Did you know that staying in shape will not only help you to live a healthier life, but will also help to keep you safe from harm? It’s true!
Lions stalking their prey in the wild don’t target the strongest of the herd —they attack the weakest. Criminals assess their “likelihood of success” the same way. They confront those least-likely to put up a fight. The positive, protective, and confident posture you promote by being in shape not only serves as a deterrent from potential attackers, but being safety-fit will also greatly increase your survivability in an emergency.
Emergencies are a lot like broken elevators; they typically occur when we are least expecting and most ill-prepared. Too many of us have found ourselves winded and sore after having to muster intense physical exertion at an unexpected time. When your life is on the line, you don’t want to be the one wishing they had done their workouts. You want to be the one who is forever grateful that they had.
As you go about your day, take a moment to notice your surroundings and the physical obstacles you may encounter if faced with the unexpected. You can then draw from these observations for inspiration when creating your fitness plan. It helps to think about how an exercise might be able to help you in a real-world emergency scenario.
- Live/work on a top floor? Elevators are one of the first things to stop working. Whenever time permits, take the stairs. Want to do more? Try adding some stadium runs, hill sprints, and the stair master to your workout regimen.
- Live in an earthquake zone? Doing more push-ups and a heavier bench-press just may save your life. The more total weight you can move, the easier it will be to to push fallen objects off you. Chest strength doubles for pushing bad guys away from you, providing those precious seconds you need to run away.
- Need to barricade a door and/or keep it pushed closed? Squats and shoulder presses will serve you well in this scenario.
- Ever been stuck in an elevator? Box jumps and pull-ups will help you escape through the ceiling panel.
- Don’t forget to do some sprints. In today’s schools and office environment, a 10K run to safety may not be likely, but having to run as fast as you can down a hallway, down some stairs, or across the street is actually very realistic. On a nearby track, sprint the straightaways and jog the curves to recover. Training on a treadmill? Try interval sets: sprint for 15 seconds, then drop speed to recover 30 seconds, repeat 5 times. Walk for 2-3 minutes, and then do it all again.
Short on time? My good friends, Whitney and Byron at Fitness and Fuel LA design position-specific workouts for professional athletes. For staying everyday safety fit, they recommend an intense circuit of functional exercises such as pushups, planks, burpees, crunches and lunges, which when performed to failure can certainly work up a sweat!
Awareness + Preparation = Safety
Effective self-defense begins long before a physical altercation. Awareness of your surroundings, awareness of your environment, and awareness of what looks out of place, prepares you physically and mentally for what may come next. Being aware and engaged with your environment also promotes a confidence that is often your first line of defense in convincing a would-be-attacker that they will have a greater chance of success targeting someone else.
“Prepare Today For A Safer Tomorrow”
For those times you do find yourself out on that long run, remember to identify a few Safe Havens along the way. Remember that grocery stores, restaurants, and supermarkets are just as likely to offer help as the local police station and firehouse.
When in doubt, run to a restaurant. Restaurants are easy to identify and easy to remember. Restaurants are designed to accommodate large groups of people. They will have food and water, rest rooms, and they will likely have a basic medical kit in the kitchen. A restaurant will also have hard-lined phones and internet connections so you can call for help and let loved ones know you are OK should the cell towers go down.
This article originally appeared here on LinkedIn by Spencer Coursen.
Spencer Coursen is the President of Coursen Security Group. He is an expert security advisor, threat assessment consultant, and protective strategist who is dedicated to reducing risk and preventing violence. His systems and strategies help corporations, non-profit organizations, schools, and at-risk public figures ensure the certainty of safety for all involved.