Spend More Time And Resources On Physical Conditioning

If you are SERIOUS about prepping and preparedness, and if you have ANY suspicion that life as we know it might one day become ‘real’ SHTF, then perhaps THE most important thing you can do NOW is to spend more of your time and resources on physical conditioning.

A paragraph from a recent article reads as follows:

If I were out of shape, the chances of me making the trek were slim to none (a 30 mile bug-out through the mountains). That goes for any bug-out scenario in any environment. If your entire plan is based on driving out of a bad situation, you’re not prepared. Movement is life. If you can’t run, jump, climb, and fight fully loaded, start investing more time and resources on conditioning and less on the gear. (I can’t stress that point enough.)

While you or I might not face the prospect of that kind of grueling bug-out scenario, the thing is, you never really know what you might face if it all comes crashing down. Not only that, but your new way of life will very likely become much more physically demanding in an environment that has collapsed into chaos.


Does this mean that you need to condition yourself to become a fighting machine? Well, no, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. However becoming more physically fit now will not only benefit you now, but it will certainly benefit you if we were to enter such tumultuous times!

Many of us are not fit like we were in our younger days. I myself am now into my fifties (where does the time go!) and I have learned that I can no longer ‘abuse’ my body by eating poorly, etc.. and still ‘get away with it’ without consequences. Unfortunately, now, each and every peanut butter cookie that I may decide to eat will ‘stick’ ;)

The fact is that it takes LOTS more work and diligence (and willpower) to try and stay in reasonable or good physical condition. One tip is not to let it get too far away from you.

How then can you stay in some kind of good physical condition?

Two things…

1. It’s about what you eat & drink (calories in)

2. It’s about what you do to condition yourself and exercise (calories out).

If you have a weight problem then you must (at least) reduce your caloric intake. Eat less.

( How To Lose Weight Fast With This One Tip )

If you are physically out of shape then you must recondition yourself. Exercise.

It is work. It can be very hard work. It might take a long time. But it is what you must do to accomplish the goal.

( 5 Benefits Of Exercise And Physical Activity )

As far as advice or recommendations regarding losing weight, all I will say is that chances are you already know your weaknesses. So just RESIST.

As far as physical conditioning, there are TONS of things that you can do. It depends on your own abilities, your current physical condition, your interests, and the extent to which you would like to condition yourself. Try to make it fun.

You’re looking at two categories. Strength and Stamina. Strength is mostly related to your bodies ability to overcome or exert forces. Stamina has to do with HOW LONG you can do something. You want to train both ways.

It might include pushing weights. It might include cardio workouts – getting that heart rate up for awhile from walking, treadmill, riding a bike…

Try to find ways to exercise while having fun or making it fun
. For example I am writing this during the middle of winter. There’s lots of snow outside. So one thing that I often do is go out there with my pair of snowshoes and get a good cardio workout from walking around the fields and woods. I thoroughly enjoy it.

Or maybe simply just go out for a walk! Do it often, not just once in a while. If it’s a winter walk, just be careful – you might want to put on a pair of ice cleats just in case! When the conditions warrant it, Mrs.J and I use the following pair while we walk:

Related article: My Best Ice Cleats For Boot Traction On Slippery Snow And Ice

Maybe a treadmill works for you. That’s what Mrs.J does every morning while listening to her music. Maybe a rowing machine is better for you.

Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine

Swimming. Jogging. Stretching. Pull ups. Push ups. Jumping rope. Rowing a kayak. Playing ANY sport. ‘Moving’.

During the summer there’s especially no excuse. I get plenty of natural exercise just working around the property on various things and projects. Even cutting the grass is exercise. Everything that you do that involves MOVING is exercise.

The key is to MOVE. In today’s cushy world it is so easy to sit still. Many of today’s jobs don’t involve much movement or exercise. Be aware of that and make up for it. At home, get off the couch and go outside once in a while…

Okay I feel like I’m giving a pep talk. I suppose that I am. I’m writing this with regards to preparedness – to emphasize the importance of being as physically conditioned that you can be – before you spend too much of your time and resources just on gear. No problem doing both at the same time!, but just don’t forget that ‘if’ we enter collapse conditions, or ‘if’ we suffer a real SHTF, then it WILL be imperative to be in as good physical condition as you can be.

Use the Power of Exercise to Reverse Aging and Stay Strong, Fit

Good Old Fashioned Physical Labor For Better Health
Walking: Survival Fitness and Exercise


  1. The wife and I have enjoyed riding bicycles for many years. Fortunately the valley has many good bike trails. However due to health issues the wife was becoming less able to ride the hilly trails. So we recently purchased an electric assist bicycle for her, and now we have to tell her to slow down. I know it’s not ideal for all survival situations but it helps keep us both active.

