Author Topic: Physical Fitness  (Read 15684 times)

Offline Braden

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Physical Fitness
« on: September 20, 2008, 05:04:44 PM »
I know this one should be obvious (and to all you military personal, you already know this)...
In the event of any type of emergency, your physical fitness can make a huge difference. It's all very well thinking that if SHTF (with no transport) you will walk to your safe place, or go jungle and go to your closest bush/forest/national park/jungle.

Well if only it was that easy. Many of us have jobs where exercise is not a requirement (sitting behind a computer/desk) and if you don't do some type of sport like mountain biking, motor cross, hiking, anything with a high fitness level you will be sadly mistaken when it comes time to bug out.  :(

Recently we have started hiking and bush terrain is hard work, really hard work, even though there are tracks - It hit me in the head just how unfit I was and the type of terrain I was on would be considered what to expect if SHTF, most terrain has been straight up and straight down. The sad bit was when someone jogs/runs past you doing the same loop as you and your stuffed and they obviously don't even fell it. I used to think I was averagely fit, but I guess I was wrong.

Moral of the story: just go out on a basic 1.5 hour bush walk (with a backpack) and see how you feel at the end of that, you might be in for a surprise, but then again you might not  :)
I actually really enjoy the walks so I going to keep doing them, I will be happy the day a can do a 1.5 hour bush walk without too much pain

  Braden

Mr.Riley

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2008, 10:27:15 PM »
I recently started running with the couch to 5K podcast... basically you go from couch potato to being able to run a 5K in three months. I've never really been the athletic type so its been kicking my butt. In about 2 weeks I went from doing 10 girl pushups to being able to do 25. Ive been getting about 100 in everyday. I have a ways to go but I think Im in the best shape of my life even though its still round.

I started taking care of myself for a couple of reasons. So I am ABLE. Able to get away if need be, able to work harder, able to live longer, and able to fight if I have to. My wife started running too, which is great because we will be able to teach our kids not to turn into couch potatoes.

It's really important to be healthy if the SHTF because when the meds run out or water runs out or food becomes scarce you will have a greater chance to survive. 

Offline Puukko56

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 11:26:41 AM »
There are other things to think of also. 1 year 10 months ago I quit drinking caffinated drinks. No coffee, no diet Coke. I had the foulest headache I have ever had. Nothing seemed to help either. I woke up one night in so much pain I thought I was having a stroke. I would not like to react to any emergency with that kind of distraction. I've also started a kettlebell workout at the begining of the year. It was slow at first, but I got more time the last 7 weeks and have'nt miss a workout. I've lost 15 lbs and feel better. I think I could use some more cardio, so i'm trying to work that in.

jeremya

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 02:14:03 PM »
Your right I think this is extremely important and often overlooked. I am, unfortunately, very out of shape, but part on my preparation plan is getting back in shape.

-- Jeremy

Offline flagtag

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2008, 02:46:25 PM »
You are SO right about the need to be physically fit in case of a situation where one would need to move very quickly, or for longer (than from the couch to the fridge) distances.

I found out recently that I am WAY out of shape!  (I knew I was, but didn't realize how much so.) I am determined to rectify that asap.  Relearning to ride my bicycle, walking, lifting light weights to start. 

Mr.Riley

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2008, 02:50:01 PM »
tell me about it... when you cant get up 2 flights of stairs without taking a sec to recoup you are out of shape my friend (speaking about me) I just noticed that I can run for about 10 mins strait without having to take a rest... IVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT IN MY LIFE! It really feels good to be honest.

Offline Alchemyguy

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 12:50:34 PM »
Props to you guys who either A) are out of shape and realize it or B) are/were out of shape and are doing something about it.

I was once one of the scrawny-eat-anything-sit-at-a-computer set.  A few years ago my wife and I started doing multi-day backpacking expeditions in the mountains (~50lb pack on steep trails makes for hard work), and I took up with a mixed martial art school last year.  Between those two things, they've brought me to a fighting fit 150 lbs, which is a 20 lb gain over my walking around weight a few years back.  I feel great, and I'm working on my self defense techniques at the same time.  I train with a woman who started at about the same time as I did and was quite overweight and out of shape.  Now she's preparing to enter a fitness competition next spring.  I've trained with middle aged men who were wider in the middle than at the shoulders and seen them make dramatic improvements in functional strength and endurance.  Just know that if you want to be in shape, you can have it.

