A survival shelter is far smaller than the accommodations you’re likely used to. There isn’t much space to move around while you’re waiting out an SHTF scenario, so it’s easy to get lazy, lethargic and sedentary.
But what happens when other people discover your hideaway? Or you have to escape for a different reason? You’ll have wished you spent more time lifting weights and jogging in place.
That said, you have simple (even fun) ways of staying fit inside a survival shelter. You can ensure your ongoing athleticism by committing yourself to a few compact routines. You don’t need much equipment.
With that in mind, here are five ways to preserve your health when all hell breaks loose.
1. Yoga and Stretching
Even if flexibility isn’t your forte, daily yoga and stretching can work wonders in keeping your body strong and limber. And the best part is all you need is a good five-by-two-foot area of floor space.
Practice some basic poses like downward dog or warrior one. Reach down and touch your toes. Stretch as high as you can and lean side to side.
These exercises can be as light or as intense as you wish, increasing range of motion and reducing aches and pains.
2. Bodyweight Exercises
Once again, all you need for this activity is your body and a similar amount of space. Create your own routine based on which part of the body you’d prefer to work the most.
Practice planks, push-ups, arm circles and handstands if you’re able to strengthen your arms. And do crunches, leg raises or mountain climbers to fire up your core.
Lunges, high knees, squat jumps and calf raises are good for your legs and work in a bit of cardio as well.
Jumping jacks, running in place and burpees are all effective ways to add cardio to your routine. As certified personal trainer Andy Nieradko once said:
“Exercise is really anything that gets your heart rate elevated… It’s doing a little work to open up those channels.”
With that in mind, spread out cardio throughout the day. It’s cumulative. If you want to do 10 minutes of exercise in the morning and five minutes here or there, it’ll add up throughout the day and have you feeling better.
You don’t have to set aside a significant amount of time to see results.
4. Lifting Anything Heavy
If you’d like to add more resistance to your exercise, feel free to add in weights. What? You didn’t bring dumbbells with you? No problem. There are many different items you likely did bring along that are just as effective.
Lift heavy parcels, cans of food or even large rocks from outside to work your arms. Or, use survival gear like a paracord or sling as a jump rope. You can even utilize chairs, benches or logs to practice tricep dips, oblique twists or seated press-ups.
5. Wall Workouts
If your shelter happens to have a stable wall, you can use it to stay active by incorporating it into your exercise routine. Wall sits, push-ups and pikes are all excellent exercises to practice against a wall.
You can also use a tree in place of a wall. It just might not be as comfortable. Whatever you choose, use the wall to stretch your calves or arms or relieve back pain with your legs vertically up the wall.
Conclusion: Do What You Can
Exercising daily will help you stay active, get better sleep, improve your mood and boost your energy, all of which are extremely beneficial in an outdoor environment.
Even if you are cooped up in a survival shelter with limited resources and space, you can reap the benefits of exercise if you make staying active a priority.
At the risk of sounding cliché, where there’s a will, there’s a way. If you want to build strength, flexibility and stamina in a confined area, you’ll find a way to do it.
That being said, the next time you trek into the wilderness and pitch your shelter, look for ways to maximize your space and make room for exercise.
You may discover nature to be the ultimate playground as you use your imagination to create new methods and utilize new tools to stay active and healthy.
Do you have any survival shelter tips? Let us know in the comments below.