Summer is travel season for many active seniors. Festival season is in full swing across the country, the grandkids are out of school, and the East Coast beaches are finally heating up. It’s the perfect time to leave Cincinnati senior living behind for a few weeks.
Taking senior living on the road can offer amazing opportunities to strengthen old friendships, build new relationships, and create lasting memories, but living well in this season of flying trips and family travel means taking extra precautions for health and wellness.
Our 4 health tips for seniors can keep your summer travels happy and healthy.
1. Keep moving.
Staying seated for lengthy periods can slow the flow of blood in your legs and increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If blood flow slows down enough it can thicken and clump together into clots along your veins that can break away and block blood flow to your lungs or other organs.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has four simple tips to keep your summer travel DVT free:
- Whenever you can, get up to walk the aisles of a bus, train, or airplane. If you’re traveling by car, take a break every hour to get out and walk around.
- If you can’t stop or get out of your seat, try moving your legs and stretching your feet to improve blood flow in your calves.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing.
- Stay hydrated.
2. Stay cool.
As we age, our bodies are less effective at acclimating to high temperatures and effectively regulating body temperature. And travel can subject older adults to further heat stress through dehydration. Perspiration is the primary body’s cooling system, but when you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t able to sweat enough to cool down. If your body temperature becomes too high, you can develop a heat-related illness like heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
Keep your cool as you travel with these simple summer health tips for seniors:
- Travel in nonrestrictive, lightweight and light-colored clothes so your skin can breathe and you stay cool in higher temperatures.
- Drink plenty of water and electrolyte supplements like sports drinks or fruit juice to stay hydrated.
- Pour a little cool water on a towel or napkin to use as a cool compress whenever you start feeling warm.
3. Sleep well.
Sleep is an essential part of senior life, and it’s doubly important when you’re away from home. Getting a good night’s sleep helps to rejuvenate and recharge your mind and body, ensuring that you’re ready to face your busy summer agenda.
- Try to keep up your regular sleep schedule and nighttime routines while you’re traveling. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day can help you fight the jet lag and travel weariness that throw off your normal rhythms.
- Having the right environment can be crucial. Do a little research before you book your room. You won’t do yourself any favors by choosing a hotel right off of a busy interstate or in the heart of the nightlife. Unless, of course, you’re already a nightowl.
- Stay active. It’s tempting to suspend your regular fitness routine while on vacation, but staying active can be worth the hassle. Regular exercise promotes deeper, more restful sleep. If you can’t keep up your whole routine, make sure to incorporate at least a half hour of walking into your schedule every day.
4. Be health conscious.
No one wants to spend their vacation lying about a hotel room feeling crummy. Being smart about your health is the best step you can take toward a positive travel experience.
- Hotels and public places expose you to plenty of germs, but practicing good hygiene helps you avoid picking up a bug on your travels. The AARP recommends regular hand-washing and taking precautions with your food by eating only well-cooked meats and washing your produce thoroughly.
- Don't overexert yourself. Plan your trip ahead to avoid from putting undue stress on your body. Having a set itinerary of things to do means that you aren’t over-budgeting your time and harming your health.
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