Episode 45 S2-10
Disaster Preparedness Fitness: elderly concerns, where to start & how to advance your workout
Without Land Ch 10
The physical demands of a disaster situation and post collapse society will be very different from the requirements we put upon ourselves currently. The most vulnerable segments of the population will be the elderly. Caretakers will most likely abandon their posts to protect their own families. Also people who live sedentary lifestyles either by choice or because their lives do not require a large amount of physical activity are also at risk. There is also an alarming trend among young people to stay indoors playing video games or utilizing technology. These children are not used to physical activity and will have a hard time adjusting.
The elderly have limitations that may affect their ability to survive. The first thing elderly folks should work on is simply rising out of a chair. After practice they should be able to do this without using their hands. If you can't stand on your own, you will lose your independence and increase your vulnerability. The next thing to work on is grip strength. Then move onto balance and parochial reception. At about 45-50 years old we start to rely on our vision rather than muscles and instinct as our physical activities decrease. Close your eyes and test your balance. Finally elderly folks should be walking everyday over uneven surfaces. This improves the mind and body!
There are many exercises to get you started on a road to fitness. First of all get up and move. Walk whenever possible and not just on the road. Find a trail with obstacles and use it. Then start a program involving moderate strength exercises. Develop fitness habits while you are young and they will carry over to your elderly years.
Encourage others to join you on the trail. Getting together with others ensures the safety of all involved, whether that be from wild animals in the country, predatory humans in the city or medical emergencies that may pop up wherever you are. Remind people that exercise is great stress relief and lead by example. There is no magic pill that will get you fit! You have to put in the time and effort but remember when it comes to convincing others you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.
There are key muscle groups you need to focus on. The core, consisting of the abdominal muscles and lower back, is primary for balance. You need to protect your core by keeping it strong. The rest of your muscle work depends on your station in life but leg strength and endurance is paramount. Lift some weights to develop your strength but don't be obsessive. Remember you will need the endurance in the end. Strength alone will not be enough to survive.
To advance your training program use a multi-circuit training program. This consists of 1-5 minute per exercise activities with little to no rest in between. For someone training for martial arts, like myself, this allows you to strike more for a longer period of time with more power. For older individuals or general training purposes this gives you increased cardio vascular strength while maintaining strength. These practical exercises will get you prepared for a day you might need those muscular abilities. Plus you will be tapping into your mental reserves and learning how far you can go and for how long.
Find something that works for you and is within your limitations. The key is to continue to exercise. Keep going and don't give up. Get your nutrition in line but find a balance so that it is a joy rather than a chore.
Combine self-defense techniques into your practice. Stay alert and be ready. Learn what it's like to be intimidated and overwhelmed by a larger individual. Your comfort zone will increase. Your ability to escape will increase. In real life situations you will be more confident and less likely to panic and put yourself at risk.
There are many medical risks of not preparing physically. Your sedentary lifestyle will turn into one of a pioneer and your ability to survive will be put to the test. Will you be able to keep up or will you be left behind? Can you perform the tasks that will be required of you? You have to have these movement skills to make it. If you are not prepared you may be one activity away from cardio vascular failure with no hospitals to treat you.
Your normal diet or that of an athlete is not enough. You will need to double your caloric intake and this will come mostly from carbohydrates. You need to be stocking items that have high density carbs and large amounts of protein. Currently we get our carbohydrates from breads and pastas mostly but how much wheat are you growing? How much do you have stocked? Most likely we will be left dealing with massive caloric deficits. Items like power bars are great things to stock that are packed with carbohydrates.
Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:
"If she was there mentally, she did not have to be here."