Safety Advice for Seniors during Summer Heat … Stay Active Wisely!

Exercising is always beneficial for senior citizens, even in the hot summer months. According to Christina O’Leary who has a BS in Exercise Science and is the Director of Branding & Media for Renaissance Home Health Care & Adult Day Services, “There are many ways that seniors can be active in the warmer months, they just have to do it wisely.”

Chair Exercises Two Women

At Renaissance Adult Day Services, seniors are involved in various exercise programs all year long, being sure that in summer, they are hydrated and exercise indoors in the air conditioning. Close observation is also key. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens are generally less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature, such as heat. This may put them at greater risk of developing heat related illnesses, especially when staying physically active. O’Leary said, “Seniors are going to get dehydrated faster, get overheated easier, and their symptoms arise quickly. This is why observation is most important for prevention.”

Cheers with Water

Seniors can beat the heat and still safely get the recommended amount of physical activity in order to stay healthy during the summer. Here are some basic Summer Exercise Awareness Tips for Seniors:

  • Try going outdoors, fresh air is good, but be sure to Walk outdoors only in the morning before it gets too hot
  • Seniors should use discretion while exercising in general and, especially, in the heat
  • Walking activities indoors is great in large, cool places like the local mall
  • Always have ice water available as fluids regulate body temperature
  • Be aware that senior citizens are most susceptible to dehydration due to a loss of thirst sensation
  • Be sure seniors are comfortable, wearing loose, breathable clothes, and supportive sneakers.

Renaissance Adult Day Services has created programming that will help the clients receive the recommended amount of physical activity to stay healthy. Among the goals are the strengthening of muscles, improving the cardiovascular system, sharpening fine motor skills, increasing flexibility and promoting overall health. There are a variety of age-appropriate exercise activities that can all be performed inside to avoid the heat. O’Leary continued, “Additionally, a lot of our clients participate in geriatric yoga with simple stretching, dancing or rhythm exercises as well as meditative yoga in order to keep fit without having to exercise outside. The clients are able to do all of this seated which is safer for them.” Walking remains one of the more popular ways that seniors keep fit. During the hottest temperatures of the summer, walking outdoors can be a challenge. To combat this, many of them choose to walk indoors.

About Renaissance Home Health Care and Adult Day Services:
All Renaissance Home Health Care and Adult Day Services offer a full range of individualized services that promote social, physical, and emotional well-being through their home health care and adult day locations serving all five boroughs in NY.  Their Signature Touches philosophy reflects the company’s goal of providing compassionate, professional, and skilled services in the comfort of one’s own home or in a clean, nurturing environment.  For more information, visit www.renaissancehcs.com.

Eileen Parenti, Executive Director, Renaissance Adult Day Services