Survival Fitness and Physical Activity

Survival fitness. It’s so very important in the big picture of prepping and preparedness. One’s own body and health should be a primary concern.

Become Physically Fit To The Extent Possible

You might be prepared with ‘survival’ supplies for yourself and your family. But do you have the fitness, strength and stamina to withstand the rigors of a potentially physically demanding period of time?

Age has its way of slowing us down. I can attest to that! But you can fight it if you choose to. Sure it’s much easier for young and middle aged people to become and/or remain physically fit to a reasonable extent. But with that said, have you looked around lately at the quite apparent lack of physical fitness in our society, including young and middle aged?

Can you walk a mile? Several miles? (or more)?

Are you physically fit enough to work all day in a manner that requires manual labor?

Do you have any idea how much more physically difficult your life might become while surviving after a major collapse?

Get out and walk! Move your body!

Here’s one thing you can do to improve your survival fitness: Walk!

We Are Very Overweight as a Society

Watch and observe others while out in public places. It is evident that there are many (the majority?) who appear to be overweight and ‘out of shape’.

While not being judgmental (just observing), these same people will have great difficulty in a world tipped upside-down where things don’t come so easily.

[ Read: How To Lose Weight Fast With This One Tip ]

We do enjoy the creature comforts of our modern world. One unfortunate side effect is that we as a modern society are not getting anywhere near the exercise and physical activity that we need to stay in shape.

As a result of eating less nutritious food (junk food) coupled with living the lifestyle of a ‘couch potato’, we have become fat, spoiled, and out of shape.

The Physical Work in a Post Collapse Society

The demands will be more physically challenging.

To the extreme, you might be entirely reliant upon yourself and your group. Even at a minimum there will be substantial issues to deal with.

For those who are into preparedness, it will do you well to consider your circumstances should you need to become ‘really’ self-reliant and/or self-sufficient (independently or within a group).

If you cannot do difficult labor today because you’re overweight and out of shape, you will not be able to do it post-collapse if you need to.

What to do?

Walk, Exercise, Move your body for Survival Fitness

Just move. Stop sitting so long. Walk.

Walking is perhaps the best simplest single thing you can do to improve yourself in this regard.

No need to run or jog – just walk. It gets the blood flowing.

Walking burns calories and will help manage your weight.

It strengthens your body and improves stamina.

Walking improves your mood.

It helps to focus your mind.

It can lower your blood pressure over time.

Walking is said to lower your ‘bad’ cholesterol while raising your ‘good’ cholesterol.

It could reduce risk of diabetes, and will generally make you stronger and more fit.

Brisk Walking

All it takes to reap these benefits is a routine of brisk walking.

Research shows (Mayo Clinic) that regular, brisk walking can also reduce the risk of heart attack by the same amount as more vigorous exercise, such as jogging.

Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that can ease you into a higher level of fitness and health.

Walking is a form of exercise accessible to just about everybody. It’s safe, simple and doesn’t require practice. And the health benefits are many.

Plus, it’s great to get outside and LOOK AROUND. There’s a whole different perspective of one’s surroundings when walking through them.

So, don’t ignore your ‘survival fitness’, it’s important!

I do practice what I preach in this regard…

Mrs.J and I walk (almost) every day in the morning. About 2 miles, depending. If the weather is bad, she’ll get on the treadmill (I just take the day off – haha). We’ll walk our road during the winter too – unless and until the temperature becomes ridiculously cold (back to the treadmill). Once you push yourself to get out the door and start, it is invigorating. Helps the mind too.

We also exercise (almost) every day using weights and/or ‘the machine’. Again, once you get started, it feels good. That’s your body telling you it’s a good thing…

Then we go about our day – which may include other occasional laborious chores around the homestead. It all adds up to doing what we can to be reasonably fit to the extent our body lets us. Survival fitness.

[ Read:

Good Old Fashioned Physical Labor For Better Health

5 Benefits Of Exercise And Physical Activity

Spend More Time on Physical Conditioning


  1. “Age has its way of slowing us down“

    You said it there KJ, i just feel tired, doesnt go away,

    1. Kula,
      we just have to pace ourselves. we can’t rip and run like we use to. my mind says i’m 25 but my body says “are you crazy”.
      it’s great to stay active but we have to listen to our body, that’s what pain is for. whoa, stop and slow down before you make it worse.
      it’s good to get old, but it’s bad to get worn out. it just comes with the territory. any tool will wear out one day. )

      1. Yep, my job can be rough too, been doing a lot of welding. Rough weather too,

    2. Kula, last time i got ..”the tired that would not go away”, had severe anemia. might want to get a set of labs for a baseline. Some men get too much iron- same symptoms.

    3. Kulafarmer
      You need to listen to TOJS.!! I’ve suffered with anemia for two years now. It is nothing to fool around with, IT CAN KILL YOU.!!!
      Just have a simple blood test to find out, PLEASE.!! Check also your B12. Vitamin K needs B12 to help produce red blood cells.

      It’s not that hard to correct, as long as you don’t let in get chronic.

  2. This is sooo important!! If you can’t move how ya gonna survive!?? There are many workouts on YouTube you can do. One of my favorite is the 4 minute workout. I lasted about 2 minutes the first time!! I also started doing 50 pushups and 50 sit-ups a day!! Started with 5 groups of 10 through the day and now do 4 sets of 25 through the day!! So I’m improving!! Am adding squats now as they say the legs are the first to go!!
    I also do a 15 minute stretch routine to start my day and get these old bones moving!,
    Just get started!!

