Over the past year or so I’ve met quite a few Preppers and I can say with some level of certainty that I’ve met a lot more who could shoot at 300 yards than those that could sprint 300 yards. Let alone run one mile or God forbid have to walk three or five.
It may just be a symptom of our generally overweight and out of shape society but the level of physical preparedness amongst the folks I know who say they are serious about Prepping is appalling. Seriously, the most important tool you have in your prepping shed is your own body. You have to be in decent shape to do basic things like get through the clean up after a hurricane or shovel show after a blizzard without having a heart attack (this actually happens all the time).
Still, I’m constantly listening to Preppers talk about how they plan to Bug-Out on foot if need be. Meanwhile I’m thinking, “To where? Your neighbors house across the street? You couldn’t walk ten blocks.” Just last week I was listening to a chubby, out of shape, 40-something gentleman explain to a similar looking guy how to throw a punch with deadly accuracy. Again all I could think was, “You’re so slow and out of shape you couldn’t hit me in the ass with a handful of pebbles.”
I have a couple other funny digs on out of shape preppers but I’ll save them for my stand-up routine. Hello? Is this thing on? Can you hear me in the back??
Back to the topic at hand. Getting in shape and staying in shape. You don’t have to join a gym, buy a new bicycle complete with spandex outfit, or even start jogging necessarily in order to get in shape. You can start at home with just your own body weight. Of course you should check with your doctor before starting any new workout plan. [I'm not sure if anyone ever does this but I hear it all the time on TV so I thought I'd include it]
Pushups are a simple and easy way to improve your upper body strength. People have been doing this exercise forever for two reasons. It’s simple and it works. Start with ten pushups and keep working on them until you can do at least 20 or 25 in a set. Reach two sets of 25 a day and you’re going to see and feel a big difference in your chest, shoulders, and arms.
Same thing for sit-ups. Start with just ten and work your way up. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your waist-line, posture, and ability to lift and carry things. Your core muscles around your stomach will help protect a bad back as well.
Just these two exercises will improve your strength dramatically if you’re not doing anything currently. Don’t believe me? Try it for a month. You’ll be hooked. Next you can move on to pull-ups or chin-ups which will really build muscle in your back, shoulders, and arms. These are much more strenuous though so I would recommend waiting until your body has a chance to adjust to your new routine before attempting unless you’re already in decent shape. If you get past all this you should think about joining a gym or buying some basic weights for home use. There are almost always used sets on craigslist cheap.
Cardiovascular fitness is probably the most important thing for prepping. We’re prepping for common events like hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes and the like here at Prep-Blog. That means that in a likely event you [hopefully] won’t be pulling your guns out of the safe or trying out your latest Krav Maga moves on anyone. What you will be doing however is lots of general physical labor and that requires cardio fitness.
Walking is the best way to start to get your cardio levels up to par. If you have a dog, which you should since having one is perhaps the best home defense, start walking him after dinner every night. Start taking the stairs instead of the elevator, park in the back of parking lots (keeping your situational awareness in mind of course). These little things will make a difference. Once you think you’re ready start going on hikes on the weekends. This will show you what it’s really like to do some serious walking.
So, while I hate to be a nag I couldn’t get my wife to write this article for me -Ha!- so I had to do the nagging myself. Seriously, get in shape. It’s the best thing you can do to Prep for perhaps the most common disaster, Health Problems.