classes like water aerobics,” Phypers said. “Swimming is a great low-impact activity that gets your heart rate moving and keeps your body temperatures down.”
3. Cast a line. “If you like the idea of water, but aren’t in the mood for a swim, give fishing a try,” Phypers suggested. “The healing powers of water happen even if you’re not directly in the water. Fishing is a great low impact activity that’s also best done during the cooler parts of the day.”
4. Give dancing a spin. “If you live in a retirement community see if they offer dance classes or even monthly community dances,” Phypers said. “If they don’t, see if you can start one. Dancing is a great way to stay active throughout the year, and it’s an excellent way to socialize as well.”
5. Check the calendar. “Take a look at the local event listings in your area to see what activities are happening,” Phypers explained. “Events like a museum showcase, art preview or a community fair are a great way to get some exercise in while also enjoying some local culture.”
6. Go green! “It may not seem like it, but gardening is a great summer activity to keep your body and spirit alive,” Phypers said. “If you aren’t able to garden where you live, ask about a community garden in the area, or see if there is a local gardening club you could join.”