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Contingency Plans

Contingency Plans
April 4, 2018 Dan Raimondi

Are there any “gaps” in your training? Are there any situations you don’t feel physically prepared to handle? Could you walk a mile if necessary because your car broke down? Could you move something relatively heavy in an emergency? Some scenarios are less likely than others, especially since most people have cell phones. But here’s another, much more common one: if you fell down, would you be able to get back up? Would you know how? Falls are a major issue in those who are older, but, as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So what can you do?

1-Train for strength: squats, deadlifts, overhead / bench presses, lat pulldowns/chin ups, rows, leg presses. There are more that you could do, but make sure first and foremost to train for strength (in general at least 2-3x/week). This will help build muscle, improve balance, strengthen bones/ligaments/tendons, and improve cardiovascular function (among many others). Stronger bones are harder to break than weaker bones- strength training is crucial here.

2-Practice going to the ground: if you’ve never practiced getting down to the floor and standing back up, how will you fare when it happens after an unexpected fall? It is far better to practice in a controlled environment than be caught unaware on a sheet of ice.

3- Develop other physical traits that need improvement: if you’ve gotten pretty strong and are practicing how to get up, what else are you lacking? Does walking up a flight of stairs leave you winded? Try adding in some steady state cardio 2x/week. Do you have a few extra pounds that could come off? Log your food intake for 3 days and look for ways to reduce the calories coming in.

Nothing can prevent you from falling (no, not even the 1 leg squats on a bosu ball your trainer has you doing). The best thing you can do is prepare yourself in case it does happen. This doesn’t require endless hours in the gym. Give yourself a few hours each week to prepare physically and you’ll be better equipped to handle anything life throws at you.