Thursday, April 23, 2009

Praxis Snippets From The Trainer: "It's the little things that make the difference."

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.


jon said...

exposure time to the sun for vitamin D specifically only takes about ten minutes per day. you don't need to be in a bathing suit, either, just roll up your sleeves and twist that cap backwards or wear it high. sunbathing through the office window doesn't count, especially if it's tinted! modern windows claim to block some "harmful" UV rays -- well, they ain't all that harmful, not in small doses.

Anonymous said...

Re: Jon, you are absolutely right. Too much of a good thing becomes harmful, that is the case in everything, even vegetables. We need UV light, and that is why in many science fiction stories about long-distance space exploration, the ships are outfitted with solariums and sun-bulbs that produce the same characters as regular sunlight. It is not just for growing food aboard the ship, it is also to keep the crew from withering away from the long journey through pitch blackness between the stars.

Anonymous said...

Mosr of you regular readers here already know this, for marksmanship training that is both inexpensive and effective go to an Appleseed!
Learn to use your battle rifle!

straightarrow said...

That walking thing isn't working for me. I recently had a defib/pacemaker installed. I can sustain a 3.5 mile/hour speed walking and I have been trying like hell to get back in some kind of shape now that I have had my eye fixed (I can see to shoot), didn't expect the heart thing to turn worse on me, but oh well.

However I have gained seven to eight pounds since I started walking again and I was way overweight when I started. I eat little, but I sure hang on to it.

I will say my circulation is improved again. My ankles and feet are no longer swollen. The huge water blisters i used to get on my legs are not happening anymore. But I haven't lost any weight.

Until my chest wound heals and the wires in my heart seal in, I can't do much else in the way of exercise. In about a month, I can start push-ups and crunches etc., but I'm going to be very angry if I gain even more weight. ;)

7.62mm said...

Start with walking shoes and tee shirt for two or three miles. Then walk in boots, UTEs, and a light pack/hydrator.

A couple of times a week, add your battle gear [Spare loaded mags, hydrator, blowout kit, dump bag, cleaning kit, pistol, etc.] That will be another 12-15+ pounds. You will be surprised how tired you get after 3+ miles at 16 minute miles. ESPECIALLY if you have a sedentary office job...

And that doesn't touch your 20+ pound bugout bag for a total of about 35 pounds, not inlcuding boots, pistol, etc.

For giggles, add a 15 pound barbell to simulate your loaded rifle. [No, I haven't reached that level of fitness yet]

Just some suggestions.

Keith said...

Straightarrow: Focus on what you can do and make little improvements within your capabilities every week. DON'T push so hard that you suffer a setback. Slow, steady progress. Good luck, don't give up, and celebrate your weekly improvements.

Anonymous said...

Here is in depth info on Vit D, it's more like a hormone:
Also, don't worry about your weight, look at your physique, and whether your belt is getting longer, when I trained I gained weight, it was muscle and the pants went loose. If you're diabetic, beans are your friend, but you may lose your other ones, sorry.
Wayne B

Anonymous said...

straightarrow, try switching to sparkling mineral water, flavored, no sweetener. Has something to do with the acid/alkaline ratio of the body. Tends to force the visceral fat deposits (deep in the core around organs, harder to get rid of, too much around the organs tends to clog and damage organs like the heart, liver, lungs and intestines) out into the subcutaneous fat deposits (surface, still hard to get rid of, but doesn’t make it harder to lose weight like visceral fat and usually converts to fuel for muscles more readily). After a few weeks the weight gain should stop (even with missing exercises) and breathing should improve (was on my way to congestive heart failure with the way I was coughing, and I’m just 30). And remember, as muscle is built, weight tends to increase until you develop a critical amount of muscle that begins to feed off the fat while at rest, that’s when the weight loss really starts. Not a doctor or nutritionist, just what worked for me when their recommendations ran me up to nearly 300 lbs, even at 6’3, that was too much for me to work with.


Sean said...

I would also suggest, sizing up things everywhere you go, such as, what would make good cover, what would make good concealment. I absolutely hated a lot of training in the Army, because a lot of what regulars get trained for will kill them. Such as moving to a covered position.... out in the open! Open areas are kill zones, stay out. Roads, trails, bridges,soccer and ball fields,parking lots, malls,all kill zones. Size things up wherever and whenever you are.

Crustyrusty said...

Straightarrow, the walking IS working, my friend. Your muscles are growing and getting heavier due to the exercise and increased cardiac output. Just the fact that you're not third-spacing fluid anymore is cause for joy. Don't quit now.

straightarrow said...

I've about decided I am in shape. Hell! Round is a shape!