Physical fitness and diet have exploded in this nation and there are a million and one ways that you can go now. In fact, I dare say it has all become a bit religious. This could be do to the fact that we are still the most obese nation in the world and the youth are suffering most from that. It could also have a lot to do with the fact that we have cameras in our pockets all the time and we are desperate for attention. Of course, when you take the sardonic attitude away, most people just wanna live better and feel better.
Because of the many options out there I think that you have to work out with a purpose. You need to choose fitness that fits your lifestyle. I was brought to this conclusion by the, tough as nails, MMA fighters who take their diet and fitness as a path towards success. For a long time fighters thought that they should train like bodybuilders or Olympic lifters and figure out how to lift the most weight.
Some great trainers began to echo something that made great sense.
“Why do exercises that don’t help you fight better?”
I think this is a sentiment that can be used in the survival and shooting world. We can identify things that we do in our life and train for them.
Do you spend a lot of time hiking and carrying heavy packs? Then, why all the bicep curls?
To me fitness for survival requires that you do two things in particular. Workout the muscles and movements that will make you more functional in things like hiking, fishing, hunting. The second is that you can find ways to digest survival content while you exercise. This will maximize the things you can learn while you are working out. You can both increase your skill set and your capacity to carry out the skill at the same time.
Here are a list of my favorite survival fitness opportunities.
- Running the Woods
Running in the woods is difficult and it also puts you around many naitve plants in your area. You can use this time to strengthen your legs and cardiovascular performance while also identifying trees that are medicinal and plants that are edible. Carry a small field guide with you to make this all possible.
- Heavy Hiking
Get your best pack on and pile it full of heavy things. Put all your metal and maybe even some rocks into that thing. Now simply go on a hike that has some hills. Think of it as a weighted pull up. When you do weighted pull ups it will increase the amount of max pull ups you can do. The same is true for hiking with weight. Add some headphones and a prepping or survival podcast and now you will be getting that dual flow of benefits.
- Axe Work
Chop wood. Chop it even if you don’t need it. You can sell it! Having a good axe and knowing how to use it is crucial to your survival. There are also so many incredible benefits to that wood chopping motion. If you split wood on a hot summer day you will activate the big powerful muscles of the back and shoulders as well as your core. You will also be learning a very important survival skill.