  2. Basic strength training is a great way to increase your health. Programs like GreySkull LP and Strong Lifts are easy to follow, work major muscle groups as well as your core, and have free apps available to track progress. Of course it helps if you have some basic equipment at home, but any gym will have it as well.

    1. I work full time and then come home to then be full time mom. I always struggle to find the time and resources to work out. I did come across a youtube channel that has free workouts that range in length and many dont require any equipment. It is called HasFit for those looking for a free resource u can use at home. :)

  3. NRP…..Always good for a chuckle.

    Yes, my DH says I drive a desk and a steering wheel full time! And, he is right….but I just spent an entire WEEK on hands and knees removing old carpet and the adhesive beneath and tiling our kitchen floor 320 square feet of it! And, with some blood blisters at the BACK of my knees to show for it, I am otherwise OK. Surprised at how strong I remain.
    So, next room, please….. The entire interior will be painted and ALL the other carpet comes out for replacement with new. After 12 years of cows, dogs and bears, and LOTS of rug Doctor activity, it is ready to be replaced. I WILL get lots of exercise this month!

    1. @ pioneer woman

      Ok, this time I had to laugh a good one…..

      “After 12 years of cows, dogs and bears, and LOTS of rug Doctor activity, it is ready to be replaced”

      First thought that came to mind, why are you keeping Cows, Dogs, and Bears in the house on the carpet???? HAHAHAH

      But I totally understand what ya mean; hence I don’t have a drop of carpet in my home.

      And yes replacement of such is a LOT of work and exercise….


    2. pioneer woman
      Could understand the cows, dogs, but bears?? rolwl
      If my sweet pea were still alive, yes, I could of put her in the other living room. She was such a sweetie, but she was rather large weighing in at 1100lbs+. She listened and minded better than the dogs, she was a Hereford black bally, but thought she was the other species-puppy. :-)

      1. Our oldest cow, Iris, likes to sneak in and watch the television if a movie is playing with grandkids watching! She absolutely loves it LOL
        We have had more than one bear come to visit. There are camp grounds near by, so these are pretty human savvy. Funny, bright creatures. Gotta love em

  4. There are alot of workout videos on line that you can do at home just using your body weight to start. Try the 4 minute workout!! Killer!! If you are adventurous sign up for a mudrun or obstacle race. They are a blast and are a total body work out!! Every age group and level are welcome and everyone helps each other!! Movement is life!!

  5. Physical fitness changes definition, for some, as decades add up. What I considered fit in my 20s and 30s changed in my 40s. Primarily driven by wear and tear of sports and other activities starting at age 5. Baseball to softball, football, shooting club competitions, basketball, racquet ball, tennis, biking (30 mile round trips,) cross country skiing, canoeing, snow shoeing, east coast mountain hiking, four season hunting, trapping (boat busting ice to get to the traps), water skiing, drag racing (not technically a physical sport but it does get the cardio going on occasion).

    All of the above dropped off due to shoulder dislocation, knee ligament tearing/dislocation, ankle breaking, blowing a neck disc and then the lower back. At the early 40s I drew the conclusion that’s enough pain, need to change since the body could not do it any more. The competitive drive still exists.

    So, I respect folks that can keep highly active in the 60s, 70s and beyond. I used most of my rocket fuel early and am using the trim thrusters fuel “wisely” now moving towards 66. I can cut, split and haul wood, but I carry 3 pieces not 6 or 8, pace and not race to do the job.

    I’m fortunate to be reasonably healthy aside from mechanical/structural wear, you reap what you sow. Like an old car, it takes a bit to get running smoothly, but once it happens I can roll along, just don’t stop or you may not get rolling again that day.

    For SHTF: At 65, wide awake, focused and tuned in to the changing societal framework, leveraging experience and the deep mind to ignore the noise, ok shape for the age and legacy injuries, continue to practice DADA, SA color levels and preventative problem solving methods, staying fluid with all the tools needed.

    Keeping where I’m currently at is a win, improving could be done but the risk that physically something else goes “sprong” unexpectedly is not an option.

    1. At 46, I am definitely starting to feel the wear and tear of my active lifestyle. Yes, I am starting to slow down. Sometimes I still feel like I am in my 20’s. Then I go do things with a few twenty-somethings, and it really sinks in.

