Physical preparedness: your pre-apocalypse workout
A well-prepared survival kit is only going to get you so far in the post-apocalyptic world. Your fitness level will contribute just as much to your short-term survival chances, and will become even more important in the long run.
Surviving a catastrophic event and its aftermath is a full-time endeavor and the physical demands it will require should not be underestimated. While things like speed, strength, and flexibility are all important to your overall level of fitness, endurance is the key element to incorporate into your pre-apocalypse workout routine.
Why should you focus on endurance? Because if you’re anything like Wren and I, you work a 9-to-5 (or 8-to-6 in reality) desk job that doesn’t require any physical exertion. The post-apocalyptic world is most likely going to require you to be physically active for most of the day, every day, and our current lives don’t prepare us for this. Try this as a quick test: take some very basic gear (i.e., light backpack, water, a few snacks) and go walk around your city/town/etc for an entire day. Tiring? Now try that with your survival pack and see how far you get. And repeat it again the next day, when your muscles are screaming for mercy.
It’s easy to improve your level of endurance, but it requires time and dedication. Now is the perfect time to start, particularly for those of you who are in the Mayan camp. Here are a couple of quick tips to improve your endurance and overall fitness level, while keeping it interesting at the same time.
1) Don’t rush it. Rushing into any physical activity increases the risk of injury (and we do not recommend going into an apocalyptic situation while injured, if at all possible). If you’re beginning from a fairly sedentary lifestyle, start off slow with walks or bike rides around your neighborhood. Figure out how you can make your daily life more active – get off the bus a few stops early and walk, take the stairs, etc.
2) Get outside. While gyms are a lovely place to start (and sometimes a necessity during hot and humid summers), the apocalypse isn’t going to come with air conditioning. Regardless of whether you end up bugging in or out, I’m willing to bet there’s a 100% chance you’ll be spending a lot more time outside. Take advantage of the pre-disaster period to learn more about your local area by taking walks, hikes, bike rides, etc. In addition to increasing your fitness level, this will provide you with information critical in a disaster situation.
Once you’re comfortable walking or hiking for a few hours with the basics, test out your endurance with your bug out kit. Can you carry your survival gear for more than an hour or two without becoming completely exhausted? If not, you need to seriously consider how to lighten the load, increase your strength and endurance, or both.
3) Have something to work towards. The apocalypse is a rather amorphous concept and it can be difficult to find the motivation to prepare for something that lacks a deadline. Find other ways of motivating yourself by signing up for a 5K or other physical challenge. Wren and I recommend checking out the Warrior Dash, which we are both currently training for. It’s the perfect training course for the apocalypse, complete with crawling through mud, climbing over walls, working your way through abandoned cars, and jumping over fire. What more could you want from an obstacle course?