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I live in an area with one of the highest rates of obesity in the nation. A few years ago, we were number one, but someone else has managed to pass us up since then. I have to admit, I fit the demographics of the area as well. But last year I did manage to lose 60 pounds, although I’m still not quite down to where I want to be. Nonetheless, I don’t look like the Michelin Tire Man anymore.
There are several reasons why I decided to finally get serious about losing weight. Unquestionably, survival was high up on that list. How could I, a supposed expert in survival, allow myself to get to the point where bugging out would probably kill me? I couldn’t let it stay that way.
However, the reality I had to face is the same one that many of us have to face. The bottom line is that our bodies aren’t ready for survival. Any survival situations that we encounter will be physically demanding, even bugging in at home. Just turning your backyard into a survival garden will be physically demanding. This task doesn’t even include hauling water, splitting wood for the fire, and all the other manual labors that we are accustomed to having machines do for us.
Preparing For Survival Situations: Losing Weight
As a society, we have become physically lazy. Sure, there are certainly those amongst us who go to the gym regularly to make up for their sedentary lifestyle. Yet, that accounts for only about 20% of our population. Oh, and statistically speaking, the ones who do exercise tend to be younger adults. In fact, a third of all those who make regular trips to the gym are under 24 years of age. Sadly, those of us who are overweight and need to exercise the most are also those who are least likely to do so.
The basic problem is that losing weight requires doing the things we don’t want to do and not doing the things we want to do. I had to give up a lot of my favorite foods in order to lose those 60 pounds. That was hard, especially when others around me were eating them. I felt like the guy who quit smoking in a room full of smokers.
Our diets consist of way too many starches, sugars, and fats. But then, you already know that. The trick is having the “won’t power” to cut them out of your diet. I call it “won’t power” because we don’t have any problem with our will. It’s easy to say “I will eat that,” but it’s hard to say “I won’t eat it.”
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That’s Not Enough
Notwithstanding, losing weight alone isn’t enough. Yes, losing weight has some definite health benefits, such as reducing the risk for Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. But just losing weight will turn us into skinny weaklings rather than fat weaklings. We still won’t have the strength and stamina needed for survival.
As a basic rule of thumb, I’ve determined a few benchmarks that I feel are minimum physical requirements for adequately handling survival situations:
- Be able to walk four hours, at normal walking speed, with your bug out bag on your back (at least 30 pounds), with 10-minute breaks every hour.
- Can you chop wood or swing a sledgehammer for one hour without breaks.
- Able to pick up a ¾” thick sheet of plywood and carry it across your backyard without stopping or losing balance.
- Be prepared to walk on a balance beam with your 30-pound backpack on.
- Fire 100 rounds through your personal defensive firearm without your arms getting shaky.
- Able to carry two five-gallon buckets, filled with water (a total of 80 pounds) one block without resting.
- Can you shovel 500 pounds of dirt (1/4 cubic yard) without a break.
If you can do these things, you’re probably physically strong enough for the tasks you’ll have to do to survive. Surprisingly, some bodybuilders will have problems with some of these exercises. This is because their strength is trained for specific actions and not necessarily actions associated with the physical work of survival. Consequently, don’t just depend on going to the gym and working out. Do some actual physical labor to train your body as well.
Get Your Health In Line
Nearly 70% of Americans take some sort of prescription drug on a daily basis, with more than half of them taking at least two. That’s horrible. What are all those people going to do when the pharmacies are closed and there are no medicines to be found?
Granted, we can use natural remedies for a lot of things if we know how. Nevertheless, most people know little to nothing about herbal or natural medicines and even fewer are growing the plants necessary. Unless you take the time to both study herbal medicine and grow the necessary herbs, that’s just not going to work for you.
It is better to get your body healthy enough so that you don’t need all those medicines. Many chronic conditions can be alleviated or even eliminated by proper diet and exercise. High blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes are both related to diet. High blood pressure is also related to anxiety. If we get our diets, our bodies, and our thoughts in order, we can eliminate the need for most of those prescription drugs.
Mankind has survived for most of its history without allowing the medical profession to make us chemically dependent. While some of those pharmaceuticals may help to prolong our lives, we probably won’t need them if we eat sensibly and get more exercise. It has been medically proven that both high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes can be eliminated by going back to a lifestyle which requires more physical work, which is how our ancestors lived. I wonder how many other things could be eliminated as well?
This aspect of preparing for survival situations has got to start now. You and I can’t afford to wait until a disaster strikes and we can’t get our medicine. That’s why I’ve put so much effort into losing weight, and if I can do it, you can too. It’s just a matter of making up your mind that you’re going to see it through.
You may also enjoy reading an additional Off The Grid News article: 3 Forgotten Survival Essentials – Straight From The History Books
Do you have any other tips on how to prepare your body for survival situations? Let us know in the comments below.