In a disaster or emergency it truly is the survival of the fittest, because people with stamina and physical toughness have the best chance to make it through. So here’s how you can prepare your body to survive the worst 2012 can throw at you.
It takes a long time to develop the physical endurance you’ll need to survive a 2012 scenario – at least six months intensive conditioning for a person starting from the average coach-potato base. That goes for most PlayStation generation kids these days too.
The other thing to understand very clearly is that pumping iron in the gym is a total waste of time. It doesn’t prepare you for anything other than pumping more iron and eating endless Powerbars. It’s time to get out of the gym and into the great outdoors with a load on your back to build your endurance. In fact, extraordinary physical endurance is the first selection criteria candidates for elite military training must meet. If they can’t keep going and going and going when the going gets tough, there’s no point in teaching them all the exciting stuff. These guys make the Energiser Bunny look like a couch potato.
Anybody can dramatically increase their level of endurance by improving two aspects of their body .
Improving the way you use energy in your cardiovascular system.
Strengthening your body’s structure. In other words its muscles and ligaments.
To improve energy usage you need to train your body to undergo a fundamental change in where it gets its energy from. You have to condition it to burn fat instead of settling for the easy energy hit sugar gives you. Sugar gives you an instant boost, because it enters the blood stream immediately. However you burn up the sugar reserves called glycogen that are stored in your muscles, liver and brain very quickly. Fat on the other hand is a slow, strong burn. Even skinny people have enough fat reserves to give them the energy they need to keep going for days. But that doesn’t mean you need to eat a lot of fatty food. You’ll get more than enough fat eating a healthy diet of lean meat with plenty of rice, pasta and fresh vegetables. And stay clear of the fries and butter too.
Eat fat = get fat = don’t survive when the last Burger King sinks beneath the waves. Survivors in 2012 will be slim, tough and fit.
The toughness comes in as your musculoskeletal strength increases in tandem with the improvement in your cardiovascular system. Your muscles get more blood flow and use oxygen more efficiently, and the points where your ligaments and tendons attach to your bones get stronger – all of which means you can go harder for longer without feeling so fatigued and sore.
Your family needs to be fit too
You can only move as fast as your slowest family member, so you need to help them build their endurance as well. The ultimate test of the fitness needed to survive a 2012 disaster would be for them to be able to walk in hilly terrain 8 hours a day with 10 minute hourly rest stops, for five days straight. You might not have to do it of course. You might be able to drive or fly to your 2012 survival sanctuary like you planned. But then again you might not. Let me remind you of the survival expert’s mantra – hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Here’s how to get your family fit to survive.
Start with fast walks around the neighbourhood for an hour every day hail, rain or shine.
In the weekends head for the hills or your family safe house and hike in the hinterland, wearing a loaded pack.
Sleep rough and practice hiking on minimum rations and conserving water.
If you have young children (under 6 – 7 years old) invest in a high-quality all-terrain buggy, for each child. With their light weight and strong, knobbly tires they’re easy to push and carry in rough terrain.
Even the toughest child of this age will have trouble keeping pace with adults over extended periods in hard conditions.
You might think I’m setting you an impossible goal. But it’s not, because it has been done before. In the 1920’s entire villages in Russia were force marched up to 600 miles across the barren steppes with minimum rations. They were given virtually no time to prepare, but plenty of them made it. You can too. And the earlier you start the better.