Many of us spend a lot of time sitting around discussing how we will survive the undead uprising. We’re really, really good at debating what weapons we’d choose, who we’d want to team up with, and even how we’d probably wind up dead anyway. But all of this is moot if we don’t stop to think about how to physically prepare for the zombie apocalypse.
Are you holding all these grand survival conversations from the comfort of your couch, a light dusting of chip crumbs all down the front of your shirt? Can your exercise regime be summed up as “reach for the remote to flip the channel” and nothing more? Yeah, good luck with executing all those plans in any effective way.
In all honesty, if you want to survive, you need to start prepping. And I don’t just mean stockpiling cans of food (although that will come in handy as well). You need to prep yourself physically. Forget the summer beach bod – focus on your post-apocalypse bod. It’s way more important.
How to physically prepare for the zombie apocalypse…
You can put down that dusty old Jane Fonda DVD you found in the $2 bin at Walmart. And let’s skip the whole “Prancersize” idiocy. Those aren’t going to help.
Let’s get serious.
Assess your current physical fitness.
This is not the time to humble brag. It’s not the time to brag at all. If you’ve been regularly training for Ironman competitions then you can go ahead and say your fitness level is pretty high and impressive. Also, perhaps you’ll successfully swim away from attacking zombies thanks to your open water training.
But be honest with yourself. If your fitness regime involves hitting all the right buttons on your PS4 controller to unleash an epic kill in your favorite game, well. You’ve got some work to do.
Speaking of being honest with yourself, you know that the truth is that you’re going to spend at least SOME time running. You may be running just for travel purposes to make it to a rendez-vous location of some sort and you need to get there on foot sooner rather than later. You may be trying to keep ahead of a herd and therefore need to have some sort of endurance running capabilities. And obviously you may need to haul ass and get the hell out of Dodge because someone – or something – is after you and it’s literally run or die.
I’ve been a runner for quite some time. Trust me, you don’t want to start running when you have no choice. Every once in awhile I take an extended break from running and whenever I start back up again it is HELL. I end up gasping for breath, I have no cardio endurance, and over the following days I have sore legs and even sore abs. This is not what you want to be experiencing when the shit hits the fan. I just started running again recently and if you saw what I look like walking down a flight of stairs right now you’d understand the concern I feel over a sudden zombie apocalypse if it started this very second.
Get some running shoes. Buy a water bottle. Pump up the volume on your favorite playlist. Now go. If you’re new to the whole “move your feet faster than a stroll” concept, try the Couch to 5K plan or download the EXTREMELY fun “Zombies, Run” app for your phone (it’s highly entertaining as long as it’s not real).
If you pass on running, get in shape with HIIT.
Okay, okay, I get it. You hate running. It bring up terrible memories of gym class, being forced to run laps around the track behind your high school. Fine. Then at the very least, start getting in shape with some HIIT workouts. HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training. Essentially, it’s a form of exercise that can work your entire body in a short amount of time. Instead of spending an hour doing step aerobics (hello, 80’s!) you can do a full workout in half the time (or less). The trick is that every exercise that you do, you need to do it at the highest level of intensity that you are currently capable of. You’ll do a move at 100% for a brief period, then take a short breather, and move on to the next one.
Try the Seven Minute Workout to get started – you will do a series of exercises for 30 seconds with a 10 second break in between. It only lasts for seven minutes total but it will wipe you out if you do it right. Eventually you can move up to doing multiple repetitions of it. You can also find a lot of circuit training options at many gyms now or find a Boot Camp fitness group. It will increase your strength AND your endurance, and you’ll need both to survive.
Learn some self-defense.
Have you ever seen someone in a movie or on television take down an attacker with a good, solid roundhouse? Yes, well, that doesn’t come naturally. You might think that watching every Kung Fu movie has been training enough, but you’ll be sadly mistaken when the first zombie shuffles your way, or when someone from an unsavory survivor group comes after you.
This is not something to learn on YouTube. Sign up for some martial arts in your hometown, or take a general self-defense course. When I took Kung Fu I learned a few ways to put someone of any size on the ground. It’s helpful to know. It may not turn you into Jet Li, but it will give you a bit of an advantage.
