If you haven’t been in the army and you always hated gym class, playing sports and pumping weights, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that you need to get in shape for disaster scenarios, regardless of whether you’ll be bugging in or out. The good news is that you don’t have to go to the gym every other day. In fact, you don’t have to spend a penny to get into shape.
There’s a huge trend right now with at home workouts, couples workouts and even using things around the house for weights. The suggestions I’m about to give you aren’t just free, they are also fun. So why not take action right after you finish reading the article?
#1. Use alternative weights you have around the house
Even though dumbbells aren’t expensive, you can use things you have around the house to replace them. Another benefit is that these things have unevenly distributed weight, meaning they will be harder to lift, and thus, they’ll activate some of the smaller muscles that regular dumbbells just can’t.
If you’re already stockpiling, you’d be happy to know that some of the things you have in your pantry or basement can make perfect weights. For example, you can grab a couple of cans of beans and use them as dumbbells and do bicep curls… or use 5-gallon buckets as kettlebells.
Now, if you have garlic, onions, oranges or potatoes in your basement, even if they’re already inside a bag, you can use them in a variety of exercises such as squatting while holding onto such a bag with both hands. Another good exercise is to put one arm on your hip while standing, while holding a bag weight inside a plastic bag. Next, lean your upper body to the side and a little forward to work out your lateral abdominal muscles.
If you have hills in your town or city like I do (I actually live on a small one), then you can hike without going on a trip.
The more you walk, the more you’ll improve your stamina, something important not just for prolonged bug-out scenarios. Also for bugging in, when homesteading or things such as bringing water every day from half a mile away will become habit.
Whether you’ll opt for urban or rural hiking, the main thing is that you do it.
#3. Work the Garden
If you’re planning on starting a garden but have been postponing it, let me give you another good reason to start today: it’ll give you quite the workout every day. That doesn’t mean it’s overkill, you work as hard as you want… but the variety and complexity of movements will activate so many muscles, that even the most hardcore at-gym workouts have trouble matching them.
#4. Knead Dough
Of course, the resulting bread will not have a shelf-life good enough for your stockpile, but this is a skill you’ll want to learn today. Bread may be making us fat today but, in a post-collapse society, it will become a staple food once more.
Kneading dough will give you quite the workout to your forearms and shoulders, just make sure you don’t add extra bread to your diet just because you need to make dough. If possible, replace store-bought bread with the one you make yourself, thus saving money and putting less preservatives in your body.
#5. Climbing Trees
If you’re looking for an exercise that’ll give you a full-body workout, look no further than climbing trees. Anna wrote a good article on the subject here. Your arms, shoulders, back, abs and legs are all involved. Of course, I should warn you that you’ll need extra precaution measures unless you want to slip and fall but, once you take them, you’ll see how easy it is.
#6. Jump Rope
Paracord is all you need to do this very good cardio exercise that we all used to play when we were little.
The only thing to consider is its length. Stand with both feet on the cordage and make sure both ends go all the way up to your armpits. Ideally, that’s where they should stop, but you’re going to need a little more cordage to make a couple of knots on both ends. This will make sure it won’t slip as you do the exercise.
#7. Hike with Your Groceries
The next time you do your groceries, leave your car at home and get a backpack. When returning, put the groceries inside and walk back home. This will get your body accustomed to wearing a heavy backpack, very useful if you intend to evacuate in case of emergency with your bug out bag.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can measure the time it takes you to get home, count the number of breaks you take and strive to improve those numbers.
When it comes to at-home workouts, the sky’s the limit. One of the craziest free exercises I’ve read about (though haven’t tried) was to use a rubber band to keep cutlery together, and use that as a dumb-bell. That may sound ridiculous for some people, but the rest of my suggestions are definitely not. Try them out!
Contributed by Dan F. Sullivan