Offline creuzerm

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2008, 01:24:19 PM »
I can walk all day long, but couldn't run a mile. I have never been the athletic type, so this a known limitation of mine.

I sit at a desk and wiggle my fingers all day for a living (computer programmer). I replaced my desk with a drafting table with the hopes that I can at least spend part of the day on my feet instead of on my bum, but It doesn't raise up high enough for me to comfortably type yet. I am still working on this theory.

When gas hit $4 a gallon, I took to walking the 2 miles to the local china-mart. This does a couple things for me. 1, I walk several miles, 2, I save half a buck in gas every trip, 3, I know I gotta carry it all home so it prevents me from buying up the store every time I go. 4, I now know I need better boots.

I have a friend who I bounce ideas off of. He would swear up and down that he is 'ready' for the day to come. Not the most fit guy, strong as an ox. A couple of months ago, I started talking about my walking to the store, so he walked half a mile, turned around, and walked back home. He was laid up for 3 days, unable to walk.  He hasn't tried again since.

He would be completely useless to me/the group if the day ever came. All the stuff in his head is completely unaccessible if he can't even make it a mile from his house.

I am not sure how to get him interested in his own health.

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2008, 03:29:17 PM »
This is very important for many reasons if times get tough or even if they don't.  I too work behind a desk for 8 hours a day/night.  I realized while I don't look out of shape, I was.  I started reading about things that I could do that would be easy for me to start out with and continue on from there.  I found one on Lifehacker.com, if you haven't been to this site you should they have a lot of neat info.  Anyway they have a 6 week 100 push up program that I have completed and have to tell you it will increase your strength by quite a bit.  You will notice an improvement by the end of week 2.  It took me 8 weeks to be able to do it but it doesn't really matter as long as you do it.  My next goal is to run a 2 mile circuit around my neighborhood.  At the risk of sounding "girlie" maybe we can start a thread on our progress.  I think it helps to see others working towards their goal.  Like a virtual support group. 

Any thoughts?

Offline Alchemyguy

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2008, 04:02:02 PM »
This is very important for many reasons if times get tough or even if they don't.  I too work behind a desk for 8 hours a day/night.  I realized while I don't look out of shape, I was.  I started reading about things that I could do that would be easy for me to start out with and continue on from there.  I found one on Lifehacker.com, if you haven't been to this site you should they have a lot of neat info.  Anyway they have a 6 week 100 push up program that I have completed and have to tell you it will increase your strength by quite a bit.  You will notice an improvement by the end of week 2.  It took me 8 weeks to be able to do it but it doesn't really matter as long as you do it.  My next goal is to run a 2 mile circuit around my neighborhood.  At the risk of sounding "girlie" maybe we can start a thread on our progress.  I think it helps to see others working towards their goal.  Like a virtual support group. 

Any thoughts?

Group support is always helpful, and having a running partner is even more so.  If you know somebody is expecting you to be there and keep up, you're more likely to get out there in inclement weather and not drop out with time.

Also wanted to attach a warning to those "100 pushups in 100 days" sorts of programs; you're developing only the "pushing" motion and not the "pulling" motion, which can lead to muscular imbalance, which is a precursor to injury.  For people who are new to exercise, it's not too much of an issue since anything is better than nothing.  But once you start reaching that 20-30 pushup (without stopping) range, you should start working the contraction in just the same way.  Bent-Over Rows are a good complement.

Elliott

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2008, 05:28:10 PM »
Didn't know that?  Would pullups also work?

Offline Patriot:Ex Machina

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2008, 07:15:50 PM »
I was a pretty healthy guy, on up into my mid-20s. But after I got married I just kind of let myself go. (the wife's cookin' is oh so good!)
I've realized that I really need to get back into the swing of things this past summer as I did some hiking and camping out with some of the guys from my mutual assistance group.
I've got to lose about 30lbs, and I'll feel a lot better.
Cutting out the caffiene is going to be tough, but it's going to have to be done.

jeremya

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2008, 08:24:24 PM »
I was a pretty healthy guy, on up into my mid-20s. But after I got married I just kind of let myself go. (the wife's cookin' is oh so good!)
I've realized that I really need to get back into the swing of things this past summer as I did some hiking and camping out with some of the guys from my mutual assistance group.
I've got to lose about 30lbs, and I'll feel a lot better.
Cutting out the caffiene is going to be tough, but it's going to have to be done.

