When you’re committed to fitness, you have a lot on your mind: calorie counts, macros, and the best stretches to reduce pain and hasten recovery. It can feel like you have little time for anything but exercise and employment, especially if you have other responsibilities like school and childcare.
However, there’s a fast and easy way to benefit everyone around you – and yourself – which is renewing your first aid certification. Many of us underwent this training when younger, perhaps during a health class or college, but it often falls to the wayside in favor of more urgent tasks. Unfortunately, though, accidents and emergencies can strike at any time, and the half-remembered education you received in years past may not be enough to save a life.
Whether you are just getting started on a healthy lifestyle, or you’re a pro athlete training with the best, you should consider getting your CPR certificate renewed. We’ll discuss the reasons why this essential training matters to everyone, including those in peak condition.
Not Everyone In Your Fitness Circle Is Perfectly Fit
Part of the reason you embarked on your health journey is to improve your physical fitness; everyone else there in the gym or trail with you has much the same motivation. Everyone is at different levels of physical fitness, and this means that those who are joining you in your morning run might not actually be up to the task just yet. It’s easy to seriously injure oneself when taking on a harder exercise that is currently feasible and, depending on where you’re training, you may be the only one capable of saving your friend and exercise buddy.
Strenuous Exercises Can Exacerbate Underlying Health Conditions
There is also the fact that many people have underlying health conditions, some of which they may not even be aware of. The American Heart Association reports that two out of three people who experience a heart attack unrelated to a blood clot have an undiagnosed heart condition; this means they never received the proper treatment to treat and manage this serious illness.
A friend in your running circle, though appearing perfectly healthy, may actually be one tough workout away from a medical emergency due to an undiagnosed heart defect, blood clot, or pulmonary condition like postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Immediate treatment of cardiac arrest is essential to saving one’s life, so you need to be able to perform life-saving measures while waiting for emergency medical services to arrive, which is especially true if you’re not close to a hospital.
Health Emergencies Can Happen to Even the Fittest People
While we like to believe that fitness makes us bulletproof, it’s a sad fact of life that even those at the top of their field can experience a serious medical event.
In one particularly chilling example, Anita Alvarez, a Team USA artistic swimmer competing in the World Aquatics Championship in Budapest, suddenly fell unconscious during her routine. The two-time Olympian had to be rescued by her coach, Andrea Fuentes, who immediately dove in and pulled her to the surface before getting medical attention. Thankfully, they were mere minutes away from excellent medical care, and Alvarez made a full recovery, but if this happened during private practice, she might not have been so lucky.
Another devastating example, which touches on the issues of undiagnosed heart conditions, is the story of Marc Vivien Foe, a Cameroonian footballer who died during the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal against Colombia. Foe collapsed late into the game and was carried to the stadium’s medical center, where he later died. An autopsy revealed that he suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic condition that causes thickened cardiac tissue in the left ventricle that reduces blood flow.
If these top athletes can suffer dramatic emergencies while playing the game they love, it’s very possible that those at lower levels of their sport can also suffer serious health consequences when they push themselves too hard.
It’s Easier Than Ever to Get Your CPR Renewal
You can be a life-changing athlete should you choose to get your CPR renewal, which is easier than ever, thanks to online courses.
In an online first aid renewal course, you’ll get all the same training that you would in the classroom but in simple, easy-to-digest lessons that take just minutes to complete. Watch them on your morning commute or while you’re winding down after a hard session, as they’re always available on any internet-connected device. You’ll test your knowledge after modules, which come in video format with additional reading material.
By choosing to renew your CPR certification, you’ll be able to assist anyone in medical distress, inside of the gym or out, as you’ll learn vital first aid skills like how to assist someone after a fall and how to perform the Heimlich maneuver. Danger can strike at any time, and when you’re in the adrenaline-soaked echelons of sport, you need to be prepared should someone be pushed to the limit and experience serious consequences.