5 Reasons Why Fitness is a Necessary Part of Prepping

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

When people get into discussions about being prepared for disaster, the topic of fitness rarely enters the picture.  But if you think about it, if there were a major disaster or a collapse of some kind, it would be very hard to get things done if one were not in shape.

Let’s take a look at how being in shape can help with survival.

You might have to walk a lot

After Hurricane Harvey caused massive flooding in Houston, we were unable to drive out for several days.  We had to walk several blocks to buy a few items at the grocery store and carry them back home.    We saw people who had their entire house flooded carrying their belongings, or clearing out downed fences.   That was only a temporary situation but it showed me that in the aftermath of a disaster, a lot of physical labor might be involved.

If you had to walk out of the city carrying a bug out bag, how much weight can you carry?  A rule of thumb for backpacks:  no more than 20% of your body weight.  So for someone who weighs 150, that would be 30 lbs.  Walking in the heat with a 30 lb pack is no joke especially if you are not in shape.

One summer, we practiced carrying full backpacks to get in shape.  It was tough walking in the Houston heat and humidity at first but we eventually got used to it.  But even with practice, walking a few miles with a pack that is 20% of my weight, I found out quickly I had to lighten it up.

Water is heavy

One summer we tried being off-grid for a few days.  We stayed in a campground that had no water except what you brought with you.   Water is really heavy!  A gallon of water weighs roughly 8.33 lbs.  Staying for three days, at one gallon of water per day, each person would need to carry three gallons.  That’s 24 lbs total, just for water.

You might have to assist someone

In a disaster, you may need to help other people. Helping someone who is injured and unable to walk would require energy. Even carrying a child for a distance could be strenuous.

Run away from danger

If you had to get away from zombies or any kind of predator, you’d need to run fast and run far.  Without endurance, you would not get very far.  Ok, so zombies are not real, but predators are.  Your life could depend on putting distance between you and someone with ill intent.  In this regard, fitness would literally help you survive.

Prevent sickness

Consistent exercise can boost the immune system according to a study done by the University of Houston.  In a major disaster, there may be more chances of getting sick due to lack of hygiene, inability to seek medical care, intense stress and lack of nutritious food.  People who exercise regularly are less likely to get sick.

Get started today

If you have not exercised in a long time, get your annual physical checkup and ask your doctor about starting a fitness program.  It’ll be good for your health and your preparedness plan as well.


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  1. One of two reasons I refuse to be called a Prepper is because of this very subject.
    You will have to fight. You will have to struggle. It will be tough and you ain’t tough if you not in shape because your too weak in the mind to be tough.
    Washboard abs and all that jazz isn’t what’s required either. Leave the showboating to others.
    It’s simple. Strive to be the best you that you can be.

    1. Hi Matt in Oklahoma, That is the truth, in the shtf situation you may have to fight for your life, and being in the best physical condition will increase chances of survival. Whether there is muscle definition, 6 pack abs or not, strength and endurance will count. All readers are welcome, (prepper/non-prepper-there is no one term that defines everyone) just want to encourage everyone to be prepared. I appreciate the comment.

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