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Health and fitness is not something most people consider when preparing for TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it), but they should. People tend to take for granted just how easy we have it in the modern world. Up until the last century, most people throughout history worked from sunup to sundown in fields and gardens just so they could get enough food to do it again the next day.
Nowadays, except for those living in third world countries, food isn’t much of a concern for most people. In fact, most people are more worried about eating too much food! As a result, modern man has become soft, weak, and very dependent on the system. When the SHTF, many people won’t have the endurance necessary to keep themselves alive.
Imagine for a moment that the worst has happened—an earthquake, a terrorist attack, WWIII—and you’re trying to make your way across the city back to your home. If a group of thugs wanted to rob you, could you outrun them? If a fence were in your way, could you climb it?
Now imagine you live in an apartment with your children. When you get there, the stairs have been destroyed. Could you climb the tree beside the building and get through the window? What if you get inside and your son’s leg is trapped beneath a fallen beam? Could you lift it off of him? These are just a few examples of how physical fitness can be be very important when disaster strikes.
Obviously if you’re older or have a health condition that prevents you from being in optimal shape, you can only do your best. Get in the best shape you possibly can and it will make your life much easier. But if you are between the ages of 15 and 50 and healthy, it is up to you to be physically fit so you can help others. When teotwawki comes, you will have no excuse.
There is a movie called Zombieland about what happens to a group of people after zombies kill off over 99% of the population. The main character has a list of rules that help keep him alive. And rule number 1 is cardio. In Zombieland, it is so he can outrun zombies. But if it is teotwawki, there are many things you might have to outrun: an invading army, a mob of citizens, a gang of criminals, etc. Whatever happens, you don’t want your legs, lungs and heart to keep you from getting away. Cardio isn’t just jogging for hours at a time. Interval training–where you intersperse short bursts of intense exercise and periods of rest–is enough.
Lifting a fallen beam off of a loved isn’t the only scenario where you might need some great strength. You might have to haul buckets of water back and forth from a pond, carry firewood for several miles, move your food and supplies to a safer location, clear away debris, or even out-wrestle a bandit. It’s not necessary to become a bodybuilder. In fact, most of your strength training can be done from home with a pair of dumbbells. I’m not going to recommend a specific exercise routine here, but consider getting a trainer or buying a book on strength training.
When you go from sitting in an office chair all day to working around the clock scrounging for water and supplies in the city, you will discover dozens of joints and muscles you didn’t know you had. If you don’t want to be stiff and in pain when the time comes, then go ahead and start doing some stretching exercises everyday. Get to where touching your toes is a piece of cake. Better yet, take a yoga class. There is no better way to improve flexibility and work out all the small muscles that don’t normally get used. Another option is to kill two birds with one stone by improving flexibility and cardio at the same time with sports such as tennis, racquetball, basketball, or swimming.
If you can’t eat less, at least eat healthy! If the end of the world as we know it arrives, people with the lowest body fat percentage will starve to death first. The people on the other end of the spectrum, however, will die next because their bodies won’t be able to handle the stress. Ideally, you want to be on the upper end of the normal BMI range that way you’ll still be in good shape but also have some fat to live off of when food is in short supply.
The easiest way to achieve this is to exercise everyday and only eat when you’re hungry. (How can you tell whether you’re actually hungry or just bored? When you’re actually hungry, even healthy food looks appetizing.) But when you eat, focus on fruits, vegetables, meats, and some dairy. Whole grains are good, too, but too much will make weight loss impossible. A good rule of thumb is to stay on the outside edge of the grocery store and avoid going up and down the isles.