This guest post is by Jason S and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .
I haven’t been a prepper for as long as most, so I am by no means an expert. As a newbie prepper one would assume i am running around trying to gather as much help and information as I could in order to be prepared for the inevitable emergency.
I’ve learned outdoor survival skills, like making fire, shelter and finding food. I’ve begun the storing of items and collecting the things I feel will be most helpful according to the information I’ve dug up. Storing food, water, medical supplies, weapons, ammo, clothing, some entertainment for the time expected to be spent in a bunker, as well-being able to sleep when the time comes, all are important aspects of survival.
I am amazed at all the information I have come across in my search for being well prepared in a disaster or emergency situation. The one thing I’ve noticed to be missing though, is physical fitness.
When it coms time to throw on your bug out pack and hike 40 miles to your bug out cabin because the road ways are to dangerous to travel, wouldn’t you want to be able to make haste and not worry about slowing down? What if you have to all out sprint for miles to escape a threat or even find a quick duck and cover location? Someone if firing upon you and all you can do is run. It’s nice to assume that when the shit hits the fan we have a secure basement or bunker to retreat to, and hunker down while the threat passes. What if those locations become compromised, whether by enemy or nature? Can you hike, run, or sprint your way out of danger?
Physical fitness doesn’t have to be a major part of your prepping, But it should fit in somewhere. At least two(2) days a week should be used to add a little muscle and strength. One(1) or two(2) days a week for some cardio. Because when the SHTF- you want to be ready to tackle any challenge. What if you have to engage the enemy in a hand to hand altercation? Strength would be good to have in your toolbox. What if escape means running miles? Are you ready? Is your family ready?
There are simple steps that can be taken in order to keep fit while still prepping. Considering farm work is a good workout, as well as many other prepping activities. One such activity would be a family day of hiking. Simply find a park or location where you can hike for hours without stopping- even in an urban setting this is possible. Think about it like this- Alert! you have to evacuate in a hurry, grab your packs and go. There is absolutely no time for anything else and worse- You have to walk where your going. Can everyone handle the pack you’ve prepared them for at least 10 miles? Is it too heavy for someone and causing the whole group to slow down? So family walks every two weeks would allow for everyone to prep their packs in a way that works for them.
Walking with a heavy pack is one thing, but running and sprinting are different all together. A weekly jog no less than 4 miles should be included in your prep plans for everyone. Being able to so when it matters will be crucial to survival. Now what about strength. Clearly being a muscle head isn’t for everyone, otherwise we’d all be doing it. But you don’t have to bench 350lbs to be considered fit or strong.
Using the simple weights and movements they can be used with will suffice. A couple dumbbells, a bench press bar and some weight plates. you don’t even need the bench. You can press lying flat on the ground. A bag of sand works wonders for squats. Simple movements to workout the muscles are all that’s needed. Preppers aren’t going for a sports scholarship, They just need to be ready to handle life. Below is a simple way to workout and without spending hours in the gym doing so. This added with a healthy way of eating will be a good addition to any preppers toolbox.
- Quick 50- Push-ups, crunches and squats. You can do this everyday once or twice at any time. It takes minutes.
- Bi-cep curls (dumbbells)- 50 each arm
- Squatting Clean and Press(dumbell) 25 each arm. Simply stand with feet shoulder width apart. place a dumbbell between your feet. Squat down, pick it up and “drag it along your body vertically until you reach your shoulder. Now press it up over head. reverse the movement and touch the weight to the floor. repeat.
- Double Crunches- 50 As you lift your upper body, do so with your lower until you knees meet your elbows for the double crunch. this hits your lower and upper abs at the same time.
- Pull ups- as many as possible. Climbing may be your only way out.
- Sprints. One block minimum distance. But push to go further if you can. If you doubt the sprint- look at the legs of a sprinter versus that of a marathon runner. There is no argument over leg strength.
That is about all you need for general purpose fitness. Keeping fit is the best way to ensure you can be counted on when the time comes. Don’t forget to stock a few of these things in your bug out retreat location as well. If you’re in a bunker waiting for the next move, just lying around won’t make you any stronger. Besides you can use an exercise bike to rotate a car alternator and charge batteries as you exercise. That gets more done with less space. An elastic band can replace dumbbells if space is an issue. But two(2) 20lbs dumbbells don’t really take that much room.
That is the conclusion folks, and I hope it’s helpful to at least one person. Remember – being fit can be the difference you need to survive.
(M.D. Creekmore adds – I walk at least one mile and use the Weider Total Body Works 5000 Gym for 15 min everyday. :sweat: )
This contest will end on June 5 2012 – prizes include:
Third Prize) Winner will receive copies of both of my books “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness” and “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution” and a Katadyn Siphon Water Filter courtesy of Mayflower Trading Company. A total prize value of $107.
Contest ends on June 5 2012.