Preparing Your Body for Disaster – A Guest Post

Today we have a guest post by Alvina Lopez.  Thanks Alvina!

REMEMBER to follow me on twitter at @suburbanprepper for my random thoughts of prepping.  Find me HERE…

Preparing Your Body for Disaster

Advocates of preparedness carry on at great length about self-reliability; extol the virtue of knowing how to build a house or treat a wound by yourself; talk about food stores and shelters until they are blue in the face.  And certainly all these things are important aspects of being prepared for a social or natural disaster, but one aspect of preparedness that is often overlooked is physical preparedness. 

The idea that motivates most preppers to store food and learn skills that would better their chances of survival in a post-disaster environment is that if an event occurred that was catastrophic enough to dismantle society as we know it, people would revert to tribal, even animalistic, behavior to survive. 

In that kind of society, the man who could build a fort to protect his tribe, find his own food, and sustain a small number of people would be king. 

However, in that kind of society the king would have to be extremely healthy and fit, as members of pre-civilized society were. 

Admittedly, many preppers are not the paragon of physical fitness.  And while they might be able to protect themselves with guns and other defenses, there will definitely be times when being able to run faster and farther, and lift and carry heavier objects, will be the key to survival. 

In a post-disaster situation, you should be able to:

  • Lift at least 100 pounds,  and;
  • Carry that weight ten or more feet without resting;
  • Sprint for two minutes without stopping
  • Jog for 20 minutes at a brisk pace after sprinting
  • Hike 20 miles in one day, carrying a 30 pound pack, over any terrain

With that in mind, there are two areas in which you can train your body to be as prepared as your house and your mind are, in the event of a disaster.


To increase your strength (without spending money on weights, which are effective, but also expensive), start by adding push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups to your daily routine.  For some, this might mean 20 of each; for others, it could be 2 of each.  Do what you can handle without killing yourself, but also train hard and push yourself.  As your repetitions become easier, add more of each exercise.  Isolated exercises like these will help increase the strength of your arms, abs, and back, so that you can lift when it counts.


Run.  Run.  Run.  Running is the most natural form of exercise there is, and if a catastrophe ever strikes, you will be doing a lot of it.  As with the strength exercises, it may be daunting to some to start running, but if you set small goals and continually strive to improve, you will be fitter physically, and better suited to a disaster environment.  Make sure to include sprints in your runs as well.  And keep making the jog and sprint portions of your runs longer.

As important as supplies are, your body is a supply too, and the most important one of all.  Don’t let your physical fitness become secondary to foraging or building, or you might find yourself bested by someone who can run faster or lift more, and all of your prepping will have been for nothing.


Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez 

3 Responses

  1. Alvina: What you say about fitness is true, but I think you put the emphasis on training for a disaster not long term survival. In long term survival it will be endurance that is most important. My father told the story of the time that he and my uncle, both in their late 20’s helped my grandfather (68 or 69 at the time)spade his garden. They sped ahead of the old man and were joking about it. But by noon they were done in. The old man was pacing himself. He kept going and finished the job. The next day he got up and chopped wood. In long term survival it will be the ability to exert effort all day every day that will be most valuable. And therefore, we should always keep in mind that any activity makes you fit for that activity with only limited side benefits in other areas. In other words, if you have to run to survive, run. If you have to chop wood to survive, get an ax.

  2. you have too run away from whatever you come across human animal a horde of angry human’s i won’t put zombie because come on that is for holly weird but for the long run yes endurance is key you never know when you have too bring back something like a jug of water on foot or gas even if your generator is something of a bitch for me you can make snow shoes easily just learn how too sew knit yes me you know what it’s coming learn too sew you never know when you have too sew up a wound or god forbid fix or plug a hole in a tent bye

  3. I have been noticing the absence of advise on physical fitness from the prepper sites. I figured that it was just part of common sense that a person needed to be in decent physical shape to survive. I couldn’t agree more, Alvina – if you’re a surburban prepper that is 40 lbs overweight, all your guns, ammo, and MREs don’t mean squat. Get in shape or give up. Jennifer – please take an English grammar class.

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