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  • Writer's pictureJoy Allen

What if You Actually Have to Run?

It's almost that time. At the beginning of every New Year, millions of people define and begin to chase resolutions. One of the most popular involves fitness. Everyone decides to begin visiting the gym. Diets and weight loss programs sell out. And health food options fly off the grocery store shelves.

It doesn't take much to realize that physical fitness, or the lack thereof, impacts every aspect of life. Self-defense is no exception. Still, many believe that carrying a firearm somehow negates the need for good health. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Consider this. Most self-defense incidents require some level of physical altercation. Even when they don't, the toll that violent encounters take on the physical body is intense. Adrenaline and cortisol dump, escalated heart rate, and increased muscle mass are all likely responses to trauma that carry residual effects. Extreme stress causes damage, and good health is the only way to proactively combat that response.

So, what happens if the gun isn't enough? What if you have to fight? What happens if you need to run?

Like it or not, physical fitness is required for anyone who expects to reasonably protect themselves. Here's why incorporating fitness into your self-defense strategy is a game-changer:

  • Strength and Resilience: A strong body is your first line of defense. Regular workouts boost your strength, endurance, and resilience, enabling you to react effectively and maintain control in unpredictable situations.

  • Quick Reflexes: Fitness sharpens your reflexes, allowing you to respond swiftly to threats. Whether it's evading an attack or executing a defensive move, a fit body enhances your reaction time.

  • Confidence Amplifier: When you feel fit and capable, your confidence soars. This mental strength translates into assertiveness and calmness during confrontations, deterring potential attackers.

  • Energy Reserves: An energized body has greater fuel reserves to draw from, ensuring you can sustain your efforts when you need them the most.

  • Mental Clarity: Exercise promotes mental clarity and stress reduction. In tense situations, a clear mind is your ally, helping you make rational decisions under pressure.

  • Versatility: Physical fitness opens doors to various self-defense techniques, allowing you to adapt and use your skills effectively in different scenarios.

Incorporating physical fitness and some sort of hand-to-hand combat training are essential factors in your self-defense toolbox. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:

  • Take a few entry-level fight courses, including martial arts options. Taking as few as three to four classes per year can provide you with life-saving skills that may thwart an attacker.

  • Stay physically fit. Work with a physician to develop a workout plan. In most cases, just 150 minutes of activity per week will sustain a healthy lifestyle. Be sure to incorporate both cardiovascular and strength/resistance training.

  • Maintain a healthy weight and work with your physician to address any health challenges. If medication is prescribed, take it as directed.

  • Eat a healthy diet.

  • Get enough rest.

  • Control stress levels.

As always situational awareness and avoidance are the most powerful strategies for self-preservation. In addition, committing to a balanced routine of physical activity, hand-to-hand training, and firearms training offers the best combination of preparedness for a violent encounter.

Stay safe out there, and don't wait for January 1.

Do it NOW!

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