Survival Training and Memberships, Part 3: Fitness

As part of becoming a survivalist, I realized there are a couple things everyone can do to train for the worst and improve their odds.  So far, I’ve uncovered four categories: Defense, Medical, Fitness, and Research.  I’ll tell you about my experiences so far, and what I have planned for the near future.  This is Part 3, Fitness.

I make no secret about my current level of survival fitness.  I weigh almost 300 pounds, and in a survival or disaster situation, this would be a huge (pun intended) liability.  I made a really good attempt to lose weight a couple years ago, and I lost 45 pounds as a result.  But I made the mistake of running a really long race, and afterward I needed a week of recovery time.  That week turned into a years-long vacation that only ended a few weeks ago.

I’m starting my current fitness effort the same way I did back then, with two differences.  First, I’m approaching this from a survival point of view.  The faded glory of that one great accomplishment, the race, is long gone.  I even gained back all the weight I’d lost, plus five pounds.  The slap in the face is that at the end of the race, I was one of the last finishers and they’d run out of medals.  Must have been an omen.  The second difference is that I’m in this for the long haul (survival is a lifetime pursuit, heh), and won’t let my daily regimen get too difficult to maintain.

All that said, I’m basically starting the same – by walking.  My recent 8 mile survival hike was sort of a baseline, after just a couple weeks of elevated walking.  I wear a step counter (pedometer) at all times, and I know that without trying, I average only 1,500 steps a day.  I work a desk job, which doesn’t help.  I’ve ramped up to walking 3-4 times that much every day.

I started by looking at the opportunities that exist without even leaving my house.  I have a large yard, and if I mow it the good way (overlapping 50% on each pass) it takes an hour and a half.  If I split the front and back yards into separate mowing days, I get about 3,000 extra steps each of those days.  I’ve also tried to be more diligent about taking out the trash more often, getting the baby, and even cleaning.  Those chores add up.

Next, I’ve started walking more with my family.  I’m using the opportunity to impart some survivalist training to my young boys while we’re at it.  They’re learning to read simple maps of the neighborhood to tell me where we need to turn next to reach out destinations.  It’s fun, and quality time.

Finally, as a last resort, I insert solitary walking time into my day.  I’ve figured out I walk about 1,000 steps every 10 minutes.  It’s crazy, I can double my usual amount of steps in a day, simply by walking 15 minutes.  That’s why it’s so easy to find 30-45 minutes a day to squeeze in that extra walking, and average around 5,000 steps.

The goal is to eventually get to about 10,000 steps a day.  It’s a big effort, and last time around I ended up eventually jogging those workouts because you get your steps in faster, and it’s the natural evolution in fitness training.  I just need to keep the focus on survival training, and that means striving for longer distances (walking or jogging) instead of faster times.  It also means that no matter how much running I start to do, hiking will need to remain as a staple of my workouts.

I have a good mid-term goal in mind.  Last winter I finally went deer hunting with my dad, after years of not being able to coordinate schedules.  Last year was brutal – hours a day of trekking through the Nebraska Sandhills left me out of breath and almost unable to continue more than once.  I want to be able to put in a good 4-8 hours of hiking per day to get the most out of the trip.  I want to be able to track a trophy buck for miles without tiring.  The advantage of hunting mule deer is that they only run until danger is out of sight, so if you’re in good shape you can make multiple attempts to approach the same animal until you succeed.

I hope that one day I’ll be in good enough shape that the name Chubby Survivalist will seem like a misnomer to people who didn’t know me before.

3 Responses to “Survival Training and Memberships, Part 3: Fitness”

  1. Survival Training and Memberships, Part 4: Research « The Chubby Survivalist Says:

    […] The Chubby Survivalist Get Prepared. Get Fit. Get More Out of Life. « Survival Training and Memberships, Part 3: Fitness […]

  2. Training and Memberships, Part 2: Medical Skills « The Chubby Survivalist Says:

    […] the worst and improve their odds.  So far, I’ve uncovered four categories: Defense, Medical, Fitness, and Research.  I’ll tell you about my experiences so far, and what I have planned for the […]

  3. Survival Training and Memberships, Part 1: Defense « The Chubby Survivalist Says:

    […] the worst and improve their odds.  So far, I’ve uncovered four categories: Defense, Medical, Fitness, and Research.  I’ll tell you about my experiences so far, and what I have planned for the […]

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