Practice some agility/parkour/obstacle racing.
I say this, but I am definitely not someone who is going to live through the undead uprising because of my excellent parkour skills. I am a klutz. I am definitely going to have to survive via some of the other tactics because parkour is as likely to kill me as a zombie is.
However, if you have a certain natural balance and agility skill, this could be a great survival skill for you. Parkour is amazing to watch and more than once I have watched videos and thought to myself, “you know, the parkour people are going to be okay when the world ends.” I’ve said more than once, they are going to be survivors.
I mean really, look at this skill! Please don’t try to learn this yourself. Odds are high that you will land on your head and the zombie apocalypse will no longer be a concern for you. Find a local group and see if they’re willing to teach you.
Adapt what you are willing to eat.
I’m addressing myself here just as much as I am addressing you. I’m not a super picky eater in the sense that there’s not a whole ton of stuff I don’t like. I’m not keen on beets and I don’t like organ meat. I prefer vegetables over fruits. That’s more or less it. But I am picky about food preparation. I want my meat cooked until it’s well done, for instance. I don’t like a lot of fat in my meat, not so much for health reasons but rather because I hate the chewy texture. I don’t consume foods that are past their expiry date. And I am a stickler when it comes to proper kitchen hygiene – no cross contamination risks please and thank you.
Well, this is the zombie apocalypse, right? I’m going to have to be willing to go ahead and eat a bit of organ meat if that’s what’s in front of me. If I have to eat rare rabbit, I’d better be ready to chew up and not worry whether it was cut on a clean surface or not. And expiry dates will have to become a non-issue since eventually everything found in a store or a house along the way is going to be past prime.
Luckily, when food is scarce and you’re really, really hungry, it’s not going to be the biggest issue. I have a feeling I will eat whatever I can get.
Now I’m not saying any of us need to start eating things we hate or that are cooked in an unappealing way right now to prepare for the future. Just kind of keep it in mind. Adaptation is what helps keep a species alive. If you can’t adapt, well, you’re going to starve to death.
Eat healthy now while you can.
Do you like to follow a specific diet? Fantastic! If eating gluten-free or keto or fruitarian is what makes you feel healthy, then go for it. And if you just generally try to eat a good healthy diet of fresh fruits, veggies, and lean meats, then that’s wonderful. Protein shakes and fresh veggie juice and fruit smoothies? Yum!
Enjoy it while you can. There’s going to be a serious shortage of farmers’ markets and blenders. You may end up eating an awful lot of shit when you start coming across nothing but bags of stale chips or expired granola bars. Eat your healthy food now and get ready to eat whatever you can find down the road.
The good news is that IF you are able to find a safe location to settle down, you may be able to plant crops to provide some fruits and vegetables. Ideally you’ll have some folks who can hunt and fish to add protein to your diet.
Likewise, get some sleep now while you can.
You can’t really bank sleep hours. Trust me, I’ve tried. I’ve slept in and gotten 9 or 10 hours of sleep on weekends sometimes and it still does eff-all to help me when I then get a max of 6 hours for three days straight during the week. Your sleep is not like a savings account where you put some extra in and gain interest (although really, my savings account doesn’t seem to bank much either, now that I think about it).
Still, we all know that sleeping peacefully like the Princess and the Pea will be a thing of the past once the world falls apart. How are you supposed to get any decent shut-eye when you’re constantly worrying about zombie hordes rumbling through your little campsite? And even if you find a place to shack up that’s reasonably “safe” from the undead, you still need to keep a watch out for marauding groups that may not be, uh, friendly.
The mere thought of all the running, climbing, scavenging, fighting, hunting, fishing, hiding, and surviving combined with minimal sleep is enough to make me want to take a nap. If you feel the same, go ahead. Nap away! It won’t do a damn thing to benefit you in the future but you’ll feel better now (and hey, if the z-pocalypse starts today, well at least you’re going to feel rested while you’re freaking out.
Those are some of the things I came up with when I started to think about how to physically prepare for the zombie apocalypse. Now tell me – what did I miss?
Leave me a comment below to tell me what you think YOU need to do to physically prepare for the zombie apocalypse!