Today we have a guest post by Alvina Lopez. Thanks Alvina!
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Preparing Your Body for Disaster
Advocates of preparedness carry on at great length about self-reliability; extol the virtue of knowing how to build a house or treat a wound by yourself; talk about food stores and shelters until they are blue in the face. And certainly all these things are important aspects of being prepared for a social or natural disaster, but one aspect of preparedness that is often overlooked is physical preparedness.
The idea that motivates most preppers to store food and learn skills that would better their chances of survival in a post-disaster environment is that if an event occurred that was catastrophic enough to dismantle society as we know it, people would revert to tribal, even animalistic, behavior to survive.
In that kind of society, the man who could build a fort to protect his tribe, find his own food, and sustain a small number of people would be king.
However, in that kind of society the king would have to be extremely healthy and fit, as members of pre-civilized society were.
Admittedly, many preppers are not the paragon of physical fitness. And while they might be able to protect themselves with guns and other defenses, there will definitely be times when being able to run faster and farther, and lift and carry heavier objects, will be the key to survival.
In a post-disaster situation, you should be able to:
- Lift at least 100 pounds, and;
- Carry that weight ten or more feet without resting;
- Sprint for two minutes without stopping
- Jog for 20 minutes at a brisk pace after sprinting
- Hike 20 miles in one day, carrying a 30 pound pack, over any terrain
With that in mind, there are two areas in which you can train your body to be as prepared as your house and your mind are, in the event of a disaster.
To increase your strength (without spending money on weights, which are effective, but also expensive), start by adding push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups to your daily routine. For some, this might mean 20 of each; for others, it could be 2 of each. Do what you can handle without killing yourself, but also train hard and push yourself. As your repetitions become easier, add more of each exercise. Isolated exercises like these will help increase the strength of your arms, abs, and back, so that you can lift when it counts.
Run. Run. Run. Running is the most natural form of exercise there is, and if a catastrophe ever strikes, you will be doing a lot of it. As with the strength exercises, it may be daunting to some to start running, but if you set small goals and continually strive to improve, you will be fitter physically, and better suited to a disaster environment. Make sure to include sprints in your runs as well. And keep making the jog and sprint portions of your runs longer.
As important as supplies are, your body is a supply too, and the most important one of all. Don’t let your physical fitness become secondary to foraging or building, or you might find yourself bested by someone who can run faster or lift more, and all of your prepping will have been for nothing.