There are four levels of preparedness: personal preparedness, vehicle preparedness, home preparedness, and retreat or bug out preparedness.  The focus of this series is on your personal preparedness.  When we talk about personal preparedness, there are four basic aspects that fall into this category: spiritual preparation & mindset, physical body, personal skills, and gear.

When talking about being prepared for an emergency, the first thing people always think about is the gear that you need. However, one of the most neglected areas of all is mindset which was already covered in PART1.  The next area of personal preparedness that is often neglected is physical body preparedness.  Physical body preparedness is the focus of this particular article.

What do we mean when we talk about a "prepared body" in emergency preparedness terms?   A physically prepared body means being healthy and in shape.  A healthy body supports the prepared mind. It goes without saying, that a healthy body provides many benefits. You will be able to accomplish normal tasks a lot easier if you are in shape and have lost the extra weight that you may be carrying around.  You'll be stronger, meaning the normal tasks should be able to be accomplished with less effort. There are four basic areas of having a prepared body that we will discuss.  Each of these four areas are interrelated in someways.

The first and most obvious part of developing a prepared body is to get in shape. You should have a regular exercise plan to become more healthy. This does not mean that you have to become a power weight lifter or compete at the Cross Fit Games.  However, you should exercise using an applied fitness or functional fitness plan that uses whole body exercises incorporating strength building, balance, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility.  This exercise routine should also focus on core strength building utilizing exercises like planks.  You also do not need to spend hours in the gym each day.  If you set aside 20-30 minutes each day, that will be enough.  The key is to be consistent and make it a habit.

It is also not necessary to have a huge home gym.  With a few pieces of equipment, you can make tremendous gains.  Some of the equipment that is extremely helpful to use is a stability ball, a body weight trainer (like the TRX), a box (which you can make yourself), exercise bands, and a few different sizes of dumbbells.  As with any exercise plan, you want to start out slow and take time to progress to avoid injuring yourself.  

The next part of developing a preparing body that goes along with an exercise plan is your diet. Many people will argue that this is more important than the exercise plan itself.  If you have been  exercising for a long time, but not seeing any results, look to your diet.  Many people seem to develop the mentality that because they are "working out", they can eat whatever they want.  This could not be further from the truth.  I am not in a position to give a lecture on all the foods that you should and should not eat. Suffice to say that eating "living foods" instead of processed foods will be a good start. Slowly eliminate the processed sugars you are eating and choose a healthy alternative. Start eating a diet that naturally aids in disease prevention.  Finally, take a quality dietary supplement to assist you in maintaining a healthy body and fighting off sickness and disease.

Another aspect of developing a prepared body is maintaining good hygiene.  This is a simple idea, but sometimes overlooked.  This is a sickness prevention method itself. Regular hand and body washing with soap and water can do wonders to prevent you from getting sick. Long-term proper dental hygiene that includes brushing and flossing, has been shown to be very beneficial for obvious reasons.  Nothing takes you out faster than a bad tooth.

Being prepared physically also encompasses the clothes and shoes you are wearing.  I recognize this overlaps with the gear category, but it's a good place to cover this aspect.  Can you fight and /or escape in the clothing that you are wearing?  One of the most important things to my personal preparedness is the type of footwear I am wearing.  Being able escape, evade, or defend all starts with being able to move easily.  Wear footwear that allows you to run, jump, pivot, and climb with ease.  Aside from the shoes, the clothing, whether business or casual, should allow for a free range of movement. This can sometimes be a challenge if you are in an environment where you need to dress up, but that doesn't change the necessity.  If you can't fight to defend yourself in your current attire, change it out for something that will work for you.  Carefully consider how you will be able to carry the kit that you need. Does your clothing accommodate this? 

Limit the "tacti-cool" appearance to your clothing as well.  You may make yourself an unintended initial target simply because the prospective attackers think you might be military or law enforcement.  You could be the one that could hider their plans.  Their thought process may be that if they take you out first, there will be no one else to resist.

Having a prepared body supports the prepared mind.  Many studies have shown the effect of physical health on mental health.  I would contend that a prepared body also helps in skill development and attainment because of the enhanced mental health.  Your ability to focus and concentrate is enhanced.  Start preparing your body today!

Personal Preparedness continued in PART 3