2020 Prepper Health and Fitness Challenge: Day 4
by Daisy Luther
We’ve talked about drinking water before other beverages. We’ve measured and marked our starting points. Yesterday we figured out how much we normally move.
Today, I want you to increase that movement. How much you increase it will depend on a lot of things, particularly these:
- Your overall level of fitness
- Your motivation
- Your time
- Your mobility
We are focusing here on time, not speed or distance. We just want to spend more time on our feet or moving around under our own steam. Remember, just like drinking water, movement is a habit.
Walking with purpose
One of the best ways I’ve found to do this is to walk with a purpose in mind. For example, if you usually take a four-wheeler to the mailbox at the end of your long driveway, make it your new habit to walk there. If you live in town, think of a spot you’d enjoy visiting on a regular basis.
If you’re a parent, include the kiddos on a walk to the park. Walk the kids to school or the bus stop instead of driving them. Walk to the corner store instead of getting in the car and driving for a gallon of milk. Look for the most distant parking space at the store instead of the closest one.
How I’ve increased movement
In fact, all errands require me to walk in the little seaside town where I am right now. It’s mostly a pedestrian area and there aren’t lots of cabs at this time of year.
I am staying in an apartment up a steep hill. So each day, I get out there to enjoy the sun and the sea (not getting in – it’s far too cold for that – just breathing in the salt air). I walk down the hill and choose which direction I want to go that day based on the errands I must run. If I need food, I turn right at the bottom of the hill. If I need services, like a hair cut, or household goods, like laundry soap, I turn left.
On my very simplest days when it is straight to the food store, I walk a mile total, down a hill then back up with a loaded backpack.
But most days, I walk for 3-4 miles because I so enjoy the scenery.
What I mean to say by this is not that you should visit Europe for a few months. It’s that even when you start off barely able to get up a hill without gasping for air, if you stick with it, you, too, will be moving for the sheer joy of it.
I know it’s January and the weather is not ideal for a walking program. But remember, this is a program for preppers. If you had to bug out, do you think you’d be waiting for a convenient occurrence of spring-like weather before doing so?
If you are extremely uncomfortable outdoors, unless it’s the middle of an actual blizzard or blowing rain, it is a matter of not having on the right gear for your weather. That’s a prepping problem you’ll want to address, too.
We’re all so busy that finding extra time to work out can seem like an impossibility. Remember that it doesn’t have to happen all at once. If your schedule doesn’t allow you an hour at a time, break it up into 5-10 minute increments. No, that isn’t ideal but our goal here is just moving. You can work on longer intervals later when you begin feeling some results from the added movement.
Modify these ideas so they work for you. If you aren’t very mobile, remember that every movement counts. If you use a wheelchair or a walker to get around, this movement counts too. Every move you make gets you a little bit more mobile.
Here are just a few suggestions to help you add some steps.
- Walk to the store and carry your things home.
- If you must drive, park further away instead of closer when you go to the store.
- Carry your groceries instead of putting them in the cart. (Not always realistic but sometimes it is.)
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Even if you only take one flight then take the elevator up the rest of the way, it’s a flight you wouldn’t normally have taken.
- If you watch television, use the commercials to get in some movement. Go put a load of clothing in the washing machine, see how many trips up and down the stairs you can make before the show comes back on, or do some kind of calisthenics.
- At work, get up and walk to someone’s office to pass on a message instead of simply sending an email. Bonus points if stairs are involved.
- Walk or bicycle for transportation when you can.
- Get up 30 minutes earlier and take a walk or do some form of exercise during the time you’d normally be sleeping.
Here’s an article about adding more physical activity to your day.
How much do you need to add?
This is highly personal. If you are starting from a completely sedentary lifestyle, adding too much activity at once is a recipe for disaster. You’ll be too sore to keep going and you risk the possibility of injury. If you are starting from zero, 5-10 minute intervals once or twice a day is a great beginning. As this becomes easier you can add another interval or two.
If you are not completely sedentary, you can add a bit more exercise. If your work is active, adding a 20-30 minute walk should be fairly easy. If you already walk 20-30 minutes, try doing that twice a day.
If you are already fairly fit, you can add something more challenging. You could move from walking to running, for example, or add some steep hills to your daily routine. You could also add a full day of activity on the weekends, like going hiking or skiing.
Remember – our goal here isn’t speed or distance – it’s time spent moving.
How will you increase your activity?
Yesterday you figured out how much activity you were already performing. Today, you’re going to think about adding activity. Be sure to track your movement so you can watch the satisfying increase in steps.
What are some ways you can increase your activity? If you are modifying the challenge, can you share your ideas? You might be able to help someone else modify it to meet their own needs.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and your goals.
About the Author
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.