Many people love the warm summer months. Did you know it’s not good for the body to be too hot for too long?
Your body has its own natural cooling system. Sweating is key to cooling when hot weather or exercise causes your body temperature to climb. When sweat dries, it carries heat away from your body’s surface and lowers your temperature.
People aged 65 years and over are at an increased risk of heat-related illness and need special care as the mercury rises. According to Better Health Victoria some of the factors that increase the risk of heat stress in older people include:
• Self-care problems – some older people are frail or have reduced mobility or mental illness. These factors make it difficult for the person to take adequate care in hot weather.
• Living alone – there is no one to take care of the person if the person ignores symptoms.
• Physical changes – the ageing body doesn’t cope with sudden stresses as quickly as a younger body. For example, on hot days, elderly skin is not able to produce sweat and cool the body as efficiently as younger skin.
• Chronic medical problems – Certain conditions make the body more vulnerable to heat stress.
• Medications – older people with chronic medical problems usually take medications on a regular basis. Some medications can hinder the body’s ability to regulate temperature.
• Kidney conditions – if you take medications for kidney problems, you need to talk to your doctor before you increase the amount of fluid you drink.
Fresh fruits and vegetables provide loads of water, and vitamins and minerals. When you consume water, fruits and vegetables with a high-water content, you hydrate the body’s cells, which translates to a lower body temperature.