Prepping and Physical Fitness

As I look at and talk about the things that will help preppers survive and thrive in a world that may be new and unknown, I think about things I can do to prep that isn’t just stocking up on stuff. One of the big things that comes to mind is physical fitness. I may be weird, but I love going to the gym and being active. I’ve come up with some ideas on how to do that in the most productive ways. Or, things we all should focus on if physical fitness is a goal.

Motivation. What is motivating you to want to achieve a fitness goal? Do you want to lose weight, lift heavier weights, tone your body, or gain more endurance? Why are you doing this? For me, I’m a whopping 5 feet fall and weigh 200 pounds. That is a lot, and I do mean a lot of weight on such a tiny frame. As I get older, it gets harder to move around. I have a bad knee where I pulled a tendon a few years ago. That extra weight isn’t helping that. In fact, I can feel my knee thanking me with each pound I shed. So that is my motivation.

I love walking and hiking outdoors. I would prefer if I had more endurance and energy to do so, and some weight loss would help with that pretty significantly. My husband is very active, and I have a hard time keeping up with him at times. I usually blame me being slower on the fact I’m significantly shorter than him, but there is a lot more to it. Find your motivation. I can’t change the fact I am short, but I can change the fact I am fat.

Diet. We are feeding our bodies fuel to keep going. You get what you pay for here. If you put in crap, that is what you will get in return. Your body will not perform at its best when you’re not giving it the best. You eat cookies and soda all day, you’re not in the condition to run a marathon. It is just that simple. I am always thinking about my diet and the way I eat. I also take into consideration salt and calories.

For example, I love a white chocolate and raspberry mocha from Starbucks as much as anyone. Happiness in a cup is what I call it. However that fabulous cup of happiness is half of my daily calorie intake. In one single cup of coffee. Does this mean I cut them out completely? Nope. I still indulge that love periodically. I am simply aware that the scale will not be likely to cooperate with me by decreasing in numbers the following morning. Because I still have to eat. But I also look at it as a treat. It’s the perfect cheat day treat.

Another thing to think about is when you eat something, like the time of day. That scoop of ice cream is delicious, and it isn’t the end of the world if you’re eating it. However, the scale isn’t going to cooperate with you if you’re sitting down in front of the tv to eat it at 11pm, and then going to bed half an hour later. Because you’re not giving your body a chance to work it off. Eat it at 2pm, when you are more active.

Be mindful of what you’re eating. If I’m looking for a snack, I’ll pick up a bag of almonds and eat a handful instead of potato chips. Just little changes that aren’t over the top. People think changing their eating habits is impossible. It’s not because it can be really simple changes that make a huge difference.

Exercise. We all need to burn those calories and use the fuel we are giving our body. Going for a walk is one of the simplest forms of exercise. We don’t always need a gym. Hiking is good. Or, even try some yoga at home. There are plenty of beginner yoga moves to get you stretching and feeling better. I’ve incorporated them into my gym time, but that’s just me. Mostly because if I don’t, I forget to stretch and that is never a good thing. In a later post, I will be sharing some of the yoga moves I use to help me and the progress I’ve made from it.

Endurance. I don’t mean endurance in terms of how long you can run on a treadmill. I mean endurance in the sense of sticking with it, and starting slowly. Going to the gym, I see guys there bench pressing 225 pounds without a second thought and don’t need a spotter. Cool. If I tried that, I’d die. I am starting out at a much, much lower weight than that, so I’m not hurting myself and I slowly work my way up to that. It is way too easy to go into a gym, overdo it, hurt yourself, and get bored and quit.

Just like in prepping, it is a slow and steady pace that will win you the race. Do I want to be able to bench 225 one day? Sure, I’d love to be in that group. Will I get there tomorrow? Nope. Everybody has to start somewhere and stick with it. Life, prepping, exercise, or anything else isn’t a competition. We are all going at our own pace.

I remember starting to do lunges and I felt like an idiot. I knew it looked ridiculous, as I could only get about half way through it without giving up or falling. I’m clumsy enough without adding to it. I told my best friend this story, and he reminded me, everybody has to start somewhere. Which has stuck with me ever since then, and this was a couple of years ago. I’ve approached many things in life with this perspective. Everybody has to start somewhere. I approach prepping with much the same mindset as I do exercising.

So how does physical fitness relate to prepping? Well, that is an excellent question! It is something you can do to help yourself in terms of prepping. Exercise is just healthy for you in general, but it does relate to prepping. If you are an overweight couch potato and have no endurance, bugging out will not be a pleasant experience and you may not make it very far. You can hurt yourself doing it too. You may not be able to carry a heavier bag to bug out. Which means, either you end up leaving essential stuff behind, or if you’re in a group, someone else takes part of the weight you can’t handle.

Being healthy requires discipline and training. Prepping is much the same. You have to train your mind to respond in the way you want it to, your body works much the same way. In a prepping scenario, let’s say someone comes to attack you (this can happen in an everyday situation too) for whatever reason. Maybe it is to steal a wallet or purse, or assault you in other ways.

You have choices. You can run or you can fight back. If you are not physically fit, either of these options are fairly difficult to do. You want to keep yourself safe. So being able to run, even a fairly short distance away from someone may be the difference between life and death.

Physical fitness is also a prepping essential that doesn’t cost money. Yes, you can go to a gym and some are pretty inexpensive, but it is not required because there are many things you can do at home or outside to stay fit. I will be talking more about those in some other posts.