      1. Yup, doing fun stuff (physical sports where one takes some risk)

        Late teens/20s = invincible, that didn’t hurt and no I’m not tired
        30s = Ow, that hurt, but let’s do it again
        40s = I can do that….I shouldn’t have done that
        50s = I’ve done that before, thanks, no interest in doing it again
        60s = I’ve seen people do that, not the brightest thing, I know, cuz back in the day I….

        1. Grey and others, I can relate to your chart. During my 20’s 7 mile runs no problem, leg pressing 550 pounds at 10 reps no problem, Jumping from airplanes while in motion at 800 feet with field pack whoopee. Today at 67 I can barely walk up and down the steps. VA says no cartilage in my knees they are bone on bone. Oh, to be 20 again. VA says if I lose 150 pounds more they will give me new knees. So now I am going to the gym 5 days a week and see 2 different physical therapists as a prep for when I get my new knees so recovery won’t be too bad.

        2. OldAlaskan

          I have not had “new knees”, but am relating only from what I have heard from others, happened to read articles on such, etc…(but have heard / known quite a few who had this done)

          the majority of these do not result in lasting improvement/elimination from pain….I have now read several articles in past year, which says new studies show, most do not have lasting improvement/pain relief

          the biggest predictor of those who will have lasting good effect/lasting pain relief, is “how many of these procedures has your surgeon done SUCCESSFULLY”…(and by these procedures I mean the exact procedure you are considering…When it comes to knees, it appears there are many many techniques/procedures/etc, mostly for similar problems)

          another thing which folks I have known (have not read this in studies, this is just folks I have known), which seems to vastly improve the odds of success in this surgery

          –several months of “deep water walking exercise”…both before and after surgery..before to condition all muscles for couple months/after to maintain and train the muscles

          if you are not familiar, deep water walking is exercises in a deep (diving?) pool, you wear a life belt around your middle, and go through a series of leg (and other) exercises. For about an hour, if I recall.

          losing weight is great for many reason, of course, but you mention you are going hard at it in the gym etc…please be careful not stress the joints or other injuries may limit you too…

  6. There’s folks who do physical work and are conditioned and folks who get their ‘physical work’ artificially at a gym. The majority of Americans don’t do physical work and that’s why gyms became popular. Years ago I thought I’d give a gym a try because my mom really enjoyed her strength training workouts. Egads…the boredom and artificiality was beyond belief. It’s not for me.

    I’ve always been an active person and like being outside. I’m 63 and I still garden quite a bit. I also enjoy fly fishing, whitewater kayaking, and I love riding and working with my horse. Around here, the daily grind includes lifting bales of hay — you do that when you have large animals. Weekly, the workout includes toting 50 pound bags of some kind of critter feed, straw bales, and big bales of pine chips after I clean out the barn. In warm weather, there are garden chores. I get a workout just around here. And with acreage, when I walk from here or there, it’s not 5 feet, it’s more like 400 yards or so. If I go into the woods, it’s a 1/2 mile walk or thereabouts.

    So as long as I keep my lifestyle, I don’t need a gym. Sometimes I get to enjoy one of my fun sports and can kick up my heels. Ironically, kayaking and riding use many of the same muscle groups, although kayaking builds better shoulder/arm muscles.

    Many folks I know are sedentary and are overweight. If they got up and got out, they’d be in better shape and would lose a few pounds. They don’t need to join a gym, they can walk or hike while enjoying the outdoors. Most farmers I know aren’t overweight because they get a farmer’s workout. And there is no time to sit in front of the boob-tube with a bag of junk food. With farm chores to do every day, who wants to go to a gym? That’s nutty.

  7. I saw footage of people running from a shooter at an airport recently. It struck me that there was a short concrete wall to jump over that would provide a modicum of safety and at the very least would put a person out of the shooter’s view, but by the way some people were moving, I knew they couldn’t jump it to save themselves. So I will go outside in a few minutes back to the back of the property and jump a few logs!

    Thanks for the inspiration, Ken!

      1. Thanks! Nothing was twisted, except DH’s arm. He thought we were taking the Gator! I jumped a few logs, then thought how it would be more fun if I were riding my horse over them.

  8. I also had excuses I give to myself…one is dang, the dogs have so much hair on the floor so I can’t do sit ups…but after I vacuum the floor, exercise eludes me. I got caught, just thinking this today after I cleaned the floor, then I bent over to pick up a hairball and got a rib cramp. I have put it off for so long.

    Amazing how I was a health exercise instructor with 1500 exercises every day, rode MX – climbed mountains and jumped off cliffs with my bike that put me in the best shape of my life … to recently laying around exercising my hand, putting chips in my mouth. I would walk to my mailbox except on Sundays, clean house, pick up after the dogs, but all that is not the right type of exercise. I know better. I should jog to my mailbox and clean like a Tasmanian Devil.

