4 Important Spring Medical Reminders for Grandparents
Leaning hard into the start of spring? Before sunny travels, family get-togethers and outdoor action become your life, don’t forget these quick medical reminders:
- Monitor important vital signs: Routinely tracking your own blood pressure, oxygen levels, weight, and temperature at home can help keep you out of the doctor’s office and the hospital. Flu season and allergies continue to wreak havoc long after spring has started, and if you’re spending loads of time around young grandchildren, you know they can come stocked up with their own special germs from their daycare or school. Experiencing pain from coughing or noticing a lack of energy? Staying on top of your own health and recognizing changes in your body gives you a leg up if a problem were to arise.
- Be smart about staying active: Pursuing new and interesting hobbies this spring? As grandparents, staying active is essential to your health and wellness.
Exercise both reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer, but also strengthens muscles, builds bone density and fights cognitive decline as you age. Seek out older adult activities that keep your mind and body active like swimming, bicycling, brisk walks, ballroom dancing, and yoga.
- Address back pain now: Before you jump back into the garden this spring with all the bending, stooping and shoveling it requires, address any back or joint pain you may be having. New recommendations out from the American College of Physicians state the use of yoga, massage, and low-impact exercise are best for addressing low back pain, not medicine.
Helpful assistive devices like a reacher grabber tool, dressing aid, or seat cushion might also be a beneficial addition to your spring activities – making it easier to pick things up, get dressed, and sit for longer periods of time, like at spring recitals and graduations.
- Stay hydrated: Drink enough water – it sounds so simple, but as beautiful spring weather beckons you outside to garden, hike, go traveling, you name it, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re drinking. Set reminders on your smartphone to drink a glass of water throughout the day, stock extra bottles of water in the car so you have them on hand when you leave the house, and eat lots of water-rich foods like vegetables and fruits (which are good for you anyway!).