When the Zombies Keep Coming
If anyone watched the finale to Walking Dead last year, you probably saw an instance of really good cardio.
Cardio, incidentally, is the first rule mentioned in Zombieland as a means to survival. The second is “double tap,” but we’ll get there in our weapons training soon enough.
Most zombies seem to be pretty easy to outrun. Fast zombies just aren’t fair, (*cough-Danny Boyle-cough*), so I like to pretend they just won’t happen. Outrunning the shamble-shamble-moan type of zombies would be a cinch if they weren’t so persistent.
I mean, they’re dead. It’s easier for them to be rather dogged about things.
Zombie Apocalypse Preparation is many things, but short term it is not.
ZAP Battlemaster Anna Meade wrote today:
Why Long Term?
First of all, if and when zombies happen, you’re going to need to be ready. It could happen tomorrow, but it could also happen in twenty years. Don’t be past your prime. Extend your prime.
Secondly, your body is an amazing machine. The better you treat it, the better it treats you. It’s one of the few golden examples in the world of “do good, get good.” You get out of it what you put into it. If you put a bunch of bacon-flavoured crisps and Big Macs into it sprinkled with a healthy dose of couch sitting, you’ll get that back times three. If you give your body exercise and only feed it bacon-flavoured crisps and Big Macs in moderation, tempered with delicious whole grains, veggies, fruit, and protein, your body will respond in kind.
Why Long Term Fails Happen
The single biggest mistake I’ve made with fitness in the past is overdoing it. Going too hard, too fast. I got short term results, but the second life happened, I slid back into my normal habits. Which, in case you’re wondering, involve Big Macs and Chipotle burritos. And cake. I do love some cake.
Many people have the misconception that fitness and nutrition are about short sprints to achieve a quick goal.
They’re not. That couldn’t be more wrong.
If you want to be healthy (really healthy) and manage to not only survive the initial onslaught of the zombie apocalypse but create a new post-apocalyptic life — it is going to take a commitment to a change in lifestyle.
Our bodies are built to move. We’re made to eat good foods. Our bodies tell us when we’re doing the right thing because we’re stronger, leaner, have more energy, and get sick less. That’s why celery diets result in binge eating brownies and trifle faster than you can say Atkins. It’s why Atkins was popular but unhealthy.
The founder of SparkPeople, Chris Downie believes that the “secret” to losing weight and keeping it off is small, sustainable changes. He challenges people to get at least 10 minutes of exercise per day. Just ten minutes. But that ten minutes can make a huge difference.
The ZAP Warrior Way
Two days ago at work I saw a woman in an electric wheelchair. And when I say “in,” I mean more that she was on it. Sort of. This woman weighed easily 450-500 pounds. My brain shorted out for a minute when I saw her. My first thought was, “How does that even happen?”
People will say genetics, they’ll say thyroid, they’ll say all sorts of things. But I’ve never seen anything like that in Europe (though I’m sure it happens on a smaller scale, no pun intended). America is the most obese nation on the planet. If it were as simple as genetics or lazy thyroids, the number of people that large would be an even percentage regardless of which country you visited. But it’s not. Here it’s much more prevalent.
What causes morbid obesity is a simple equation. Inaction + too many calories. While losing weight can be difficult, I’ve watched my in-laws lose about 60 pounds each since January. They are both on their way to healthy weights. And the difference is amazing. They’re ZAP Warriors and they don’t even know it.
ZAP Warriors understand that you cannot predict the future. You can’t say when the apocalypse will come. When a heart attack will come. When a stroke will come. Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a twenty pound bag of flour. Imagine carrying it around with you everywhere you go for the next year, unable to put it down.
Sound pleasant? I didn’t think so. But when we give into inaction and poor diets, we’re voluntarily picking up that bag of flour. No matter your level of ability, you can move. Doubt it? Go on SparkPeople and read some of the member stories. People in wheelchairs, people paralysed from the waist down — they’ve found a way. If you have full movement of your limbs, you can do it too. They can.
The woman in the chair was an extreme example of what happens when you just keep taking on bags of flour. If a bag of flour weighs about twenty pounds and you’re weighted down by fifteen of those? Imagine trying to move. Imagine trying to do anything. That’s not what we’re built for. Put down the bags of flour. Get moving. The ZAP Warrior Way starts with a commitment to shed those bags of flour, whatever it takes.
ZAP Warriors for Life
There’s no dancing around the issue that being a ZAP Warrior is a lifetime commitment. Even if the zombies don’t come in our lifetime, being a ZAP Warrior could save your life.
We all know on an intellectual level that being healthy and fit can prolong your time on this rock. We know that heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, and even injury are made hundreds of times more likely by being overweight or obese. But still somehow the knowledge doesn’t create a sense of urgency.
And that’s not to mention the other horrible things that can happen. Two nights ago, a friend of mine was assaulted by two teens in D.C. who tried to rob her. One punched her in the face, and the other pushed her down. And she fought them off. They didn’t even get her purse. She WON. She’s got a couple battle wounds, but she is alive.
That’s where the zombies come in. That’s why they matter — because if you have something chasing you, something that wants to eat you, you’ll run. You’ll flail your arms around. You’ll take care of the machine that drives your consciousness because it’s the only one you’ve got.
And once it’s gone, it’s gone.
This is the ZAP Warrior Lifetime Commitment. (It sounds like you should be getting a calendar or a set of matching monogrammed pens.)
1. Cardio. Ten minutes a day, every day. Walk the dog. Go for a jog. Play Fruit Ninja on Kinect. Or Kinect Sports on Kinect. Anything that gets your heart rate up and sweat beading on your brow.
2. Strength. Man or woman, young or old, you can train your muscles to be stronger, leaner, and more powerful. Move weight around. Start slow and work up. Not only will this help hone your body, but it will help your weight loss. Muscle burns more calories than fat.
3. Learning. Maybe I’m a natural pessimist, but I believe that shit happens. Learn how to handle a weapon. Learn how to find water and food outside a grocery store. You never know when you’ll have to Hatchet your way back to civilisation. (Great book, by the way.)
Commit to yourself. Commit to a better lifestyle for you and your family. Teach your children good habits. They don’t need Kraft macaroni and cheese when you can make it better for them and more delicious. They don’t need candy when you show them the joy of fruit.
Be a ZAP Warrior. Join us.
Tweet to us at #ZAP.
How do you plan to show your ZAP Warrior skills? What will you choose today?