In the military, we train in a similar climate doing similar things that we are likely to be called upon to do in combat, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, etc. So how do we train to be prepared for our daily lives? Good question, which is why there is epidemic of obesity, lower back problems, type 2 diabetes, joint problems, etc…Most people either don’t know what to do or don’t make it a priority in their lives until they wake up one day and pain or other severe health issues force their hand.
Here are some basic recommendations of how to train your body to be prepared for the unexpected things in life that can cause you to be injured and/or prevent you from maintaining a high quality of life:
#1….Core Body Strength-Do exercises that focus on your abdominal region, lower back, hip flexors.Having a strong core will prevent many common injuries that occur lifting things around home and work. Core strength keeps you from losing your balance and when you lift odd shaped items at odd angles without getting injured.
#2….Functional Exercises-Do exercises that mimic natural movement patterns. How often do you lie on your back and lift up something very heavy straight up and down? Not that traditional weight lifting is bad….it’s just that for most people there are better things you can do. Namely, use your own body weight for exercise. Pushups, air squats, pull-ups, dips, etc are more functional and are compound movements using your core body strength in conjunction with other muscle groups. Getting used to moving your body as the complex system of bones, muscles, and nerves that it is will help you in the long run.
#3….Do Functional Strength and Cardio Together If Possible-Do workouts that combine strength and cardio for multiple benefits. The stress that you put on your body by combining strength and cardio will help you exponentially in both areas. Your body will continue to burn calories hours after you workout and you will adapt quicker in terms of fitness and weight loss. If you can learn to use kettle bells, the TRX suspension trainer, and do Crossfit/P90X type workouts then you will be better off in being prepared for anything life can throw at you!
Prepare yourself so that you have a reserve level of strength, fitness, and flexibility to deal safely with both mundane and exotic circumstances that life can throw your way.