Seeing how it’s Halloween and all, figured I would get this question out of the way. Although it’s highly unlikely that a zombie apocalypse would happen, are you capable of surviving it in the shape you’re in today? While you don’t have to be in prime condition to outwit the undead, being fit greatly increases your chances.
Surviving a Zombie Horde
In the past, I tackled health benefits of surviving a zombie apocalypse. While most of these elements are still true today, let’s touch a bit more on keeping yourself and your family alive.
For this post, I am referring to zombies such as those in the “Walking Dead” and games like “H1Z1.” Walkers, not the insanely freakish runners from “World War Z,” although that would be an interesting one to cover for fitness.
Know Your Carrying Limits
You’ll no doubt want to carry as many supplies as possible. However, your body may not have the strength to tote around a 50 pound backpack full of Progresso soup cans. The more bogged down you are, the easier a target you become.
Except for dire supplies, such as a med kit, you may want to live off the land. Carrying too much food will slow you down, and it’s amazing how much food is actually growing even in the cities. Of course, you will have to change your mind about what animals are currently edible. When it comes to survival, a squirrel soup is better than death.
Besides, squirrel may not be as bad as you might think. Don’t knock it until you try it.
Do More Cardio
Unless you plan on picking up a battle-axe and charging into combat with a zombie horde, muscle bulk isn’t going to matter too much. Sure, it will help you lift heavy objects and appear threatening to other survivors, but it will not matter if you get winded trying to run from the horde.
There is more to fitness than just muscle mass. Cardiovascular exercise improves stamina, tones muscle development and affects dexterity. How long does it take you to run a 5K? During a zombie apocalypse, this is important. Because (traditionally) zombies can walk indefinitely…you cannot.
Don’t get me wrong, adding power to your swing will mean the difference between survival and becoming dinner at some point. However, even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would have a problem squaring off against a horde of 200 hangry zombies. Increasing stamina helps you stay in the fight longer while being faster on your feet.
As time marches on, you may find yourself out of food. You can bet other survivors are going to be scrounging the same resources you do. This means you need to play it smart when it comes to finding something to eat. It’s not like you can nuke up a Lean Cuisine as the electric grids will surely be down.
To keep yourself prime, you will be looking for foods that are rich in proteins. Raiding a vending machine for its candy bars will only fill the stomach for a short time. You want foods that will promote prolonged energy. Things like nuts, meats and various plants should be on your shopping list.
Rivers and lakes would be a good place to camp as it gives you access to fish. Just keep a boat handy so you can quickly escape to the other side if your camp is raided by zombies.
Keep in mind the human body requires a specific amount of nutrients to stay at optimal efficiency. Eating too much of a single thing may cause issues with deficiency in other areas. For instance, a strict diet of squirrels and birds doesn’t provide the most calcium.
Even during a zombie apocalypse, you need to maintain your health. Part of my looting process would include vitamins and antibiotics. The last thing you want is to have zombies hot on your tail while fighting a fever or being brought down by the common cold.
Also be aware you have access to a variety of nutrients in the form of weeds. This is exceptionally helpful during the spring though fall months. Dandelions, lamb’s quarter and more are loaded with various vitamins and potassium. It may taste a bit bitter, but you’ll satisfy some physical requirements.
Don’t be afraid to camp near orange orchards. Vitamin C is vastly important and will be a requirement thanks to the rampant spread of disease and illness thanks to a lack of proper medical facilities. That zombie you just drove an axe into may spread something to you. Having a boost to immunity is beneficial.
Realize Your Advantages
When it comes down to it, a zombie is a mindless eating machine without the benefit of dexterity or rational thought. This means any human has a distinct advantage against such an opponent. The only real threat is the horde. One zombie is easy to take down with a hammer. One hundred zombies will take more effort.
Realize your capabilities and advantages. If you’re not a good shot with a gun, it’s not going to be a good defensive fit. If you’re not used to a bladed weapon such as a katana, you could hurt yourself or your friends more than the zombie horde.
In reality, health and fitness improves brain power. Which means you’re more apt at memory and processing information in your head. Because the undead doesn’t have this aspect, you’re already one-uping the undead. You mind will be one of your greatest advantages, and fitness improves the brain’s abilities.
Continue to Learn
A zombie apocalypse doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. In fact, spending time in a library is a great advantage. Survival is going to depend on knowing what plants to eat, how to grow in proper seasons, engineering and medical practices.
If you’re alone, that means you might have to turn into a cornucopia of information. If you’re in a group, it’s easy to assign who will be responsible for what – as long as the group is understanding of the situation.
For instance, learning how to set up a solar array on a property complete with battery backups is only part of a self-sustaining system. You might be the last person in your state with access to a working fridge, air conditioner and heating system.
Are you capable of setting a broken bone by yourself? What about stitching up a gash before it becomes infected? You will need to become self-sufficient in as many ways possible.
Surviving Any Disaster
Health and fitness will contribute to surviving any disaster. While a zombie horde is unrealistic, hurricanes, earth quakes, wild fires and more are quite common across the globe. A body in prime condition is more likely to weather these issues with a greater chance of survival. It’s not about what you look like in a bikini, but more of what you don’t want to look like as the undead.