Join the 2020 Prepper Health & Fitness Challenge

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Build a Better Pantry on a Budget online course

If you’re like a lot of folks, you may be vowing to get healthier in 2020.

There are a million diet and exercise plans out there and I certainly don’t claim to be an expert. But I thought we could do a little challenge together and work on health and fitness from a preparedness point of view. Every day this month, we’ll work on something related to our health, wellness, nutrition, or fitness. We’ll break this down into small things that anyone can incorporate into their day.

I’ll do my best to make this useful and accessible to people of all health and fitness levels and capabilities. Feel free to adapt any of my suggestions so that they work with your unique situation. And please share your adaptations – there might be other folks who want to participate but haven’t figured out a way to make the daily challenge work for them.

Happy New Year! If one of your goals this year is wellness-related, please join us in this prepper-centric health and fitness challenge.

2020 Prepper Health & Fitness Challenge: Day One

Today might just be the most difficult day of all. Today we’re going to figure out where we’re at right this moment. We’re going to do an assessment, and then we’re going to document our starting point.

Some of you may be discouraged when you do this assessment, but remember: this is a starting point, not an ending point. Hopefully, you will look back on this at the end of the month and see some results from your new habits.

Get yourself a notebook or start a document on your computer to journal this adventure!

What are your measurements?

  • Weight:
  • Chest measurement:
  • Waist measurement:
  • Hip measurement:
  • Biceps measurement:
  • Thigh measurement:

Everyone’s goals are different. You may need to lose weight or inches, or you might want to gain a few pounds or inches. You may be perfectly happy with your body. No pressure on any of these things – this is simply documenting where you are today.

I’m not recommending BMI calculators because the Body Mass Index doesn’t factor into account things like bone density and muscle mass. And really, for a lot of folks, it’s just a calculation that makes you feel bad.

Next, we’re going to do a few basic tests to see what we need to work on the most.

How strong is your core?

Try this core strength test. Honestly, very few people will pass this unless you have a job that is quite physical. But our goal is not perfection, it’s improvement. At the end of the month, we’re going to try this again.  So, perform the test and write down your results.

How is your upper body strength?

See how many push-ups you can do with good form. This video shows you how to do a push-up assessment. If you aren’t going to a gym, the no-equipment version starts at 1:48.  Remember, this is only an assessment. Note your results.

How flexible are you? Try the “sit and reach test.

Sit on the floor upright with your legs stretched out in front of you. This test is actually performed without shoes. You want to have 12 inches between your feet, and have a measuring tape in between your legs with the 15” mark in line with your heels. Now place your hands on top of one another, reach to see what number you can reach to! You get three trials to do this and your score is the highest of the three and remember to date it! (source)

How strong are your legs?  Try the squat test. (If you’re anything like me, your knees may snap, crackle, and pop like a bowl of Rice Krispies when you do this. If you have any pain in your joints, stop immediately.)

Using a chair with no arms, like a kitchen chair, stand in front of it with your feet shoulder-width apart and sit down without using your hands. Then stand back up, also without using your hands. Note how many times you can do this while keeping good form.

How is your endurance?

For this test, you can use a multitude of ways to check out your endurance.

  • Walking, either outdoors, at a large store or mall, or on a treadmill
  • Running

You can use an app on your phone or a pedometer like a Fitbit to note your distance. Simply walk or run for a period of time (you decide that based on your current health) and document how far you went in that amount of time. When we re-test, you will go for that same amount of time and see how far you went after working at it for a month.

Here are two other ways to document your endurance that involve taking your heart rate.


We’re going to do this challenge over in the forum too, so be sure to do the daily check-in there if you don’t want to do it here on so public a location. Here’s where the challenges get posted.

So how did you do? Were you surprised, either pleasantly or unpleasantly? What is the thing you need to work on the most?

We’re going to do a simple daily challenge every day this month and I’ll share resources to help you. Your feedback helps me to know what you need most.

Remember, this is about improvement, not competition. Start wherever you are. You aren’t trying out for the NFL – you are just adding some simple habits to your daily life so that you can be better prepared physically.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • I have a goal to lose 20-40 pounds by April. Old Critter and I have started back on our fitness plan which is cutting, splitting, and hauling wood. We have already cut back on our food consumption. I am not into taking measurements of my body, but I will monitor the weight and strength. Thanks for the added inspiration.

  • I need to improve my body or loose it. I am going to do intermittent fasting 16 no eat and an 8 hour window to eat. I am going to cut down then maybe cut out sugar I am going to start a walking program in my home (youtube during nap time I run an in home child care) I wt 194lbs I am 5’2″ 62 yrs. my goal is 5 lbs a month. My yr statement is do or die. which will lead to the better statement enjoy my life (more)

  • Please, when working towards your goals, seriously consider Intermittent Fasting (aka eating less often).

    It’s becoming more and more accepted by the medical mainstream, since the evidence is overwhelming. It works on your body’s own hormonal system (hunger, satiety, growth etc hormones). It gives you an energy boost and saves time. From a prepper perspective it trains you to tolerate an unreliable food supply situation.

    It did wonders for me.

  • My goal is to drop about 25-35 pounds this year. I weighed this morning at 191.6 lbs. I have an accountability group and friends pulling for me but my biggest challenge is my husband and boys not wanting to eat anything healthy. I workout 5-6 days a week and feel good about that but need to work on eating less and being consistent long term with eating less.

  • The scale says I am in great shape. However, I was in the hospital with asthma exacerbation/pneumonia the first week of December. Obviously I am not in great shape.
    I want to do this to expand lung power and have the stamina and endurance I had when I was 40 (I am 63 now.
    Thank you for this challenge.

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