For most people the holiday season brings lots of family face time, joy and happiness, but also no shortage of bad foods that taste far too good and, thus, are generally over-consumed, leaving us feeling miserable and hefty.
As those holidays approach, however, now is not the time for preppers to lose sight of their year-round goal of remaining fit enough to fight if you have to. So in that vein, I wanted to offer you a little health and fitness reinforcement by reminding you what we’re up against.
Every year we grow older, it becomes just a little more difficult to stay in peak condition. Plus, our conditioning suffers seasonal setbacks as well when we find little motivation to hit the gym or take in a run because it’s ‘too cold’ outside.
But what’s the alternative for a prepper who’s serious about being able to endure the physical challenge a collapsing society will present? As you are aware, we can’t know when society will fall or what will actually trigger it. As such, it’s important to fight the urge during the holidays to allow colder weather and bad diets to ruin the gains we’ve made the previous year.
So here’s what you need to do in order to ensure maximum fitness throughout the holiday season and the coming year, in order to be fit to fight:
— Reward yourself for hitting the gym or the great outdoors (hikes are great in any weather — but wear your bug-out bag when you go) for an extreme fitness workout. That could be anything from allowing yourself to buy that special piece of gear you’ve been eying all year, to taking a short vacation or even giving yourself a short break from the workouts (but don’t make it more than a couple days).
— Change up your routines so that boredom doesn’t set in. Boredom, combined with unhealthy eating and colder temperatures are powerful forces that can prevent you from making the decision to hit the gym or the great outdoors. But if your workouts remain fresh and newish, they will hold your interest much more and actually motivate you to get them done.
Along those lines, I’ve just started a new workout regimen called “100s.” You pick a particular body part (bi’s and tri’s, legs, back, etc.) and do each exercise for 100 reps without stopping. Naturally, you’re going to have to use much lighter weight, but you’re going to get a max pump and really improve your endurance and muscle stamina. Granted, even with lighter weight you may not be able to do 100 reps without stopping for a few seconds, but the main thing is to try. You won’t believe your results. (Related: This Back-Blasting Extreme Workout Will Build Muscle AND Endurance.)
— Set new goals for the holidays that you’ve not set for yourself before. If you’re into some strength training, see if you can bump up your maximum bench press, for example, over the next several weeks. Or maybe see if you can quicken your sprint or sprint farther. Perhaps you can see how far you can flip a big tractor tire. Or see if you can surpass 100 reps in the “100s” challenge.
— Get a workout crew together so that you can motivate each other to go to the gym. Many times if you know you have to meet people for a workout, that is more than enough to get you off the couch, away from the turkey and dressing, and out into the cold en route to the gym.
As for the kinds of exercises you can do, I lay out several in my free e-book, “Fit to Fight: A Prepper’s Guide to Extreme Fitness for All Ages.” I’ve done every one of them many times and I have to say I’m in the best shape of my life at this point.
Like you, I’m always more tempted during the holidays to slack off my fitness goals. But as preppers who don’t know when or how stuff will hit the fan, we always have to be ready for any eventuality, especially this time of year when it’s so easy to be distracted.
J.D. Heyes is editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.