In looking back at last week’s article, I was perplexed by the idea that so many people on the island of Martinique perished during a 1902 volcanic eruption. Most were unable to escape, in part because they didn’t have the strength or stamina. Yes, the speed of the lava flow was certainly a major factor, but according to the rescuers, many more could have saved themselves had they been physically able, particularly since they had been warned of the eruption well in advance.
Most available information on Health and Fitness for seniors (or for anyone for that matter), relates to (1) Longevity and Personal Energy, or (2) the ability to function comfortably during daily activities.
So I will start addressing a third form of fitness for seniors (3) Survival in the event of an emergency. There is some information available, but the subject isn’t stressed nearly as much as it needs to be.
Longevity and Personal Energy are self-explanatory. If we exercise, our body parts work better and our mind works better too. We tend to live longer and better. The ability to function comfortably during daily activities should be a “no brainer”. Seniors need to be able to push, pull, lift, carry, twist and bend, balance, and walk or run.
But what if you were in a building fire or natural disaster? Could you get out? Could you help someone else get out? Could you pull your spouse or a neighbor to safety? Could you push a fallen door or bookcase off yourself or pull it off someone else? How far could you drag someone to get them out of the way of danger? If you fell and injured yourself in your home, would you be able to crawl or drag yourself to your phone or to the door? Would you be able to reach the door handle to open it to call for help or assistance. If there were smoke, would you be able to drag yourself flat along the floor to stay under the smoke to prevent smoke inhalation? “Think on these things”.
I brought the topic up during a talk I gave this past week to a group of very active 70 and 80 year olds, including a trim, limber and fit 92 year old who “showed off” with a couple of knee bends for the group during the talk. There was substantial interest in the topic of Emergency Fitness . . . enough interest for me to cover the topic specifically in upcoming posts.
I’m putting together a small “instruction manual” which I will share online sometime in the next few weeks – free to subscribers, of course. This is a topic that is not given enough coverage. I will provide some common sense guidance.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be our own “first responders”; to be able to help ourselves and others in the event of emergencies? That will be the focus of these posts for the next several weeks. Stay with me, you’ll find the information useful.
Thank you for reading.