Physical fitness is a critical part of being prepared to deal with any disaster that occurs. With a national obesity rate that is steadily creeping towards 30%, this doesn't bode well for nearly one third of our entire population. People who are overweight or obese have problems with the very basics of helping themselves during a disaster such as exiting an airplane during an emergency landing, climbing out of a window if their home is on fire, or evacuating on foot, even if they only need to run to the nearest cross street. With that in mind, consider if you...
- Are able to swim one mile (preferably in open water)
- Are able to run five miles easily
- Can do basic calisthenics (100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 40 pull ups)
- Have a Black Belt in a martial art (karate, kung fu, judo, tae kwon do, etc)
- Are well-versed in team sports (basketball, baseball, football, volleyball soccer, etc)
- Are well-versed in water sports (polo, diving, SCUBA, water skiing)
- Are well-versed in winter sports (skiing--both downhill and cross country, snowshoeing)
- Have experience rock climbing, mountain climbing, ice climbing
- Are well-versed in balance sports (bicycling, dance, skating--both ice and roller)
- Are well-versed in individual sports (fencing, gymnastics, golf, wrestling)
- Are strong (weight lifting)
- Are flexible (stretching)
If you want to begin an exercise plan, start slow. Walking to the mail box or around the block may be a good start for some people. You may also want to discuss your physical fitness plan with your doctor and get some baseline tests done in order to see how your improving physical fitness impacts your overall health. In addition, you may want to set some goals to keep yourself motivated such as walking a marathon, joining a bowling team, walking with the Volksmarchers, or even participating the the local Senior Olympics events that are common around the country.
It is never too late to start to improve your fitness level and you will probably even find that as your exercise program progresses, you will have more energy, less weight to carry around, and less aches and pains that are common as we age.