If you are thinking about prepping, you should be thinking about physical fitness as a prepping method as well as everything else. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am always looking at ways to prepare without spending money, which I will be covering more here, because I get excited about things like that.


  • Sydnie

    Endurance is always the hardest for me. I find it difficult to stick to a routine! I’m usually good about going 1-2 weeks, but then life gets in the way and I miss a gym day and it’s back to square one! I’m feeling pretty motivated by this post, though! Good luck on your journey, Erica! Sounds like you’re off to a good start!

  • Huda

    These are all really good points, especially when you said endurance was more than how long you can run vs actually sticking to things and starting slow to help you with it! I definitely need to work on the diet aspect of things, though! lol Thanks for sharing!

  • Ashley Sugimoto

    This is so helpful! I just finished being in school forever, so i hadn’t had time to really focus on my health and fitness overall until now. I’m so looking forward to getting a good start on it all!

  • Scott DeNicola

    Great tips on getting fit. I never really thought of it for a prepping situation but it makes total sense. Remember you just need to be faster than the person next to you. Enjoyable read as always.

  • Beutiflee

    All great points, today was my one day I missed gym (I usually go 3 times a week), but I just wanted to take a day for myself. I’ve been overworked since this year started and I just needed to put everything down and just relax. Somewhat (here I am on social media working), but for the next couple of days I am turning off from the public and just focus on writing and reading. I need me time! But I will be in the gym tomorrow, Sunday, & Monday. I miss it!

  • Amie Bartley

    You have so many great points, and it is definitely important to prep yourself in order to achieve such a great goal that requires a lot of work and motivation! Eating right is always the hardest for me!

  • Rachel

    I love this post! Hiking and jus walking outside are two of my favorite ways to get exercise. Being stuck in a gym for long periods of time just doesn’t appeal to me much at all.
    Being mindful about what I eat is really hard at times. Especially since I have a husband who could literally eat anything and then still has to work hard to gain weight/muscle.
    Anyway, keep up the great work!
    – Ray

  • Despite Pain

    I guess I had only thought of prepping in relation to food. But this makes perfect sense. You’re right, we all need to start somewhere, so we shouldn’t compare ourselves to more experienced people. We should go at our own pace and enjoy our own achievements.

  • Johnny Quid

    I’m right there with you! I’m 5’6″, and back in August I was 170lbs. Started the Keto diet with my wife, started lifting heavy, and doing intermittent fasting and now I’m sitting at 143lbs! It’s a journey, and it’s not gonna happen overnight. You really just gotta take it one day at a time. Don’t let yourself get discouraged, and STAY THE COURSE. If you mess up and indulge in something sweet or not really healthy, that’s fine. You’re entitled and you need to know that. Enjoy yourself then get back on track.

  • Vincent Monaco

    What a great article. I often think about prepping like most people. Food stocks, currency, fuel and things like that but what good is any of that if you cannot withstand the physical challenges. Looks like I have some things to add to my potential prepper list.

  • Lindsay Brown

    Great post! I like how you mention to start out slow and just keep at it. I find that when starting a new routine I always jump in full force and then lose steam about a week in.

    I also enjoy how you’ve tied the idea of fitness in with prepping. I always think about that when I’m gardening or canning and supremely feel more confident about surviving anything in the summer months because that is when I am most healthy and active.

    Throw me into a dire situation right now? I’m a goner for sure. Ha!

    Great read, thanks for sharing!

  • J. L. Misener

    I’d like to add posture to the list. I have been finding out the hard way why posture is important. It is not good enough just to go to the gym and do exercises, if you are not doing it right you are not getting the most benefit to your body, and, as I have discovered, might even be harming your body. Great advice and motivating post!

  • Swagata Sen

    can’t agree more with you on ‘Being healthy requires discipline and training’..I have tried several times to bring this discipline in my life but was unsuccessful. Your post is a timely reminder to me and many other like me. I really liked all the informative pieces you have put together in this post!!

  • Megan McC

    You’ve got the right mindset for a healthy weight loss and fitness plan. I like that your fav Starbucks beverages is happiness in a cup and that you enjoying them for occasional treats, not an everyday coffee. Improving our diet is important but part of that is keeping small qualities of special treats. Virtual high five on your fitness journey!

  • Tracy C.

    I love what you said about choices and that everyone has to start somewhere. Making wise choices is a start. Choosing to continue becoming healthier is a choice.

  • Angie

    I have terrible knees too! Squats used to kill me but after a few weeks my knees got the hang of it! It’s all about doing what can, when you can!

  • Ayanda

    Staying on track with the diet is a big thing for me. There are certain pleasures I still need to learn how to balance out. I especially like the part on endurance. Learning to pace yourself is an important thing which I easily be overlook. I can’t tell you how many times I have started on something only to give up on it.

  • Lyosha

    Great post! I agree, no need to rush whatever and your body will always be thankful for your if you loose some (of coarse if you are not entering anorexic stages). I was living with a constant pain in my backbone after I broke it falling down the stairs when I was 14. None of the doctors I visited and consulted ever advised me to loose some extra weight, they only told me not to gain more more than. When I was 28 I lost several kilos completely unrelated and to my shock my back started felling better. Right now I weight less than I was told to keep and forgot about issues. I am free to sleep as long as I want and do any physical activity I want painless.

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