Physical Fitness Preparedness

So you have 10 years worth of food stored, your own windmill pumped water, 50 people on your compound including a heart surgeon and a small hydroelectric dam for power. You are ready for the end of the world, right? Hey! What’s that thing wrapped around your waist? No, not the belt — that thing flopping over the belt!

All the emergency preparations in the world are not going to help you if you are not physically fit, or as fit as you can be. We’re not all olympic body builders, but we can be fit enough to haul a bucket of water up from the spring, or split a few logs for firewood, right?

Please add an item to your preparations checklist: Physical Fitness.

In an emergency situation, by definition, we’ll be without some modern convenience. It might be electricity, where we’ll be washing our clothes by hand. It might be gasoline, where we will have to walk everywhere we go. For sure, every modern convenience we have saves us some physical work, and without those things we’ll be working harder. Are you ready?

Now I’m not suggesting that you should be able to run 10 miles without breaking a sweat. You should, however, be able to walk a few miles a day without having a heart attack. How are you going to take care of that elderly neighbor? What if you have to carry a few gallons of water to her daily? Is that going to wipe you out?

When I was in my 20’s, I bicycled to college classes, a few miles each way. If it rained and I had to drive, I felt bad for lack of exercise.

As I grew into my 30’s, exercise took a back seat. One day I spied my old bike in the basement and cleaned it up for a spin around the neighborhood. I just about died! No energy, no reserve, no breath, and burning muscles! What had happened? My lack of ability surprised me. So I started riding a bit, cutting wood, and doing some other more strenuous yard work to try to get back in shape.

Into my 40’s I started riding my bike again, regularly. In just a few months I was doing 20 mile rides without dying for oxygen. It felt good again!

Today, in my 50’s, I can ride all over town in an afternoon and enjoy every mile. I’m still no athlete, but my heart is working, my lungs are working, and my muscles are working.

I tell you this to encourage you to start or re-start physical exercise. You can regain what you have lost, but please take it in small steps. Don’t overdo it to begin with. If you have been out of shape for a long time, see a doctor and get some professional advice. You don’t want a heart attack!

I know many people my age who are starting physical fitness anew, with great success. You might not regain your svelte 20-year old body, but there are a lot of internal benefits that you will feel in short order. You’ll have more energy. You will sleep better. Your appetite will change from junk food to healthy food. AND you will spend less time in front of the TV!

When emergency situations happen, I now have the confidence to get the job done, whatever it is. How about a chainsaw exercise at 7AM? No problem. Cranking the generator at 10PM in blowing snow? No problem. Helping a neighbor with a building project? No problem.

To help you get in shape, check out CrossFit. CrossFit is a broad fitness program that you can shape to your needs. There are usually several such groups in every metropolitan area.

A big part of our thrust at Prudent Supply is community. You and I need to be prepared for emergencies in many ways. Let’s not ignore one of the most important ways of being prepared, by being healthy! Start working on that this week.