4 Daily Strengthening Exercises That Will Push You to the Limit
ReadyNutrition Readers, hopefully the icicles on the edge of the roof are melted down and the snowfall has stopped wherever you live. It’s time: emerge from the cavern of winter hibernation! Come forth, my fellow patriots and survivalists…come forth! Emerge from that winter slumber, for spring is about here, and it is time to lose all those lipids from the long winter’s rest! Yawn, stretch, and put on those sweats and t-shirts! Time to get back into shape!
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The Many Benefits Exercise Has on the Body and Mind
On a serious note, exercise is one of the most important things that you can do. You don’t have to be a world-class, Olympic athlete…just think as if you’re one, and use those positive thoughts to push yourself to make gains. Many guys and gals out there have some physical problems that may limit you; therefore, you’ll have to tailor-make your individual program to accommodate your needs and limitations. Consult with your doctor prior to undertaking any fitness regimen and see if it meets with his/her approval.
Incidentally, the doctor can be a big help if you have a condition such as hypoglycemia or diabetes…they can find out just what your blood sugar levels are, and give sound guidelines to your limits. The goal of an exercise regimen is to “train and don’t strain,” so first and foremost do not exacerbate your condition. Check with them to see what is the best course of action.
That being said, the benefits of good exercise are manifold. Working out lowers the triglyceride levels of your bloodstream. Exercise strengthens your muscles and your heart (which is a muscle), as well as improving your circulation. Losing weight and getting in tone will give you many physical and psychological advantages for when the SHTF and also just in the normal course of your day.
Weights are great. I lift hard and regularly, and my program pushes me to my limits. Weights are not the sole thing you can use to get in shape, by any means. Calisthenics are simple, effective, and they aren’t expensive. Let’s cover some of them that you can use for starters.
Four Daily Strengthening Exercises You Can Do At Home
They strengthen the arms and the pectoralis muscle group. They are a winner. Women in the service do them using the knees as the base of their triangle, as they have less volume of pectoralis muscles there, as well as the breasts to contend with. This is just fine, and you gals do not fret it: you’ll see the results in a short time. The key is a good, straight, rigid body position, and extend fully on both the upward and downward motion, going “all the way to the ground” with the latter. These push up bars are great for freestyle. Variations include incline push-ups (where your feet are resting elevated slightly), wide-armed push-ups, and the diamond push up. These latter three develop the pectoralis in-depth and breadth, the shoulders, and the triceps (respectively). Start at your own pace…3 sets of 10, for example, and work your way up.
These are for the abdominal muscles and the hip-flexor muscle group of the thighs. You may need to hook the instep of your feet beneath something first. There are plenty of contraptions out there that enable it to be done with the contraption hooked to the bottom of a door frame. Ensure you interlace your fingers and place your hands behind your head. Start from a sitting position, and go smoothly to the ground as one unit, and then return to the sitting position. Again, start out with 3 sets of 10 and increase your sets and reps gradually.
Lay flat upon your back with your palms facing downward and the backs of your hands underneath of your buttocks. Start with both feet (the heels) about 3-4 inches from the ground. Then lift your legs alternating left then right, lifting to about a 45-degree angle and then returning it to hold about 3-4 inches from the ground. This exercise is great for your abdominal muscle and your quadriceps (thighs). Figure your own pace…start with 3 sets of 30 seconds and a minute to rest in between.
You can use two good, sturdy chairs for this one. Place one chair in front of you. You’ll have to measure accordingly. Using the other chair, take a firm grip with both hands on the corners of the chair. Then place your heels up on the other chair. Be careful the first time you do this! You want to make sure that when you raise yourself up by the arms, you are balanced and your heels are on the chair in front of you (the seat) firmly and securely. Then raise yourself up for one repetition, and when you go down, the middle of your back should “dip” below the edge of the chair where your hands are braced. This is excellent for the triceps muscles, as well as the rotator cuff of your shoulders. The other variance (version) is to have a “U” shaped bar and do it from the front, while supporting your body’s weight entirely by your arms. Again, start off small…3 sets of 10 will be more than enough if you’ve never done them.
These exercises will be able to be supplemented with a good jump rope, and also a heavy or speed bag and some bag gloves to practice with. The reason I mentioned these calisthenics is that when I was in the Service, we used to do them even when we were in the field. This prevented our muscles from any atrophy, as well as the aforementioned health reasons. They can be done simply and effectively. I strongly recommend a notebook to jot down what you are actually doing to help you monitor your progress and to make improvements.
Exercise is very important to keep in good physical shape, as well as mentally toughen you. Innumerable studies have proven that those who are in good physical shape are able to withstand disasters, sicknesses, and the trials of daily life much better mentally than those who are not in good shape. You must view your body as a piece of the puzzle for your readiness and preparation. Good diet (high proteins and low fats) is essential, as well as getting the proper amount of rest and recovery time. In the end, you will be the winner when you develop a winning program that enables you to excel. You guys and gals are winners now: get in good shape, train hard, smart, and safe, and keep up that good fight!
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.
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