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.