Avoiding working or exercising outdoors during the heat of the day when it’s hot outside makes sense, and is an important part of summer caregiving tips for exercise.
Because it makes sense for all care partners and those who are not actively involved in caregiving, that’s how I ended up mowing part of my lawn at 7 o’clock the other night. That part of the lawn is shaded by that time, so not only was I not working during the hottest hours of the day, I was working in the shade. And I carried a bottle of water with me, so I could keep myself hydrated. As an added bonus, it kept my leg cool, reminding me to drink.
Caregiving tips for exercising in the summer include…
- Consider exercising in early morning or late evening, when the temperatures are not as hot and the sun not as high. You may need to take additional precautions about mosquitoes though.
- Exercising indoors in air conditioning may be a safer option. Walking inside a mall in extreme weather is often encouraged by shopping malls. Some even have Healthy Walk suggestions and distances.
- Wear proper clothing and protection against the heat and sun.
- Watch the time so you are not outside longer than you expect.
- Drink plenty of the right replacement fluids
- Take frequent breaks, even going inside to cool down and hydrate
- Limit strenuous exercise because your body is already working harder than usual to keep cool.
Most experts consider walking a healthy exercise. Your pace is your own, and it’s not as hard on joints as running or jogging. A study in 2010 showed that walking 6 miles a week, or a little over three-quarters of a mile a day, which translates to 8 city blocks, may prevent Alzheimer’s.
What are your favorite summer caregiving exercise tips? Share in the comments!
To your Happy & Healthy Caregiving,
Ina Gilmore MD
Purple Angel Dementia Ambassador
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Please Note: The information and suggestions in this article and website are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Your or your care partner’s physician or other health care professional are the best source medical information for your situation including which tips to use and when.