    I can tell you exercise that makes you pant like a dog for 20 minutes a day is most heart healthy and beneficial. I did that today but it gave me a hankering to scratch my ears.

  9. I am now in my 50’s and I am considered spry and active at work. I have to remind my coworkers and supervisors that I am now a senior citizen. I am not in the shape I was in my 20’s though I was working Wildland Fire back then. (shovel work interspersed with long walks with a backpack.)

    I have several motivations for staying and getting in shape: Family history of vascular disease. If I do not work out and watch my diet, I have risk of stroke and heart attack. I recently dropped 7 lbs and my blood pressure is border line high. I love my wife and my present life which means I want to be around for them for a long time.

    Lastly, I work in a hospital so I see the results of people who use their body as a playground and testing area for recreational pharmaceuticals. It does not lead to aging gracefully or well. I eat my vegetables, moderate my intake of meat and alcohol and try to get out with a backpack, shovel or mower if the grass is tall and dry. I prefer the garden over the gym any day of the year.

    1. Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies and a tall glass of cold milk. One of my weaknesses ;)

      Haven’t had any in quite some time though (sounds like an excuse to have some?)


      1. @ Ken

        Just because you MAKE me buy all your preparer suggestions…. HAHAHA

        1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
        1 cup white sugar
        1 cup Butter, Real Butter
        1 cup creamy peanut butter
        1⁄2 teaspoon salt
        2 large eggs
        1 teaspoon vanilla
        2 teaspoons baking soda
        2 1/4 cups sifted flour

        Cream together the sugars, butter, peanut butter.
        Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well.
        Sift the dry ingredients together and add gradually add until blended well.
        Roll into tablespoon size balls.
        Place on cookie sheets- do not mash with fork.
        Bake at 350° oven for 11-13 minutes.

        Serve with a minimum 1-Cup cold COLD whole milk mixed with 1-Cup COLD Whipping Cream.

        Gata LOVE it here :-)

        1. OMG. That looks good.

          Okay, to deter that delicious recipe, here are the total calories for the ‘butters’ and flour…

          5,766 calories

          An average adult on a treadmill going 3.5 mph (pretty quick and zippy) will burn about 350 calories in an hour. So those cookies will cost 16.5 hours on a treadmill or equivalent time walking anywhere at a very brisk rate!

          Say it aint so! Darn…

        2. Ok, since “the Boss” even went off the subject rails and in the ditch, out of the ditch and into the woods..my youngest daughter worked in a bakery for a while, I always “suggest” she makes peanut butter cookies when we visit. If they gave out Olympic medals for garfing down peanut butter cookies I would make the final heat, may not win but would give it my all. It’s one weakness I can live with.

      2. heck, Last week I polished off a batch of home made brownies in 1 day. The recipe does make a smaller batch than a box from the store though. (wink)

        1. Tis past week I made a batch of cream cheese brownies using a new recipe. They were terrible. I had to eat my mistake.

  10. One of the best things about exercise/outdoor recreation/gardening, etc., is what it does for the mind and spirit. It’s pretty hard to be in a bad mood or stressed about the state of the world when being physically active and present in nature. And yes, it’s good for the body too. I am not one who will make a point of “exercising” but will make a point of walking to the post office instead of driving and (of course) skiing as much as possible.?

    1. My big weakness is chocolate creme brulee. And yes, I can hear it in the fridge whispering “Resistance is futile.” Might need to go for a bike ride this afternoon…

  11. And when you make that connection in your mind between how quick and easy it is to consume say 300 calories (or more!) in a snack compared to the equivalent exercise time to burn off 300 calories, it ‘should’ help deter you…

    If you have a treadmill with a calorie counter, you will know what I mean.

  12. I thought I was doing quite well with exercise and conditioning until last week. A simple tweek in my back did me in. After I did it, I laid down on the couch to stretch it out and give my back a rest. When I woke up two hours later, I could not move. I was dying for a drink of water which was less than 5 feet away from me and for 20 minutes I struggled to sit up so I could reach it. It was so painful, I just couldn’t do it. I had to call my DS to come upstairs and help me up off of the couch.

    DH was asleep in bed at the other end of the house and would not have heard me. While laying there mulling over my options, I realized how serious this could be in a SHTF scenario.