I also need to cut out the caffeine. Not going to be easy at all

-- Jeremy

Mr.Riley

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2008, 09:42:20 PM »
Anyone that is in great condition have any  diet tips... not like lose weight and look great diets but tips on ways to supplement a workout for just getting healthier and stronger.

Offline Alchemyguy

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2008, 11:19:12 PM »
Didn't know that?  Would pullups also work?

Pullups are not bad but not perfect since they work slightly different muscles especially in the shoulder in back region.  If you were balancing pullups out, you'd do handstand pushups (I wish) or military presses.  I'm A++ on pullups in general though; rock those bad boys out.

Offline Alchemyguy

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2008, 11:36:46 PM »
Anyone that is in great condition have any  diet tips... not like lose weight and look great diets but tips on ways to supplement a workout for just getting healthier and stronger.

I'm not in great condition, but I'll throw in here.  You don't need* supplements to get healthier and stronger, that's marketing.  You need to eat whole foods.  Vegetables, meat, some whole grain carbs.  Avoid processed foods, anything that's high fructose corn syrup or any kind of simple sugars for that matter.  Eat a salad every day, a big one.  Don't be afraid to cheat once in a while, but do it with the intention of cheating and knowing that you're right back on the wagon once you've had that snickers bar and can of soda.  If all you eat is quality food, you'll get nothing but quality out of your body.

*Disclaimer:  I do not believe we need supplements, but we can use them.  I consume a protein powder and use creatine regularly.  I dislike the powder, but I'm an ectomorph type with a wicked metabolism at 33 years old;  I struggle to *gain* quality weight and don't get much sympathy for it :).  The creatine helps me work harder for longer and aids in my gaining of lean muscle mass.  It also causes me to retain water in my muscle tissue, which makes me look bigger when I'm flexing in front of the mirror. :D  :D

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2008, 12:24:32 AM »
I hit my wall last march.  Last year I quit chewing tobacco and gained 40 lbs.  I tipped the scales at 299.6 lbs. and freaked the fuck out.  that was eight years after I got out of the military at a fit weight of 220.  Since the first week of April I bought a mountain bike and became a vegetarian.  I have ridden my bike at least ten miles a day and just started running at least three miles two weeks ago and am already pushing that to four and five miles.  Now I am weighing 239 lbs and want to drop down to 200-210 lbs. by next year.  Every day I think about what I weighed back in Mach and feel sick.  Never again.

Offline Braden

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2008, 01:17:04 AM »
Its great to hear that all you guys (and maybe girls) have considered and actually done something about the fitness thing. There are definitely people out there that think if SHTF they have all their supplies and stuff and could go miles. But as creuzerm said (or I guess was getting at) about his friend, you may think its not a problem until you have to actually do it. Usually that should be the wakeup call (even if its not even an emergency), obviously not in his case.
Good work all, even if this is just to get fit and not for an emergency, your always going to be better off. I know I still have a fair way to go.

Braden  :D

tinfoilhat

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2008, 11:15:36 PM »
I'm glad to see a discussion going on this topic.  I've contemplated the fact that many of those people thinking they are going to be able to "bug out" anywhere are likely your average couch potato and may not even be able to make it to the corner without getting winded.  It seems like people with a survivalist mindset may be more likely to be into fitness, but I sense that it's a highly overlooked part of the equation.

Physical fitness is not only good for prepping for a survival situation, but obviously for everyday health and wellness, along with stress relief (which is very important in a tense environment as can be expected in a true survival situation).  I've given more thought recently to "survival-based fitness" as I think there are specific areas of emphasis that we should focus attention on.  Some of the areas I've identified as important are:

- "Burst" fitness:  Basically being able to flee a situation quickly.  I figure the best way to train for this is through interval training- jogging at a slower pace then running all out, then back to jogging, etc.  The point of this training is to gradually increase your max running speed and the distance you can cover at that speed.  If you need to get out of a situation quickly, being able to run as far away as you can from the area may be vitally important.  Depending on the situation, your best method of self-defense may be just being able to get out of there quickly.

