As the outdoor temps are warming up, that means it’s a great time to be outside. Whether you’re taking a hike with a friend or relaxing by the pool, spending time outdoors is very beneficial for your health. But no matter what activity you participate in, staying hydrated is essential—especially for the senior community. In fact, as seniors age, their muscle mass and kidney function decrease, making them more prone to dehydration. Additionally, certain medical conditions like dementia also have a direct impact on hydration.
While spending time outside is still encouraged for seniors, there are some hydration tips to keep in mind. Keep reading to learn some of the top hydration tips for seniors:
Stick to water recommendations
Of course, one of the top ways to stay hydrated involves drinking enough water. However, not many people even know how much water is recommended on a daily basis. According to the experts, we should all drink 48 to 64 ounces of water every day. That’s equivalent to six to eight 8-ounce glasses per day. For some people, that’s a lot of water to handle. But it’s important to note it doesn’t have to be pure water you’re consuming—you can stay hydrated by drinking milk, eating fruit, or even consuming cooked broccoli.
Eat hydration-packed foods
Eating certain foods is a great way to stay hydrated—and they taste amazing too! Vegetables and fruits have the highest concentration of water, so try to eat them daily. Cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, and bell peppers top the list as the foods with the highest water content. Throughout the day, try to add some healthy fruits and veggies to your meals and snacks. Yogurt with fruit and granola is a great option, or you can also try a healthy spinach salad with cucumbers and tomatoes.
Did you know water evaporates through your skin all day long? This is one of the leading reasons why hydration is important. While drinking enough water is vital, using a moisturizer can also be a huge help. In fact, since most moisturizers are made with water-based products, they’re great for staying hydrated. Several options also come with an oil that works as a sealant. If you’re a senior with dry skin, staying moisturized is even more important for you. Be sure to use the right moisturizer daily.
Sweat it out—but not too much
Sweating can be beneficial for your body, but in moderation. As sweating is a way for your body to cool down, sweating too much can make you dehydrated. That said, you’ll want to keep an eye on how much you sweat. When indoors during the summer, use an air conditioner to keep your body temperature down. If you’re doing an at-home workout, turn on some fans or crank down your thermostat a few degrees. When spending time outdoors, limit your physical activities and stay in the shade as much as possible. As seniors are more at risk of dehydration, keeping sweat to a minimum is key in the summer heat.
Go outside when it’s cooler
If you find yourself getting dehydrated easily during the scorching summer temps, try going outside at the cooler times of the day. If you’re a morning person, start your day with a nice jog or hike with a friend. Like your evenings instead? If so, read a book on your patio or go for a nighttime walk. Whatever the case may be, going outside during these cooler times can help you stay hydrated. Doing so can give you more energy and prevent dry skin. If you’re worried about dehydration during the warmer months, try staying indoors between 10 am and 4 pm.
Diversify your liquids
One of the top hydration tips for seniors is to drink as many liquids as you can. While water is obviously the most important, there are some hydration-packed alternatives. Options like tomato juice and coconut water are full of hydration qualities. Pedialyte, milk, and orange juice are other options that top the list. To stay hydrated all day long, consume liquids with high amounts of potassium and electrolytes.
Take preventative measures
During the hot summer days, you may feel cracked lips, a dry mouth, or a pounding headache. Unfortunately, these are a few symptoms of dehydration. Rather than treating these symptoms, it’s better to prevent them in the first place. Being dehydrated is unhealthy and uncomfortable, so it’s best to take preventive measures. Before venturing outside on a sweltering day, drink plenty of fluids. As you’re hanging out by the pool or taking a hike, always have water with you and wear a hat for sun protection.
Here at Vista Springs, we’re all about enjoying the great outdoors. However, to stay healthy and safe this summer, it’s important to follow these seven hydration tips for seniors. If you’re interested in learning more about our vibrant senior living communities here at Vista Springs, contact us today!