In the wild there is one thing that helps an animal survive more than any other factor.

That one thing is its health.

An unhealthy animal will often be left behind by its group, sometimes killed and eaten by it’s own kind, or be easy prey for predators.

It’s “survival of the fittest”. The term inspired by Charles Darwin.

And there’s a very important lesson to be learned here.

In a SHTF scenario will humans behave differently than wild animals?

Time and time again we’ve seen that when a disaster strikes that a large amount of people will panic and do whatever it takes to survive.

And you should too, just remember to use some compassion and not to deliberately hurt anyone else’s chance for survival.

Gear, survival books, rations, and defensive weapons will help you survive a SHTF situation but to often health and fitness is overlooked.

It’s one of the best survival resources at your disposal.

Here are just a few ways being in poor shape and health will affect your survivability:

  • People can sense weakness and will attack – it’s natural.
  • Lack of endurance can leave you stranded in a dangerous area.
  • Transporting supplies without mechanical advantages often require great strength.
  • SHTF conflict is often won by intimidation. Can you intimidate anyone?
  • Lack of nourishment takes a toll on your body and a healthy body can go longer.
  • Physical health and mental strength go hand-in-hand. The will to survive can be the difference between life and death.

It should be painfully obvious that being in shape is extremely important to any survival situation.

But working out in the beginning isn’t really that fun and we’re part of a very busy society that thinks it doesn’t have time to maintain physical fitness. I’m guilty of not taking care of my health as well as I should as well, but I’m working on it.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average American spends roughly 2.8 hours per day watching TV. Couldn’t that time be better used? Or hell, throw out the couch and just put a treadmill or stationary bike in front of the TV and use it!

I promise, no matter how busy you think you are there is plenty of time to take care of your physical health.

There is plenty of time because you don’t need to commit to working out hours a day in a gym to achieve and maintain good physical condition. What you need is the minimum effective dose!

Here are 7 things you can do every day to improve your physical health.

1. Start Small

A big reason that many people never reach their physical fitness goals is because it’s an unbelievable reality to them. I’m not saying to get rid of a big final goal, but you need smaller goals along the way to keep you going.

For instance if you’re 30 pounds overweight it may take a while to loose that weight and even longer to obtain the muscle tone you may want. So if you’re goal is to look like a Calvin Klein model that’s fine, but you need benchmark goals along the way.

Set a goal of 5 pounds and when you reach that goal you’ll be motivated to hit the next goal. And before you know it you’ll make more progress than you thought was possible.

2. Improve Your Diet

I didn’t say to go on a diet. Going on specific diets can be one of the surest ways to weight loss failure.

Humans are naturally resistant to change, so am I. It’s a survival mechanism and is extremely difficult to overcome no matter how detrimental the status quo is.

What you need to do is to gradually cut out the bad and replace it with healthier choices. I shouldn’t have to tell you how to do this it should be obvious.

Just remember when eating out food choices can be very deceiving! How is a 1300-calorie chicken finger salad going to help you loose weight?

Keeping healthy snacks available will help you to make better choices when you’re hungry. And when you’re really hungry you make bad decisions. Don’t ignore your hunger!

Also counting calories isn’t necessary to weight loss. It’s more about the types of food you eat, and how you eat them.

This book by Timothy Ferriss is a great resource to helping you get in shape and it’s changed many peoples lives that I know personally.

There is a lot of content in this book but it’s well worth reading and the modified dietary plan is easy to follow and allows a man to eat like a man!

3. Work Out A Little Each Day

Proper weight training can make a huge difference in your ability to survive when you need to rely on pure strength. You can actually build a lot of muscle working out 5 to 10 minutes a day.

My new favorite workout is with kettlebell weights.

The 4 Hour Body has instructions on how to work out with a kettlebell and this kettlebell workout book is highly rated.

You don’t have to spend hours lifting weights, in fact some studies I’ve read said extended exercise and weight lifting sessions don’t work any better than short focused exercises and routines.

4. Be Physically Active

A little exercise each day can have big effects. And you can take advantage of daily situations to get a little extra exercise!

Make these easy changes for a healthier you:

  • Get up from your desk and walk around during breaks.
  • Take the stinking stairs! Always!
  • Think about walking to the corner store instead of driving if you can.
  • Do pushups or other exercises during commercials.
  • Stand more. It’s good for your back, your joints, and your muscles.
  • Do some simple stretches before you do any substantial physical activity. It helps your muscles and body take full advantage of the experience.

Boredom in my opinion is a leading cause of bad health. When you’re bored you try to think of things to do that you’ll enjoy. But you’d be surprised how entertaining a physical activity such as a hike or walk can be. Entertainment doesn’t have to be bad for you.

5. Find What Works For You

There’s no shortage of physical fitness gurus out there that will tell you “this is the best way to get in shape! Proven, Guaranteed, Blah, Blah Blah!”

One of the latest crazes I’ve seen is the insanity workout. No thank you. It’s doesn’t look like fun and it’s basically torture in my opinion. Yeah it can get you in shape fast, but who wants to do all that when there are easier and more enjoyable ways to get into shape?

Finding what works for you may take some time and research. Just remember if you aren’t seeing results, or enjoying the process you should look for something else.

6. Stop Unhealthy Things

I’m not going to preach to you here. Just pure facts:

  • Smoking causes diminished lung capacity and hurts your overall health.
  • Excessive drinking slowly kills and weakens your body.
  • Being “thin” doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Don’t starve yourself for vanity.
  • Don’t binge eat, duh. Save it for Thanksgiving.
  • Many diet pills and supplements are extremely dangerous and essentially just “snake oil”. Proceed with caution.

7. Learn To Deal With And Remove Stress

I didn’t know I was a stress junkie until my body started doing crazy things at an alarming rate. When I was able to realize that and learn to deal with stress my life and health got way better.

Read about and study stress even if you don’t think you suffer from excessive stress. You may be surprised.

This book about stress has great reviews on Amazon:

Stress is possibly the worst thing for you overall health – physically and mentally – and you may not realize how much stress is effecting you.

Physical Improvements Don’t Happen Overnightweighlifting

You shouldn’t expect to make one small change and see immediate amazing results in your physical health.

It takes time and commitment. Making healthier choices a habit can take an extremely long time. Some say it takes 21 days to make a habit, but I believe it takes upwards of 6 months when it’s a positive habit.

So how long do you think you can survive in a SHTF scenario relying on your physical abilities? Join the discussion below and don’t forget to “like” PrepCabin on Facebook!