    1. @Sunshine boy – absolutely agree re working throughout the day. After heart surgery (repair of congenitally misformed mitral valve) I was so weak I could do virtually nothing. I had gone from skiing, jogging, being very active to a couch potato. But decided I would NOT be consigned to that fate. My first excercises I did, like you, 2 minutes. I thought to myself – how pathetic – 2 minutes ??? but first four times a day to ultimately once a hour during waking hours I was able to get exercise. I had to do it slowly allowing my heart to heal, so it was good that I took a reasonable course. I watched my friends sink into inactivity and become incapable for the lack of exercise. And walking is the best, like Ken says! :)

  3. “You might be prepared with ‘survival’ supplies for yourself and your family. But do you have the fitness, strength and stamina to withstand the rigors of a potentially physically demanding period of time.”
    This statement is spot-on. Consider self-defense. Drawing a gun from concealment is only the first step in protecting yourself and maybe your loved one(s). You must acquire the target and point then shoot. But you may also need to back peddle, or move side to side, or crouch, or take cover behind a barrier. Your ability to MOVE quickly while armed is dependent on your fitness level. Many tactical classes start by jogging around the facility several times and then immediately going through various shooting drills while your adrenaline is pumping. Being able to defend (shoot) when fatigued is an absolute necessity.
    Walking is a great exercise. Jogging is even better. Lifting light weights or working with your hands and arms around the yard or house keeps your upper body fit. And don’t forget diet. You are what you eat.
    The pandemic is only the beginning of what is to come. Stay fit. Stay alive.

  4. Walking works. Gardening will help too. Moving, bending, pulling, hoe, shovel, tiller, etc. You can make the “exercise” productive. You bet I’m worn out after a little effort. I do know I feel much better at 6’5″ and 240 than 265. After a shtf, there will be no options. Get rrrr done. I often purposely gather wild lettuce from a plant further away. It is good to have it growing right here though. The old dog loves to run while I walk. She knows where the various plants are. She waits patiently for me to finally get there. It’s a choice. It would be very easy to take the old golf cart or the jeep. A habit I try to avoid.

  5. Started jogging and biking again after taking a year off. First mile was not anything to brag about, but I needed a base line to see how bad shape I was in. 25 push up every morning and 15 minutes of yoga for my back. I just turned 58 and I see to many seniors just watch TV and do nothing and before you know they are having health problems and it goes down from there. I have 2 family members doing this now. I tried to talk to them, but I am the youngest, so I don’t know anything. lol

  6. Plainsmedic,
    Sound advice. I walk 2 miles with the pup each day (she does twice that), plus building and farming, keeps me going at 67. Been trying to get the DW to join me walking. Truth is I love walking my ground. I see something new everyday. New plants, animals, new rocks seem to pop up daily. All gifts from God for us to enjoy. As the world gets crazier, and the financial world goes upside-down, we gotta take time and find what peace we can where we can, all by the grace of God.

    1. Amen to that Minerjim….Enjoy your walk with your pup today :)
      Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth… Matt. 5:5

    2. Minerjim, I’m a year behind you and couldn’t agree more, my daily walk with the dogs of different parts of the property are often the highlight of the day. Between clearing my head, planning projects, enjoying the dogs’ excitement and simply taking in all the wonders I’m in a better place. The exercise is a bonus!

      Arch Stanton; excellent input on getting the heart rate up once in a while when shooting. Really changes the dynamic. Even push ups or jumping jacks can do the trick.

      Great article Ken.

  7. Don’t forget even simple stretching exercises can help keep you fit. May help prevent an injury.

    1. Isometrics done consistently build strength. as does Deep regulated breathing. Knees and hips say No to squatting and jumping around.. those days are over…. running , briefly as long as can outrun the last one in line the bob cat or lynx won’t get Me.

  8. I walk a lot at work and I cut my own grass rather than hire a gardening service. Many of my older neighbors have gardening services. My lawn does not look as nice as theirs but my garden and lawns are free of chemicals. We have had a very wet spring and start to summer here. One of my simple pleasures is to sit on my porch and watch the birds come back to the fountain and the feeders in the yard. They are especially active after I finish mowing the grass. Several feeders are set up outside a window so the cats have their own entertainment center. My cats are couch potatoes.

  9. Everyday–first thing in the morning I ride my exercise bike (11miles in about 45 min.)

    Due to my age and recent back surgery I can’t do the walking anymore.

    I did manage to lose 58 lbs over the past year and a half. And keep it off !!!

    My Dr says if Americans would just do some kind of exercise for 30 to 40 minutes a day we wouldn’t have the diabetes and obesity problems we have today.

    So, prep your soul and your body for what’s to come.

    1. I walk quit a bit because I like it and I have an active dog. I’m not fast! Go fast = fall on face. but still get 4 -5 miles a day. I put a ‘track walker’ app on the phone and it’s kinda fun to keep track. I do not keep track around the house -only out on walks.

  10. work out in the morning. go through your day tiered and learn to raise your energy. working out at night and going to sleep isnt ideal.

    walking in mid day when it is hot is like working outside. its a lot harder than you think.

    if you can, workout with simple lifts, deadlift, farmers walk, pull ups. its a lot closer to work than a pulley machine

  11. I have been struggling to regain fitness. Went to doctor and turned out i had a blockage. Insurance denied a surgery, but my cardiologist kept on working and finally got approval. With all that and covid excuses it took a year to get the stint. Stay in shape!! Regaining fitness is waaaay harder. Neighbors say they are ready for whatever comes, but never walk other than shopping, getting mail or to the car.

  12. I do regular exercise in gym 5-6 days a week. Weights, walk treadmill and box heavy bag. At 65 what kills me is the heat. I’m visiting Nashville area, baby sitting daughters dog, it feels hotter here then South Florida. Need more outside work out and plenty of hydration. You people that do farming must be pretty fit.

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