Staying Safe While Traveling, Part 8: are you fit to go?

Staying Safe While Traveling, Part 8: are you fit to go?

500px-Marine_Pull-ups

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Your physical fitness is as much a part of your travel security as any weapon that you might have!

I know that I may be touching the “third rail” of self defense with this post, but as someone who struggles with personal fitness myself I think I’m in a good position to point this out: if you’re not physically fit, it’s far more difficult to keep yourself safe!

Most people don’t realize the physical demands of dealing with any sort of attack. Even if there is no actual contact, the rise in blood pressure and heart rate alone put a great deal of stress on your body. Add in the physical exertion of any sort of fight, and you can easily grasp the importance of physical conditioning needed to prevail.

(Yes, even if you have a firearm. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the gun negates the need for physical activity; particularly if you’re closer than about two arm’s lengths, you’ll likely need to use physical skills just to be able to access that gun!)

It’s not just dealing with the interaction. In the segment on traveling light I gave you two different scenarios with two differently accessorized travelers; one carrying everything but the kitchen sink (an all too-common travel sight) and one carrying the bare necessities, and how it affected their fatigue levels. The same thing happens with regard to your physical fitness.

If your fitness level leaves you tired after every minor exertion you’re simply not going to be at your most alert. You’re not likely to be able to pay attention to your surroundings and actively manage your distractions; you’ll be a more tempting target for a criminal simply because you look like an easy mark. The sad thing is that you will be.

As I said at the beginning, I’m a little fitness challenged myself. As I get older it becomes a little more difficult to keep in shape, and I find my strength and stamina dropping slightly every year. That’s a normal part of the aging process, but if you’re in your thirties and not able to get through a crowded airport without wheezing, you’ve got a problem that you need to address. Understand that I’m not saying you need to become a Marine or a champion bodybuilder; you should, however, do what you can do within your personal limitations to increase your strength and ability to tolerate physical exertion.

Becoming more physically fit, whatever that means for your age and medical condition, will pay dividends in your ability to stay safe when you’re away from home. It also makes the trip itself more fun, because you’ll be in the right frame of mind to enjoy the sights and sounds of your destination.

After all, isn’t that why you’re traveling in the first place?

-=[ Grant ]=-

  • Posted by Grant Cunningham
  • On June 3, 2014