Fitness is one of those things that may seem out of reach for many, but preparedness fitness is achievable for everyone. There are many ways to achieve “preparedness” fitness, and we will cover some of those, but ultimately the key is using the tools you have at your disposal. One of my favorite resources is a book called Convict Conditioning. It is a series of body exercise workouts that progressively get tougher. For this type of fitness, simplicity is the key.
Now, the purpose and goal of preparedness fitness are not to get super strong or extra lean. The number one goal is to be able to sustain. Now, what do I mean by sustain? What I mean is that we can get fit and stay fit, all while performing the tasks that necessary in a preparedness-type scenario.
Now preparedness scenarios will vary for everyone, which is why this type of fitness focuses on whole-body fitness and building endurance. Preparedness fitness also can be achieved with zero weights or equipment. Unless your daily life includes physical exertion of some type, you should plan on spending at least 30-45 minutes a day exercising.
Now let’s get into some of the exercises and their purposes. These will be in no particular order.
Tried and true, pushups are great for working the pectoral, triceps, and anterior deltoid muscles. Very versatile as you can change up hand position, raised feet, or even adding movement to your pushups for the extra effort.
Situps and crunches focus primarily on the abdominal muscles. With some variations and the addition of weight, one can target their lower back muscles also.
Squats suck! But squats are an important exercise, especially if you sit for extended periods throughout the day. Squats help to unlock the hip flexor and tighten your glutes. Squats also increase muscle in the thigh and quad while increasing mobility.
If you can’t get out and run, do jumping jacks. They are a great cardio workout that is easy to perform wherever you are. It may not seem like it, but a few minutes of continuous jumping jacks can burn the same amount of calories as a few minutes of a jog. They also help with flexibility.
Another excellent calorie burner. Mountain climbers work a lot of the lower and core muscles. If you are looking for a great warm-up routine, combine some jumping jacks with mountain climbers, and you will get your heart rate up and sweat a bit.
Running requires the ability to get outside and may not always be possible. One way to get around is to run in place, also known as “high knees,” or if you have a basement, sprint from end to end. Running helps build lung capacity and also burns calories. Adding a weighted vest or carrying extra weight is a great way to enhance your run.
For this post, lifts can be anything from furniture to wood, children, or whatever else you can find to complete the task. The sofa is a great way to perform a deadlift of sorts. Utilize heavy trash bags to perform bicep curls. Use your imagination for this one.
Presses can be anything from a bench press to a shoulder press and more. Again use your imagination.
Now, I like this one for two reasons. First, it is an excellent exercise to strengthen arms, core, back, and hand muscles. Second, it can perform a chore that needs completing anyway. Chopping wood!
The Drag and Carry is something that you will see military, fire & rescue, and sometimes EMTs performing. The two basic movements are a semi-squatted drag of a weighted bag and an over-the-shoulder carry of a weighted bag or similar. The Drag simulates removing a wounded person out of harm’s way. The Carry simulates the same and also helps with the ability to carry heavy objects.
Stretching not only helps to keep from injuring yourself, but it is a great way to burn fat. Dynamic stretching combined with static stretching helps maintain a limber body and keep your muscles from binding.
Another pretty self-explanatory exercise. Palms facing you is a Chin-up, while Palms facing away from you are Pull-ups. Both have their function and should be a part of your routine.
Being prepared is not something that you should think about once you are in an SHTF or Shit Hit the Fan scenario. Preparedness is something that should be a part of your everyday life. Likewise, preparedness fitness is something that everyone should work into their day to day life. You never know. One day your life may depend on it!