- Endurance fitness: Being able to travel longer distances comfortably.  I think that a walking/jogging program of varied distances, speeds, and elevation changes would be good for this, which you can do with hill climbing or even on a treadmill where you can vary the elevation.  Weight training is also important for endurance and for being able to support the additional weight you are likely to need to support during a "bug out" scenario (hiking to a BOL while supporting a fully loaded pack, or maybe needing to leave your vehicle and walk the rest of the way home supporting your vehicle bug out kit).  There are many reasons this type of training would be important, and the farther we are able to take ourselves and our gear, the better.

- "Functional" fitness: Pushing, pulling, lifting, squatting, stretching, jumping.  A week or so ago, one of my dogs ruptured her ACL joint.  Trying to lift a 100-lb. dog into the car on my own, I realized just how difficult it may be to realize some of our "action plans" if I don't have the strength to perform the actions needed.  Carrying heavy packs that we aren't used to, perhaps helping lift people out of danger or carry an injured person to safety, all require strength.  The initial adrenaline burst we may get to help in a stressful situation will only go so far.  Incorporating a solid weight training program into your fitness regime will help build the strong muscles you need for these types of scenarios.  I would stress to focus on the "functional" movements that will actually mimic activities you would be most likely to need to do.  Becoming a "muscle head" isn't really the goal of functional strength training, it's to be able to build the strength needed to perform the required activities.  Pushups, pullups, squats, lunges, jumping rope, and jumping jacks are all great basic exercises that don't require much equipment and help build the type of functional strength we need as survivalists.

- Flexibility: It seems like we women value flexibility and stretching more than most men I know, but it's important to build flexibility.  It helps us recover more quickly from a tough workout and can help keep us relaxed and in a calmer state of mind.  Taking time to meditate or think about goals during stretching can be a great way to clear your head and put things into focus.  Keeping a clear, focused mind is one of the keys to being able to make it through trying times.

Anyway, these are a few things I've thought about with regard to survival-based fitness.  I could make an entirely new forum section on nutrition but that's for another day.  :P  If there are others out there with survival fitness plans, I'd love to hear what you've come up with.  I think starting a group for those of us interested in this topic is a great idea.  Having people be there to support and motivate you does wonders for a fitness plan, especially when you're part of a team all working toward the same goal.  They do call it "survival of the fittest" for a reason, after all!!

jeremya

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2008, 09:08:47 AM »
- "Functional" fitness: Pushing, pulling, lifting, squatting, stretching, jumping.  A week or so ago, one of my dogs ruptured her ACL joint.  Trying to lift a 100-lb. dog into the car on my own, I realized just how difficult it may be to realize some of our "action plans" if I don't have the strength to perform the actions needed.  Carrying heavy packs that we aren't used to, perhaps helping lift people out of danger or carry an injured person to safety, all require strength.  The initial adrenaline burst we may get to help in a stressful situation will only go so far.  Incorporating a solid weight training program into your fitness regime will help build the strong muscles you need for these types of scenarios.  I would stress to focus on the "functional" movements that will actually mimic activities you would be most likely to need to do.  Becoming a "muscle head" isn't really the goal of functional strength training, it's to be able to build the strength needed to perform the required activities.  Pushups, pullups, squats, lunges, jumping rope, and jumping jacks are all great basic exercises that don't require much equipment and help build the type of functional strength we need as survivalists.

One of the things I have seen lately for functional fitness exercises, if you can't get out chop wood, dig a ditch or pound a post, is using a sledge hammer as an exercise tool.
Search around there are some videos. It looked pretty interesting.

-- Jeremy

Mr.Riley

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2008, 09:10:34 AM »
WOW! thanks tinfoilhat! That was fantastic insight and it really helps me out. As of right now Im just jogging/running and doing daily pushup. Ive been wanting to really get into a solid fitness program and you just helped me with what I will focus on first. If you have any ideas on diet too that would rock!

Offline J.R. Morelli

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2008, 03:39:20 PM »
Yeah, this is definitely a fantastic thread! As soon as I started thinking about survival recently I've been worrying about my physical fitness so I've made a promise to myself to start exercising and getting into better shape.

I'm one of the guys that you guys mentioned, a scrawny eat-anything guy with a ridiculous metabolism who sits at a computer desk all day. My work requires me to be inactive at my desk, but luckily we have a gym here that I'm going to start taking advantage of.
I've also  started doing my own little workouts in whatever ways I can throughout the week. I've started a rather unconventional approach to exercise using a wooden "bokken" training sword in combination with fast-tempo controlled movements to get some exercise. I'm also doing some light weight lifting and pushups at home.
I'm also going to try to reset my poor sleep habits so that I can wake up feeling refreshed and with the energy to bike uphill to work and go hiking on the weekends.

