We all know that rule number one is cardio, right? Rather negates the whole quest for Twinkies, but whatever. If you are unaware of this rule, you need to rent and watch the movie, Zombieland.
“Zombies lead a very active lifestyle. So should you.” In lieu of the zombie apocalypse, massive flu pandemic, economic and political collapse, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, whatever your preferred term, there will be daily physical challenges that we rarely, if ever, face in our lives now. Yeah, yeah, I know, you got the food and the bug-out-bag all ready to go, but are you able to lug your bug-out-bag for 15 or more miles? Can you run wearing all that gear while carrying your shotgun, AR, or AK, and side arm loaded? In my scenario, there really isn’t any down time to sit and leisurely play cards, or read a nice book. In my scenario, there is a lot of moving around; looking for supplies, food, other survivors, shelter, and so on. I want to make sure I’ll be able to keep up. If you run out juice, you become zombie bait, zombie dinner, or just left behind. No one wants to be the dead weight in the group. There are plenty of other people catching on to this as well. If you search the internet for survivalist fitness, you will find a plethora of zombie apocalypse, fit for surviving-type classes, and personal blogs. There is even a class in Illinois titled “Zombiefit.” There is also an app called “Zombies, Run” that has workout track logs and zombie apocalypse scenarios to help keep you motivated. I think we are on to something here.
Just think about it. During the zombie apocalypse, you will have to be able to walk, jog, and run for long distances; you will also have to have strong arms, and a strong back for climbing, shooting, building, and lifting. You will have to have your heart in good shape, stamina and endurance and ingenious thinking will all be top priorities to your survival. Charles Darwin called this natural selection; those who survive are “better adapted for immediate, local environment.” I was reading an article in Men’s Health.com about real world fitness survival. The author points out that just because one can bench press 300 pounds at the gym or look super hot in a bikini, doesn’t mean they could actually use those abilities in a real life survival situation. “Could it be that our treadmill-running, elliptical-gliding, well-oiled Cybex world has turned us into show dogs that can’t hold our own in the hunt?” (http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/fitness-survive-wild) Therefore, the point of survival fitness is not to look like an Abercrombie or Victoria’s Secret model, but be fit enough to hold your own.
The more fit we are, the better we feel, the longer we can last, and the more we can fight off disease and sickness. All of these are essential to our survival, not only during the apocalypse, but in our pre-apocalypse lives as well. It isn’t just for the young and able-bodied either. Everyone can be healthy. My elderly parents work out twice a day on a treadmill and if you have long-standing injuries, like me, you can ask your doctor what exercises will be best for you. I can’t lift weights from off the floor and I can’t bend, but I can ride a bike, run, walk, jog, and swim.
Even if you workout seven days a week, you could probably do well to increase your stamina and endurance. Stamina is important, as it is the capability of sustaining prolonged stressful effort—like running from zombies. To increase your stamina, push your hardest at the end of your workout (laps, miles, whatever); this will help you increase your ability to perform physically under stress and fatigue. To increase your endurance, add length to each workout. In addition, you can do breathing exercises to increase your lung capacity, which aids in your endurance and stamina. It only takes five times a day for two minutes each time in breathing exercises to increase your lung capacity by up to 10 percent in 12 weeks.
Another way we can keep fit is to eat healthier. This might sound somewhat obvious, but during SHTF, our eating habits will change drastically. No more McDonalds, no more pizza, and our supply of canned/boxed foods will not last forever. We would be eating less meat, less processed foods, and less fried foods. If you get into the habit of eating fresh, seasonal vegetables, nuts, and berries, the better your chances of being able to adapt to the survival diet.
I’m not saying you need to be a Parkour Master to survive, but you will need to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without being winded. So now that you have read about it, get off the computer and go do something about. Take your bug-out-bag for a hike, or ride a bike around the neighborhood. Go lift some soup cans from your food supply and start working on that upper body strength. Thinking about it doesn’t count. Who wants to be zombie kibble? Not me! What’s your fitness goal?