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Staying active during the summer

Summer time in Western Australia is a time to come together with family and friends. It is filled with school holidays, the festive season and the New Year, all happy and celebratory occasions. It is often a time where routines and habits are thrown out the window, and with extremely high temperatures, most try and stay indoors and out of the heat. But there are many ways older adults can stay active during the summer, without giving up all the social obligations of the season and without getting caught in the heat.

Joining a sport or activity class is common for many people in the New Year, with plenty of options available to suit people’s interests or hobbies. Try joining a class with a friend or partner. Water aerobics, swimming and other water based activities are excellent choices for the summer season as well as being great for a person’s health and fitness. Mall walking can also be a great activity to take up as it is in an air-conditioned environment, with plenty of rests and options available.

Stay On Your Feet® volunteer Jenny enjoys playing golf all year round and finds the social sport great for catching up with friends and keeping physically and mentally healthy. Although a seasoned golfer, she knows the risks of playing in the summer sun and takes precautions which allow her to still be active and enjoy the sport she loves.

Jenny recommends avoiding the hottest times of the day if being active outside. Often, the mornings or evenings are much cooler times to do activities, whether it be going for walks, playing with grandkids, or participating in sports. It is also a good idea to stay in the shade where you can, wear a hat and appropriate clothing and apply SPF 50+ sunscreen often.

No matter what you are doing, drinking and carrying water with you at all times is extremely important, especially in the warmer months. Often, the body doesn’t feel thirsty until a person is dehydrated, so it is important to drink throughout the day and have water with you, especially when being active.

Staying active during the summer can be enjoyable and great for your health too. Finding time to fit in being active, despite the busy time of year, and taking precautions in the heat will enable you to stay strong and independent and prevent falls.

For more information on staying strong, healthy and independent and to get a free copy of the Stay On Your Feet® Balance Video and exercise flyers, contact 1300 30 35 40, email [email protected] or visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au.

Stay On Your Feet® is provided by Injury Matters and funded by the Western Australian Department of Health.

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Government of Western Australia Department of Health Injury Matters