Ham Radio Fitness.

Started by gil, August 21, 2012, 05:02:48 pm

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August 21, 2012, 05:02:48 pm Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 02:32:27 pm by gil
What do Ham Radio and fitness have in common? Nothing. That sometimes is a problem, especially if we are talking about prepping, which is the ?other half? of this site. Let's face it, the Ham population is rather large, and I don't mean in numbers... All those hours calling CQ eating doughnuts does take it's toll. I know, I know, there is SOTA and all, but I feel that we need to address the problem, or at least, mention it, at the risk of being chastised.

Let's not forget that the goal of emergency preparedness, the way I like to promote it, is about survival. Sure, playing with radios is fun, so is building them. But we are talking about ?radio prepping,? not just Ham Radio. There are other excellent forums that do that such as Eham or QRZ. They have ?emcomm? boards too, but those are more about you helping various agencies in dealing with emergencies. It works too, but I prefer a more direct approach, namely, getting information to save your own ass as well as family and friends. Which brings me to the question: ?How far and how fast can you move the former??

Prepping is not a selective activity. You work on the whole spectrum or nothing. I have seen videos of Preppers/Hams with all the equipment and food you could dream of but unable to run a hundred yards without busting a major blood vessel near the heart. We all have our medical problems and limitations, but there is always something to be done.

After I broke my femur in a motorcycle accident in 2004, I needed rehabilitation but could not afford it. So, I signed myself up for a Russian Martial Art class taught by an ex Russian Spetsnaz soldier. Yes, I do things a bit to the extreme sometimes.. I could barely come up the stairs to the classroom. I asked the guy ?Is my leg going to be a problem?? He looked back at me straight in the eyes and replied ?I don't give a shit.? There's Russian martial art for you.. To make a long story short, I worked around my injury. It was hard and painful, but now, I occasionally teach the class. I can do a one-legged squat on that side. I have other problems, my back in particular, but I don't force anything. Back hurts? Fine, I'll work on my legs or arms.

Getting older I noticed one thing: I move less, and I put on weight really fast. For me, that means no bread, no pasta, no sugar, and as little processed foods as possible. Sometimes, I break down and eat a whole can of ice cream. But all in all, I try to stay at a healthy weight, 190Lbs for 6'2''. I don't quit because I strayed a few times. It's not easy. Things that really matter usually aren't.

Why going through all this? For one, health. I don't have the greatest heart, and I want it to keep ticking as long as possible. Second, an emergency might mean relocating to a safer area. More often than not, that means on foot. I have a pretty heavy bug-out bag, carrying first-aid gear, water, emergency food rations, and a bunch of other stuff. It isn't very big, but it is packed full. Now I am adding radio to the mix, more weight. I want to be able to carry that bag for miles without excessive strain.

Like me, you probably tried dieting multiple times, or had bouts of frantic exercising, then gave up. When I decided to do the Beach Body P90X program, I almost gave up after a month. Though I felt better, I looked just the same, didn't lose much weight. But I kept on going. Two months later, what a change! I had never seen my abs before. I went from 205Lbs to 186Lbs, and added muscles. But boy, did the whole thing suck. The reason I was able to do it was because I used an exercise program, kept track of my food intake on fitday.com, and stuck to it long enough to see results. I try to keep my food  proportions at 20% fat, 30-40% carbs and 40-50% proteins. It's much easier to do by having a protein shake once a day. Eat small portions five times a day, drink a lot of water. Stay far away from sugary drinks! Drink wine, not beer.

Like I said, I do things to the extreme sometimes. You don't have to do P90X! If you can, great, I recommend it. Diet and walking might just be enough for you. Just know that your body is not set in stone, and that no matter your age or current injuries, you can change it. Make sure you see your doctor and ask for advise on any medical conditions you might have. You don't want to make things worse. I also very highly recommend Yoga. No, it's not for girls only, and you don't have to dress like Ghandi. Yoga will give you strength and mobility you thought was a thing of the past.

There are many aspects to living a healthy and long life. We don't have the space here to elaborate. What matters is that your family should be able to count on you in a crisis. You might have to carry equipment, even an injured family member to safety without putting yourself at risk of a heart attack. Unless you are a paraplegic, I can guarantee you that there are ways for you to exercise. Ask a professional if you don't know what to do, or shop online for a program you might like. Remember that easy won't cut it. I hate exercising, but I force myself and I feel better for it. I know it will keep me alive longer than otherwise. That is why I don't plan of having a shack. I'll take my little K1 outside in the woods.
The human body is amazing. It can go from couch potato to mean-lean-killing-machine in months. The key is to keep at it, and not expect quick visible results. However, when a friend sees you after six months you might get a ?Woah!? or not even be immediately recognized. The grin on your face when the SHTF, priceless!



Very good points, here, and I agree with you. As I've gotten older, I notice I move less. Especially when I went through a career change. I used to double as a bartender and server in multiple places, and man, it was very easy to keep my weight down because I was constantly moving for at least 8 hours a day, sometimes more. Now I sit at a computer or in a car for my job, and I've gotten really doughy.

Recently moved to a new place with my brother, who invested in some home gym equipment. I've lost a little bit of weight, but this is gonna take awhile to build a solid core and endurance considering I've let myself go for about two years. I'll be sure to keep at it, though. If you've got advice, I'm always open to suggestions.

Plus, you really made me "see the light" if you will with a comment you made another post. Smoking cigarettes; very stupid. I've been a smoker for about 12 years, and while it has been bugging me that I have trouble quitting over the last two or so years, putting it in a SHTF context is an eye opener, and something I had not considered. So yeah, that's going to stop.  Since the "cold turkey" method and weening myself on electronic cigs has not yielded any results that stuck (longest I lasted was about three weeks), I will be seeing my doctor about Chantix in roughly two weeks. Worked for my brother just fine, so fingers crossed. On top of that, I *want* to quit, so that should help.

Jonas Parker

I'm not too worried about outrunning the baddies.


Jonas, what if you need to run after them  ;)


Jonas Parker

Quote from: gil on September 09, 2012, 01:20:46 pm
Jonas, what if you need to run after them  ;)


Only if they're running downhill!   8)


Interesting topic and appreciated.

After suffering a fractured neck - and had CVA as a result, I took up rehab in Martial Arts also. Very cool. Yes, I did do an amazing amount of recovery. This was many years ago - Red Dragon Martial Arts was the discipline I encountered. Had good reason to drop class, but missed the physical improvment that took place. I never did any direct sparring or self defense with a partner due to my injuries/for my protection. Yet, two plus years after leaving the DoJo, I had the opportunity to use some of what I learned. While attending the annual Friendship Day in our local town, a drunk woman walked out of the bathroom and as she opened the door to leave she took a swung at me for no reason, all I was doing was waiting in line. My brain automatically took me into a stance with shifting my weight far enough to the right to avoid her fist. This woman then staggered off and away, never looking back. Had she continued to attempt to harm me, I would have had her flying.

Regretably, my brain is no longer hardwired to respond to a situation like this.