Health and Fitness

Taking care of our bodies now will help us to perform better if we are caught in an emergency.

Avoid anything that will numb, impair, intoxicate, pollute or otherwise affect the proper functioning of your mind and body.

Doing otherwise will affect your health and well-being.

<< WARNING! >>

Consult a doctor if need be before making any changes to your diet including taking any vitamin supplements, especially if you take medications or have allergies, high blood pressure, diabetes or any other medical condition that requires monitoring.

Doing otherwise may have serious side effects and consequences.

Also consult with your doctor before undertaking a new exercise routine if you have any health conditions that could be adversely affected.

Here is a short list of things to help us to be healthier and stronger. It is scientifically proven that a proper diet, rest and exercise is beneficial for our overall health and well-being.

Avoid the following:

1. Harmful drugs. No illegal drugs and no abusing of prescription drugs.

2. Alcohol

3. Coffee

4. Tea

5. Tobacco

In fine, avoid anything that will affect your health in a negative way.

Eat sensibly by having a balanced diet, meaning grains, fruits, vegetables etc. I know that this is not always easy and we tend to want that chocolate bar or other as a snack, and I need to work on it myself. I don't believe in diets personally, because they don't seem to work and some may be even dangerous for us. If for some reason while you are preparing to improve your eating habits, you feel that you may not be getting enough nutrients, consider taking a multivitamin if you think it will help. However, have a look at the warning at the top of this page before making that decision if you haven't seen it yet.

Another thing that will help us to be healthier is to do some exercise.

I am not asking you to join a gym, unless you want to of course, but to simply get some exercise that will strengthen your muscles and give you a cardiovascular workout as well.

Resistance training for your muscles should be done as well and is possible to do from the comfort of your home.

If need be, consult with a doctor before starting an exercise routine, especially if you have any health conditions.  Have a look at the warning above if you haven't yet.

Get sufficient rest as well. The average person needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. If you have a habit of sleeping late every night, you may want to change that as well.

We perform best as we properly prepare ourselves. Without sufficient rest, you will be prone to making bad decisions as your judgment will be impaired. You will also tend to be more careless.

These things may cost you your life under the right conditions such as in a wilderness emergency scenario, so get as much rest as possible.

Now, in an emergency it is vitally important to maintain your health as well as the health of any other people if you are not alone. Tend to any injuries or illnesses as best you can if there are any problems, and get as much rest as possible.

Rest is a great aid in an emergency, if you can find it. It all depends on the circumstances. If you are in a large group, others may do the chores while the sick and injured rest. However, if you are solo that will change, a lot even.

Be certain to maintain a good camp hygiene as well. Have a look at the Camp Hygiene page for more details.

You don't want to make a bad situation worse by spreading germs around the camp.

Flies can land on your food and spread it by landing on other peoples food. You take the time to make the water potable, so don't spread germs by not applying correct hygiene principles.

On the subject of rest, sleeping in a shelter isn't the same as sleeping in your nice comfortable bed at night. There can be bugs, it can be cool, cold or hot, you may have a fire to tend to during the night etc.

It all depends on the shelter type and your circumstances.

Get rest whenever possible, but try to not sleep during the daytime when search and rescue may be looking for you and when you can attempt to attract attention to rescue aircraft should one appear. You need to be ready to signal the aircraft and if you are asleep you may have missed the chance to get out of your predicament. At the very least if the conditions permit, have a good smoke fire going while you rest beside it if you absolutely must rest during the day. Try to keep an eye (and ear) open every now and then, to see if an aircraft is near and to be certain that the fire keeps going. If you are in a group, take shifts resting or sleeping as appropriate. Have a look at the Signaling page for more details.

Here is a link to give you some more information on living a healthy lifestyle.

1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

2. Health Canada



Budgie Balancing Trick

Don't try this with an exercise ball :)

You'll hear of taking your BMI (Body Mass Index) as a means to determine where you are at in your weight, but it isn't very accurate. Bone density, muscle mass and other factors throw the number off. Have a look at an article on Medical News Today on this subject.