I’m finding that an important aspect of preparedness is doing everything you can to be healthy and in good shape. Not only do you not want to be dealing with health issues if you find yourself in a situation where going to a doctor is difficult to impossible, but you also need to think about all of the physicality involved in a survival situation. Being able to run, at least in short sprints, is important, as it may just save your life some day. Endurance is also important, since you might find yourself needing to cover long distances on foot. And it’s just as important to have good strength for the physical labor that will no doubt accompany a survival situation.

Whichever area you need to focus on, it’s a good idea to make it a priority and make time for it in your day, at least three times a week. If you’re on a budget, you don’t need a gym membership or a personal trainer to get in shape. Just go for a walk once in a while. If the weather’s no good for walking outside, try to find a staircase to jog up and down. If you’re too busy for a formal work out, try making small changes to your routine: park farther away from your building (just not so far away that it could make you or your vehicle a target for criminals), take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, do some extra laps around the store when you go shopping. You’d be surprised at what a big difference such small changes can make.

Strength training is even easier to fit into your day, which is why I am focusing on that right now during what is an extremely busy time of year for me. It’s very easy to fit strengthening exercises into the cracks of the day, which means there’s really no excuse, if you’re able-bodied, not to do so. Get in the habit of doing push-ups first thing in the morning. Do squats or lunges while you wait for your coffee to heat up. You can do toe lifts while waiting in line at the cash register without drawing too much attention to yourself, and do some tricep dips whenever you have a sturdy coffee table or stationary chair and a spare minute or two.

I’ve been taking my own advice for just a little over a week now, and in that time I’ve gone from barely being able to do five push-ups in the morning to thirty. I know thirty is not a lot, but the point is that that’s amazing progress. In that rate I should be able to do a hundred in almost no time at all. And the important thing is that it’s getting easier to lift and carry heavy items, which is definitely a survival skill that will be needed in my particular situation.

So what are you waiting for? Get out of your chair and do something to get in shape right now!