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Chill Out

Chill Out

Summertime and the living aren’t always easy! We welcome that transition from the sometimes all too long cold, snowy, or rainy months. The first sign of those warm sunny days invites us to get out, bask in the sunshine, and restore that healthy vitamin D! But when is it too much of a good thing, and what can we do when we overindulge? We have all heard the tips and recommendations to take it slow, wear a hat, cover up with loose clothing that can breathe, avoid the sun during the hottest times of the day, interrupt sun exposure with time in the shade, and apply a good sunscreen. Nothing new here. So, what are the warning signs that we need to be aware of and what can we do when someone is in distress? Seniors and The Sun It takes energy for our bodies to regulate our temperature, and this extra demand can cause serious, significant, and even deadly stress for seniors. As we age, our ability to manage changes in temperatures can be compromised. One of the reasons for this is the reduced layer of subcutaneous fat just below our skin, which, among other things, helps us control our response to heat and cold. (i) Our progressively reduced ability to perspire also jeopardizes our ability to cope well in heat during our later years, as well as side-effects from chronic use of medications. Dr. Tim Takaro, professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University suggests that the hypothalamus in the brain also plays a role in regulating the physiological response to heat and that this function is...