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As temperatures rise, seniors should take caution

June 25, 2012

Exercise and staying physically active are important parts of a healthy lifestyle for seniors, but now that summer is in full swing, the high temperatures may place some obstacles in the way of getting outside for a workout. Heat stroke is a very real threat for seniors, but according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, there are a number of ways they can stay safe while exercising this summer.

Whether planning a walk around the block or a more intense workout at a fitness center, seniors should recognize the importance of staying hydrated. Drinking water is always important, but it's even more crucial during the summer months. Experts recommend drinking plenty of water the night before and also being aware of the warning signs of overheating such as nausea, chills and headache.

Along with drinking plenty of water, smart planning can help seniors avoid heat-related complications while they're working out. According to the newspaper, running and biking early in the morning is the best idea because the heat has yet to reach its highest point.

Even on days off from exercise, there is still the danger of heat stroke. In addition to drinking plenty of fluids, the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) offered up some tips seniors can employ on a day-to-day basis.

"Simple steps like drinking lots of water, staying out of the sun and checking in on our friends and family members who do not have air conditioning can cut down on hospital visits and save lives," said MSMS president Steven Newman.

Among those steps is wearing the right clothing when heading out in the heat. According to MSMS, wide-brimmed hats, light colored and loose-fitting clothes can all cut down on the risk of heat stroke or exhaustion.