Rather than needing to lose weight, I'm all skin-and-bones so it feels great and motivating to step on a scale and already see that I'm gaining muscle weight after just a few weeks of a little exercise and before I've even started any real weight lifting.

Thanks for sharing all of your stories as well, and thanks once again to tinfoilhat for an excellent post and reminding us of the need for functional fitness. I've definitely got some better goals to work toward now after reading what you all have shared.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2008, 03:45:56 PM by J.R. Morelli »

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2008, 04:23:34 PM »
My belief is the following are the best forms of exercise.

1.  Walking, especially in hilly terrain or with a load or both.

2.  Weight lifting involving the entire body, squats, lunges, etc.  Add in some upper body of course but every session do some whole body.

3.  Heavy bag work.

4.  Pull ups and dips, even if you have to start with very few reps and do lots of sets to make up for it.

Now I came to those long before my survival mindset was developed, but if you think about it they are all perfect for 99% of physical challenges in a survival scenario.  They condition you to

1. Have endurance
2. Fight if need be
3. Develop lung capacity
4. Climb and get over obstacles
5. Cover distance on foot

Hmm may be I am on to something here?

tinfoilhat

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2008, 06:14:22 PM »
I'm glad some of you found my post interesting/helpful.  I got a "-1 karma" not long after posting it so I thought maybe I'd offended people, heh.  (I haven't posted anything I would consider controversial, perhaps a little "tin hatty" in the army on US soil thread, but that is in the tin foil hat brigade area!)  Anyway, if you liked my post feel free to give me "+1" and I won't have to be so reluctant to say anything else!  Hehe.

Jack- those are the types of things I had in mind with the suggestions I made.  One thing I will note is as I mentioned in my post, men tend to forget the importance of building flexibility.  However, women tend to downplay the importance of weight training.  Apparently some women think it will make them "bulky" but honestly the vast majority of women just aren't built to be muscle heads, so unless you're in the gym for hours a day pumping some serious iron and taking lots of supplements, you aren't going to look like a body builder. 

You will however, look lean and strong, increase your resting metabolism (help burn more fat while you're sitting around at work), decrease your chance of developing arthritis or weak bones (weight-bearing exercie can increase/maintain bone density, very important as we age), and improve self-confidence.  Being strong and fit is empowering and coupled with learning a few basic self-defense moves, can greatly increase your confidence in (and ability to) being able to defend yourself if need be.

I'm still working on putting together a post on diet.  My hubby and I eat lots of "bean and rice" type dishes because I happen to like them, so reading the other thread on beans and rice has somewhat inspired me to try putting together a list of recipes for various ways to cook them.  I'm just afraid if I make a post on diet it's going to be a bohemoth so I'll try to see what I can do to not be long-winded.  :D


 

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2008, 12:53:35 AM »
Don't worry, I took care of that for you.  +1

Rode to work (VA)  10 mile round trip.

tinfoilhat

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2008, 01:54:40 PM »
Aww, thank you.  :-*

Good job riding to work!  I wish I could do that, 26 miles for me and most of it down 270. :(((  Need more goob jobs to move to western-ish MD please!!

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2008, 04:50:08 PM »
Ha! I have the opposite problem that alot of ppl in the thread are complaiining about, I get too much exercise. You guys want some exercies go be a meter reader. I currently work as a meter reader for a gas company. I walk between 8-12 miiles every day depending on my route. I also have to jump many fences, and run from dogs. In fact, Im currently looking for an office job because this one is kicking my ass.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 05:00:57 PM by Spamity Calamity »

Offline archer

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2008, 05:12:11 PM »
8-12 miles a day? wow... Maybe I need to get a job as that to get away from this damn desk I sit at all day.

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2008, 07:15:34 PM »
8-12 miles a day? wow... Maybe I need to get a job as that to get away from this damn desk I sit at all day.

lol Ill trade ya

Offline flagtag

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Re: Physical Fitness
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2008, 08:41:14 PM »
When I worked security years ago, I had to walk to each post which was a mile around. Once per hour, for a total of 11 miles per night.  I gained weight, but everyone thought I had lost at least 20 lbs.   I need that job now!