It doesn’t matter what type of disaster you’re prepping for, there are a lot of components that go into being fully prepared—if it’s even possible to be fully prepared for anything!
When SHTF and the emergency broadcast comes on, you’ll be tasked with getting everyone in your family to a designated safe area and selecting a survival plan to follow.
There’s so much to take into account. Is your bug-out bag on hand and stocked with gear? Are you equipped with a firearm and is it loaded?
If you’re bugging out, is your shelter stocked with food, water and other gear you’ll need to survive in the long term?
Are you mentally and psychologically prepared for what’s about to happen?
These are all important considerations that everyone must take into account whilst preparing for, and immediately following, a disaster.
Bear in mind that using vehicles will be an unlikely luxury and backbreaking work will be inevitable.
With that said, one of the most overlooked aspects of disaster survival is physical fitness.
After all, survival is all about variables and overcoming adversity. Will you have to walk or run for long distances to get to safety? Will you have to fight your way through mobs of looters and bandits (or zombies)? Will there be obstacles blocking your path?
The inevitable answer to all these questions is YES, but are you physically prepared to fight or take flight for an indefinite amount of time when the catastrophe strikes?
Fitness is an incredibly important part of surviving any disaster. It doesn’t matter if you’re prepping for a hurricane, a global pandemic or the zombie apocalypse; the importance is the same.
Learning how to filter water, catch food and defend yourself will all be important skills, but they will all go to waste if you’re not physically able to go out into the post-disaster world and put them to use.
Far too many preppers are resting on the laurels of their college football days or military experience. They talk the talk, they gear themselves up and they claim they fear nothing and are prepared for anything. Yet can they perform the simple task of donning their rifles and bug-out bags and jogging nonstop for a mile?
In a life-or-death survival situation, your knowledge and skills are only going to get you so far. Without physical fitness, you’re eventually going to have to pay the piper.
The 8 Traits of Survival Fitness
There are eight basic traits of physical fitness that will play a role in your overall survival:
- Cardiovascular health
All of these skills can be developed by able-bodied individuals of all ages. They will serve to maximize your overall fitness and thus your potential for survival.
It’s vital to undergo a continuous fitness routine that encompasses all of these needs.
However, keep in mind that not all traditional (or modern) training programs address each of these skills in ways that will apply to your post-disaster survival demands.
You need a well-rounded regimen that will serve you in the unpredictable environment of a post-disaster world. Sprinting away from wildfires, swimming through floodwaters and moving piles of debris are all realistic scenarios that will demand the most out of your body.
Depending on the length of the disaster, you may be reliant on your survival skills to provide for you and your family. Without access to a traditional diet or standard healthcare, your physical attributes and personal fitness may be the only tools you have to keep you alive.
Getting in Shape
Regardless of the shape you’re in now, you can take measures to start getting in survival-ready shape before SHTF.
All you have to do is throw the excuses out the window, lace up your boots and get out the door. Start with a 30-minute walk just to get used to stretching and moving your body and expand from there.
No matter what type of workout you’re doing, whether it’s a walk in the woods or deadlifts at the gym, never overexert yourself.
Still, always push yourself to go further and do more with each workout in order to increase your strength and stamina.
As you become more fit, you can add more difficult exercises that are more akin to survival situations and encompass all eight of the fitness traits your life depends on.
Challenge yourself by climbing hills and stairs, jumping and vaulting over obstacles and gaps, carrying packs with heavier loads, and walking or running for increased distances.
The more effort you put into your personal fitness before SHTF, the more likely you’ll be to survive when disaster strikes.
It’s easy to get caught up in the cooler, flashier aspects of prepping like guns, knives, gear and shelters. While these things are all useful, they will be of no use if you’re too out of shape to get off the couch and survive the first wave of a crisis.
If you’ve got the time to stockpile food and water and practice firing at the range, you’ve got 20 to 30 minutes to spare each day for getting yourself in shape.
Eventually, your body will get used to the stress of physical activity and learn to crave more. Soon after, you’ll feel better and more confident about your ability to survive and thrive when SHTF.
The zombie apocalypse survival workout is a great system for getting in the shape needed to survive any disaster:
No prepper wants disaster to strike. Even if you’ll never need to put your fitness skills to the test in a survival situation, your health and body will thank you.