Staying fit can boost both health and preparedness

Photo: Patrick Benko
The benefits of physical activity in everyday life are well known. But physical fitness can also play a big difference in how resilient you are when faced with a disaster.

Consider what happens after a large storm, for example. Your ability to move around can be hindered by fallen trees, snow or standing water. That means slippery conditions, trip hazards and major detours.

At some point, you’ll have to start cleaning up all of that storm-related mess. Trees and debris are heavy, and there will probably be a lot of it. Heat, cold, dust or mold can make what would normally be easy a herculean task. And on top of all that, you’ll have the stress and mental exhaustion that comes with coping with a disaster.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how physically prepared you are for a disaster. Can you walk long distances or stand for an extended amount of time? Are you able to fill sand bags or shovel snow? What if you had to carry large items or children?

Like any other preparedness activity, the time to start is now. Begin by assessing your current physical fitness. Talk to a doctor and be honest about your starting point. Then choose an activity that you’ll want to continue.

You can even turn your physical fitness activity into a preparedness one. For example, you can:
  • garden to increase food supplies or wildfire prevention,
  • walk with neighbors to boost community ties and resiliency,
  • bicycle to have an alternative transportation option, or
  • volunteer with a local preparedness organization or Community Emergency Response Team.
No matter how you choose to physically prepare, you’ll see benefits in both your overall health and your ability to cope with disasters.

If you’re looking for a fun way to boost your fitness, APHA’s 1 Billion Steps Challenge is happening now through May 31. As you work to become healthier, you can also make a difference toward making the U.S. the healthiest nation. We’re even offering prizes! Sign up now.

Subscribe to receive free email updates:

0 Response to "Staying fit can boost both health and preparedness"

Post a Comment

How to have fun and avoid Halloween hazards

The spookiest time of the year is right around the corner! Do you know what’s even more frightening than ghosts and monsters? Being unprepar...