For the older folks, enjoying a barbecue in the hot summer months is doable. If proper planning and precautions are taken, the aging population can attend barbecue events with less concern for a possible emergency room visit. Anyone over 65 years or older are more at risk for heat stroke and other medical conditions that can be caused by a heat stroke. This is because as we age our body’s ability to sweat decreases which is our body’s way of cooling itself. Prevent overheating and a hospital visit while also finding a way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends in the summer months. Here are 4 ways to beat the summer heat at a barbecue!
1. Plan the barbecue for after 6 P.M.
Temperatures will start to drop later in the evening so set the barbecue time for 6 P.M. or later. Educate family members and friends about this safety precaution for people 65 or older so they can plan events accordingly. And besides, the rest of the crowd might thank you for a cooler weather request too!
2. Dress to keep the body cool.
Wear loosely fitted clothing and light colors that will deflect the summer rays. Also, wear fabric that is breathable, like cotton. And to keep things fun, find a favorite hat that will keep the sun off of your face. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen!
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Drink plenty of water even when you don’t feel thirsty; this will prevent dehydration which can also prevent heat stroke. Avoid caffeinated drinks because the kidneys work on caffeine as a diuretic but deplete liquids from the body. Drinking beverages with salt will help to replace lost salt due to sweating. Try this summer drink recipe from foodnetwork.com:
- 2 small sprigs, fresh rosemary
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- 1/2cup agave nectar or other natural sweetener
- Lemon slices, for serving
Directions: Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the rosemary and a pinch of salt. Cover and steep, 30 minutes. Strain into a pitcher and cool to room temperature.
Stir the lemon juice, agave nectar and 2 cups cold water into the pitcher. Add more lemon juice or agave nectar to taste. Serve over ice with lemon slices.
4. Lastly, wash off the heat!
That’s right! Beat the heat by using a damp cloth to drape on your neck or put under your hat. This will help to keep you cool. Lastly, when you get home take a cool shower or bath. Being cooled down will help you get to sleep as well!
Photo Credit: Kevin Saff on Flickr