This just in over the electronic transom from The Trainer . . .
Improving Your Abilities:
There's a lot you can do to increase your abilities in the field (you can translate this to 'life expectancy') providing you are serious about being able to 'hack it' should we ever be forced into a SHTF situation. Here are a few things to consider:
Nutrition - Cut the Fast Food out of Your Diet - Nutritional studies have shown that a steady diet of fast or processed food over time significantly decreases the metabolism, increases fat retention, elevates both sugar and blood pressure levels. You can't be overweight, out of breath, insulin and BP medication dependent in the field. It's just not going to turn out well for you. So, if you can (and we all can if we want to), cut out the fast and/or processed foods in your diet as much as possible. Go to whole grain breads made with unbleached or wheat flour. Cut out all "diet" products made with asparteme. Drink more water because it flushes toxins out of your system. Try not to eat anything after 6:00 pm and make breakfast your best meal of the day with light lunches and very light suppers.
Rest - Start making yourself get 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily. Of that time, 5 hours should be uninterrupted sleep because the body heals itself during that time. That's when the body fights off any infections or viruses you may have (colds, illnesses, etc). A good way to help yourself do this is by knocking off the hours upon hours in front of the reality based television. Our parents were right: TV really does rot your brain! Same thing with the computer. Limit your time on the pc. READ some of the references Vanderboegh listed in stead. If you're one of those people who can't seem to sleep well, doing the next item below an hour before you retire will help out considerably. In some cases, adding the natural supplement, "Melatonin" to your regimen about 20 minutes before bed may help, too.
Exposure - Contrary to what some say, humans need exposure to the sun. That's where we absorb most of our Vitamin D. It's what causes the body to produce the necessary amounts of melatonin that helps us sleep. Get out of the house, put on some shorts (wear sunglasses to prevent blindness if you must!) and go for a walk.
Walking - Add an hour a day EVERY DAY of brisk walking to your nutritional and rest program modifications and you will see some remarkable changes in your personal physiology! You'll start to get leaner, have more energy, and generally feel better. Don't walk so fast that you can't hold a conversation; a 15 to 17 minute mile in sweats or shorts with good walking shoes ought to do it. After a few weeks of this, when you put on your LBE and ruck and try a 'forced road march', you'll be surprised how well you perform, especially when you compare your performance to those who do nothing.
Marksmanship - Dryfire and position exercises. Breathing, sight picture, sight alignment trigger depression, and follow through. At least 10 minutes a day (not a whole lot of time, but the effect is cumulative!). Once a week, take your rifle down to its major groups and put it back together again. Make it fun. When you think you know it well, blindfold yourself and then add time as a stressor. "Becoming One" with the rifle isn't just some neat little 'zen' saying; it's a reality. The better you know your rifle, the better you'll be with it on the range and in the field. Practice magazine changes until you can do it without looking at the rifle or the magazine.
Little things, all, but it's the little things that make the difference.