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Physical fitness: helps you adapt to environmental conditions Part1

Discussion in 'Emergency and Disaster Preparation' started by Tim_W_alaska, May 16, 2014.

  1. Tim_W_alaska

    Tim_W_alaska New Member eN Team Contributor

    Improving your physical condition will enable you to acclimate faster than those that are less prepared.

    Going from a climate controlled life, to possible life without the comforts of AC, or heat is going to be quite the shock to the body. By increasing your work capacity, you will be able to adjust to life in the heat or the cold much quicker because your body is working more efficiently.

    Let's take a 2 mile run outside in the heat for example:
    • Runner #1 has been working out, runs occasionally indoors, and is in decent shape.
    • Runner #2 is out of shape, isn't over weight, but definitely not conditioned

    Both have the same physical demand placed on them. Who will finish first? Who will be covered in more sweat? Who will handle the heat better? Who will recover faster?

    #1 will be able to push himself harder to complete the run faster; his body will know how to cool itself more efficiently based on the heat, and the effort; and his bodies ability to recover from the stress will be improved as well.

    #2 will find himself fighting to get his rhythm for pace and breathing; his cooling mechanism will over compensate for the increased demand on it compared to its normal day to day work load; and his recovery after the run will take much longer.

    Take the above example, but conduct the run in the cold. All the above will still apply, except for the sweating. Who will sweat less: In a cold environment, sweating less because you are more efficient will mean avoiding hypothermia.

    Now take these same two individuals, and place them in a disaster situation, or bug out situation.

    Who will be able to work longer during the recovery period post disaster? Who will be able to help more people or is more likely to need to be helped? In a bug out scenario- who will be able to go further, faster, and with more supplies for their family?

    I have seen the benefits of having a good base level of fitness time and time again with my guys. Whether it was training in the heat and humidity of North Carolina and Georgia, the dry heat of Iraq and Egypt, varied climes of Afghanistan, or the arctic cold of Alaska- those who were in better shape handled the changes in environment better, adapting much faster.

    Now there is probably little chance of most people being transplanted from their current climate, to a completely foreign one. But there is the chance of being forced from climate controlled to out in the elements rather quickly. (ie. Tornado, earthquake, hurricane, wildfire). Having your body used to physical activity and some basic acclimatization can prepare you for this.
    1. Work out: do it in your garage, living room, at the gym. Make it something you like to do. You don't even have to do it outside.
    2. Get accustomed to the weather in your area.
      1. Talk a walk outside
      2. Don't use the air conditioning in your car, roll the window down
      3. Cook out on the grill, and eat outside
      4. Go fishing
      5. Go camping
      6. Go for a hike
      7. Ride your bike
      8. Take the kids to the park so they sleep through the night
    3. Every once in a while add a workout out in the elements. Add to the frequency of these outdoor workouts as you get used to the heat and cold.
      1. Play basketball on the outside court
      2. Run a trail in the sun
      3. Hit the weights in the back yard
    Begin by building your base fitness; add outdoor activities you enjoy; combine the two. Doing this is a simple way to prepare yourself, and your family.

    Getting prepared doesn't mean you can't enjoy it.

    In Part 2, we'll touch on some health hazards heat and cold can present, and how fitness can help prevent them.

    Till then....
    aka fusion likes this.
  2. aka fusion

    aka fusion Admin Staff Member eN Team

    Yep getting that base fitness is so important.
    It does make a difference, I'm looking forward to the benefits of giving up the cigarettes.

    It all helps, and an emergency situation you don't want to be looking back thinking you wished you'd done that bit more.
    Tim_W_alaska likes this.

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