Prepping Intensive: Module 7

Health & Fitness For Survival

[catlist name="Articles-Week 7"]

Some other materials

Weekly Challenge

The Health and Fitness Challenge

This week, we want you to take a good hard look at where you are at with regard to fitness. It can be difficult to take charge of everyone’s health and fitness (because you can’t exactly force someone to go for a run) but you can take responsibility of your own.

The Get-Home Challenge from Module 4, may have been a wake-up call for you, based on where you are right now. This week, we want to take that one step further.

Take a long, hard, realistic look at your personal level of fitness. You’re going to assess yourself and document this so you can see how much you need to improve.

  • Weigh yourself
  • Take measurements: chest, waist, hips, thigh, calf, and upper arm
  • Walk (or if you’re fit, run) one mile. How long did it take you? Note the route so that you can always take the same route on assessment day.
  • How many sit-ups or crunches can you do in 1 minute?
  • How many push-ups?

(For those with mobility issues, you may need to modify this assessment a little bit based on your abilities.) This is your baseline.  In one month, you’ll do this assessment again.

Next, we want you to make a plan to improve your fitness. No matter where you are, there’s always room for improvement, right?

  • Work in some cardio training 4-5 days per week. This can be walking, swimming, running, using in-home or gym equipment, hiking – the sky is the limit. But we all know it – we should be more active. If you are just starting out, begin with just 10 minutes of this activity.
  • Make a plan for 2-3 times weekly strength training. This can be at the gym or at home. Basic calisthenics cost nothing but can really help you become more fit.
  • Add in some flexibility. You can find some great yoga videos on YouTube. Add some gentle stretching to your day. Get the kiddos involved, too. Younger ones especially will love it.
  • Make family time more active. Instead of sitting down to watch a movie, do active things together. Play frisbee, go for a hike, go swimming, take a walk to the library instead of driving, go for a bike ride.

Use these suggestions to write out a specific plan for the month.

A very effective way to do this is to get a 1-month whiteboard and write your plan on the whiteboard. Then, get colored dry erase markers and assign a color to each type of activity: cardio, strength, flexibility, and family activities. When you accomplish one of these things, make a line through it with your colored markers. At the end of the month, you’ll have a rainbow to show you how much you’ve accomplished.

NOTE: This Health and Fitness Challenge is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We encourage you to consult a medical professional before beginning a weight loss or exercise program, especially if there are other health issues present.

Weekly To Do List


No-Cost Preps

  1. Are you still walking daily? Commit to spending 20 minutes per day (at the minimum) moving your body or lifting heavy things.
  2. Identify any simple health issues do your family members deal with that do not require a doctor’s supervision. Jot those down and then find at least 1 home remedy for each. Add the home remedies to your SPI binder.
  3. Download this Army First Aid manual. Print it out if you can.  (Alternatively, you can purchase it on Amazon for less than $15.)
  4. If you have children or grandchildren, do they know how to call 911 and what to say? This week, stage a drill in which you, the adult, are too sick or injured to get out of bed. Prior to the drill, rehearse how to dial 911 (for young children), and then what to say to the operator. In preparation for the arrival of emergency responders, children should know to put all pets in a back bedroom, outside in a fenced yard, or in their kennels. A night time emergency requires them to turn on both outside and inside lights, making it easier for the responders to find your home.

Low-Cost Preps

  1. Get extra hearing aid batteries, if applicable to your family.
  2. Make a list of the over-the-counter (OTC) medicines you normally use in a 3-month span. Add them to your To Buy list and plan on adding one package/bottle of each to your stash each month until you have at least a 3 month supply.
  3. Sign up for a First Aid and CPR class for yourself and as many other family members as possible. If you’ve already taken these classes within the past 3 years or so, find a Wilderness First Aid class near you. This will be more expensive but you’ll learn first aid techniques that assume the injured or sick person is miles from medical care. REI stores often hold these classes.
  4. How is your emergency medical library? It’s important to have hard copies of texts that can see you through a medical emergency when help is not available. Some good options are: Prepper’s Natural Medicine, The Survival Medicine Handbook,  and Emergency War Surgery: The Survivalist’s Medical Desk Reference.
  5. Put together some special supplies for family members who are under the weather. Colds, flus, and stomach ailments do not wait for convenient times to occur.  Include comforting supplies like canned soup, ginger ale, herbal tea, saltines, peppermint candies, and soft tissues. Also put back OTC decongestants, pain relievers, anti-nausea medication, and anti-diarrheal medication.

Investment Preps

  1. Schedule an annual physical for each person to get even more information about what concerns, if any, should be taken care of. Prioritize these.
  2. Does anyone in your family have a persistent medical issue that could be taken care of? If so, take steps to resolve dental issues, vision issues, etc.  A flare-up of these problems during an emergency can take a situation from bad to worse.
  3. Purchase duplicate glasses or other medical devices.

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