    So now I have an appointment with a Doctor so he can send me to a physical therapist. The people in the emergency room were very helpful with all the options. I was told that even a chiropractor can straighten it out quite fast. Then I would be good until the next time. I decided to opt for the therapist as they will give me exercises to strengthen my lower back and abdominal muscles which in turn can help support my back. I do have degenerative bone disease in my lower back, so I have made this my top priority. I don’t care how strong your arms and legs are, they are useless when your back goes out. A herniated disk is right up there with childbirth. I don’t care to repeat either.

    It just goes to show you how things can change in the blink of an eye.

    1. It’s all about the core. A good therapist can give you some great core strengthening exercises. Pilates is really good for that, too.

    2. Chiropractor? Hah! Fake medicine (or so I always thought) Then I had the experience. Sailing with a friend and as we were coming home we ran aground. This was on his 36 ft. boat and if we didn’t get unstuck we were going to be there until the next high tide. I had been lying down in the cabin because my back had been very painful. Anyway he jumped into his Zodiac dinghy with the 30 horse Suzuki on the back to try pushing the bow towards deep water. My job was to pull the boom into the wind, doing so would cause more pressure on the sail which would heel us over and hopefully lift the keel clear of the mud. I’m straining to pull the boom into the wind. My back is screaming in agony and something went “pop”. The pain ceased completely. I had just accidentally self manipulated my spine. No more pain and we floating towards the channel. So it has revised my view of chiropractors and it could be worthwhile seeing one. As a rule they’re a lot more affordable than ER visits.

  13. Actually, this morning I reached my first exercise goal of the year – ran just over 4 miles. Next goal: 5 miles. Ultimate goal: 6 miles. Not bad for this 62 year-old lady, eh?

    On a more serious note, went outside last night at dusk to lock up the chickens and for the first time since living here on our homestead noticed chemtrails in the sky. Lots of them. Some were white in color and some dark grey in color. CLassic grid pattern. weird. I never used to believe in that stuff. I do now.

    Blessings to all.

  14. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I felt out of shape last fall, so I started walking/hiking on a regular basis in November. This is something I’ve kept up since then. I now walk/hike 15–20 miles every week, usually in the evenings. Results so far: better sleep, better appetite, better waistline. And a general sense of well being that I can’t describe. I’ve also noticed I solve a lot of problems (private and professional) while out in the fresh air.

    1. @Viking, quote, “I’ve also noticed I solve a lot of problems (private and professional) while out in the fresh air.”

      That is so true. It works for me all the time… Quite interesting side effect while out walking, just being outdoors. Maybe it’s the fresh air. Maybe it’s a primal instinct. Maybe it’s the extra blood flow through the brain. But it works ;)

  15. I do Bowflex 3 days a week,much easier on my 58 year old body than free weights. Plus everyday, I ruck for an hour with a 30 pound weight vest. Keeps me fit enough!

  16. For those who can, a rebounder(mini trampoline)is a great cardiovascular workout, plus much more. google benefits of rebounder and come up w/tons of info. wellnessmama.com just one quick example. A 190 lb. person would need to bounce just 11.532 hrs. in order to burn off 5,766 calories :) NASA research indicates that the rebounder can be twice as effective as a treadmill! You can bounce, jog, and do jumping jacks on it. They often come with a workout DVD, straps for upper workout, and a digital meter for keeping track of how many peanut butter cookies you burn off :) One thing that I have not tried, but I understand is good for strengthening the core is a “slackline”. Might want to have a little assistance, especially if there`s a chance that you could say “I can do that…I shouldn`t have done that”.

  17. I began CrossFit 8 years ago at age 60. I’ve never been in such good shape. Also I used to have terrible lower back problems but not since I started CrossFit. Lifting weights has helped me tremendously. It enables me to do the things I enjoy – gardening, hiking, etc. it’s a good feeling when I’m at the feed store and a guy asks if I need help with a 50 pound bag of chicken feed. Nope, as I throw it in the cart. Hope to keep doing CrossFit as long as I’m able.

  18. Dr Pepper is my weakness. I love the stuff. If I stay off it for awhile, I am good. One sip of the sweet, heavenly stuff and I want it all the time. Yum. I was doing good for awhile. Got sick, then fell. But now I am better and have no excuse. I have got to start walking again. But those cookies………..dang you NRP!!!

    1. @ Texasgirl


      That recipe was just a hint of the wonderfulness involved with a nice cold glass of moo, a warm fire, a soft couch, couple of pillows, snowing outside, a good dog at the feet, and of course COOKIES!!!! HAHAHAHAHA

      NRP :-) :-)

  19. @NRP you do know I will have to make those cookies now. Resistance is futile. And I will have 3 dogs in my lap, at the feet, hahaha cute….. :)

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