It’s tough-love time, preparedness community. I was a presenter at a local prepper trade show last weekend, and I didn’t like what I saw. Of the show attendees, two traits really stood out. The average attendee was 1) perhaps a bit too obsessed with The Walking Dead, yet 2) didn’t look like he would be able to out-run a one-legged zombie. Sure, it’s all good fun to sit on the couch eating ice cream while watching your favorite zombie show, but don’t think watching actors running from the undead somehow counts as your daily exercise. Get off the couch, folks, while you still can! And embrace the reality that physical fitness should be part of your preparedness plans.
Cardio: How on earth do you expect to bug-out effectively if you’re winded by walking to the fridge and back? Cardiovascular endurance is a critical facet of all the strenuous real-life things you’d be doing in an actual emergency. Running from the bad guys, hiking into remote areas, and swimming to safety all require some semblance of cardio health. Take up walking, jogging, bicycling, or any other activity that keeps your heart and lungs healthy and efficient.
Weight Training: Want to be strong? Want to learn pain tolerance and mental fortitude? Start pumping iron. For those who don’t have a legit injury or medical reason to avoid the weights, weight training builds both muscles and mental toughness. It will help you push on when you think you can’t possibly walk another step. This kind of mental tenacity can be invaluable in a crisis, especially if you’re dealing with pain or something that is hard to accomplish.
Martial Arts: Self-defense comes in many forms. Concealed carry comes to mind quickly for most folks, but you should also consider what you could do to defend yourself without firearms. Training in a martial art is a great way to both stay in shape and develop backup defenses, should you become separated from your EDC weapons. Which fighting style is right for you? How about the one that’s practiced closest to your home or work? That way, excuses to miss a class are harder to come by.
Trail Running: Yes, you could plow into a tree or run right into a bear. But once you learn the ropes of trail running, only another trail runner can catch you. This type of endurance exercise is great for polishing up your escape and evasion tactics, and for working up a good sweat. If this is physically outside your limits right now, then work up to running. How about a fast walk off the trail? This could be handy in a pinch, too, allowing you to disappear into the brush in a hurry.
Swimming: Great exercise for your whole body, swimming is something that most folks find easier on the joints and back that other forms of exercise. And if you don’t know how to swim, leave your ego at the house and head on down to the local pool for a few lessons. Everybody should know how to swim.
What do you do to stay “survival fit”? Let us know in the comments.