Beat the Heat This Summer

Senior woman outside in summer, wearing sunhat, using fan

Are you feeling the heat yet? Summer is a wonderful season for many reasons — long and sunny days, plentiful produce, baseball games, pool time, barbeques, and so much more — but it’s important to remember that the hot and humid weather can put you at risk if you aren’t prepared for the heat. Scroll down to learn how you can beat the heat this summer.

How to Beat the Heat This Summer

Stay Hydrated

As we age, our bodies struggle to recognize thirst. This means that seniors are at a greater risk of dehydration. So, instead of listening to your body to know when it’s time to drink some water, try to establish a habit of drinking water throughout the day whether you feel thirsty or not. This is especially important if you’re sweating due to exercise or hot weather.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

Sunlight is glorious but also dangerous. If you’re going to be spending time outside, even if it’s a cloudy day, wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and check that (1) it blocks both UVA and UVB rays and (2) it hasn’t expired. Reapply frequently, especially if you spend any time in the water. Consider also wearing a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses with 100% UV protection to shield your head and eyes from the sun. Finally, try to stay in shaded areas whenever you’re outside.

Dress in Light, Loose Clothing

Light-colored clothes reflect heat, which will help you feel cooler on those warm summer days, and loose clothing allows air to breeze past the skin and evaporate, carrying away excess heat. It’s also a good idea to wear natural fabrics like cotton and linen, which are more breathable than synthetics.

Stay Indoors During the Middle of the Day

On very hot days, try to stay inside during the hottest portion of the day, which is typically the period between 10 am and 4 pm. This is especially important if you want to exercise outside. Consider heading out with the early birds or waiting until late afternoon.

Learn the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses

Do you know how to recognize that your body is too hot and struggling to cool down? Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, and they can lead to medical emergencies if they’re not treated promptly. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms of heat cramps and heat exhaustion:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Painful muscle cramps and spasms
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Cool, clammy, pale skin
  • Fast, weak pulse

If you notice these symptoms, move to a cooler area (ideally, an air-conditioned room) and loosen your clothing. Apply cool, wet clothes to your skin, or take a cool bath. Take small sips of water. And if you notice muscle cramps, apply firm pressure or gently massage the area. If these symptoms last longer than an hour, seek immediate medical attention.

Heat stroke is more severe. Its symptoms include the following:

  • Hot, damp, red skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Throbbing headache
  • Fever

If you notice these symptoms, call 911 or head to the Emergency Room right away. To learn more, review this page from the National Weather Service.


If you want to beat the heat, it’s important to think ahead. Spontaneity can be fun, but it isn’t worth risking your health. Before you head outside on a hot summer day, review the list of tips above to ensure that you stay safe, hydrated, healthy, and happy.

Hoping to retire in Nebraska? Look no further than Kinship Pointe. We offer independent living and assisted living communities in four locations: Kearney NorthridgeMcCookSeward, and Wayne. At Kinship Pointe, our delightful staff works every day to help residents pursue their passions and live life to the fullest. To learn for yourself what makes Kinship Pointe so special, schedule a tour or contact us online.

Files under: Health & Wellness