Fitness: Nice to have or a necessity?
by Harriet, Editor-At-Large Australia
A comment on a prepping forum said: “I’ve always been overweight. … That being said if a project needs doing, it gets done. We may be sore at the end of the day but we can accomplish just short of anything. I don’t consider being physically fit a prepping necessity, more of a nice to have.”
I’m afraid I have to disagree with this writer. If you are overweight by definition you have inflammation or you wouldn’t be overweight. If you are overweight you have a chronic medical condition. This goes for me as much as for anyone else, so I’m not picking on the writer. It’s just a fact. If a person has generalized inflammation leading to fat deposits where its not healthy to have them then they will also have other inflammatory processes going on such as pre-diabetes, inflammation in the heart arteries, auto immune disease and/or pre-cancerous changes to cells.
As a prepper I don’t think it is sufficient to think its OK just because I can get a project done if it needs doing. If we are not improving our health we are in the process of degeneration. If we cannot get a task done now without being sore we are going to be a problem to those we share our lives with and also to ourselves when things get really difficult.
Imagine that we are in a severe financial crisis and you can’t afford to both run a vehicle and feed yourself so you have to walk – a lot… or… you are stranded somewhere, there is chaos all around and home is at least an eight hour brisk walk away in good walking shoes… or… you are in pain because you have had an accident trying to do something you had to try because there was no-one else to do it. You were on your own. Now add deteriorating health to this. Your obesity and inflammation has progressed because it only nice to have, not a prepping necessity. Now you have one of those scenarios alongside the health problems of having bad knees needing a replacement/ gut problems with severe diarrhea which means you need to stay within a few minutes of a toilet at all times/ you have cancer or heart disease which leaves you very fatigued.
Now being physically fit can go hand in hand with any one of those diagnoses, but it is less likely to have gone down that route than if you are obese and unfit. If we are fit and exercise we cut our chances of some cancers (eg breast) by 50% and though I’m not sure what the figures are for heart disease I know that physical fitness will reduce the chances of having a heart attack enormously.
So a nice to have but not essential? Or an essential if we are to be self responsible and a contributor or are we to be a drain on our support network? For me it is essential.
“But… but… I can’t exercise much, because it makes me even sicker than I am at the moment. If I do too much I will get a flare up of my medical condition.” That might be so, but that is a different issue. Just don’t try to pretend you don’t need to be fit in order to better cope when the SHTF. Fitness, flexibility and mobility, in my book, are primary personal responsibilities for a prepper. How about you?