Health & Wellness Blog
Live a happy & healthy lifestyle
Exercise is vital for good health and fitness, and certainly, any exercise is better than none. Unfortunately we tend to pick one type of exercise when a variety of exercises would provide additional benefits. Performing different types of exercise and workouts throughout the week will help you get leaner, stronger, healthier and reach your fitness goals.
Exercises generally fall into one of these categories:
Bodybuilding Versus Strength Training
To select the right approach to weight lifting and strength training, it is important to understand how a muscle gets stronger.
Best Of Both Worlds
Unless you are training solely for strength to support your participation in sports or the Olympics, why not try a combination of approaches in order to add lean muscle and get stronger? When planning your workouts, include 1-2 sets of lighter weights at 8-12 reps, 1-2 sets of moderate weights at 5-8 reps and finish each muscle group with heavy weights in the 3-5 repetition range. This approach is suitable for both men and women and will develop well defined muscle, reduce stored body fat and prevent loss of muscle and bone density often caused by aging.
While it is nice to join a fancy gym with a huge selection of barbells, dumbbells and resistance machines, you can get started at home with little or no equipment and add equipment as you progress in your training. Regardless of your approach, always work your entire body and as a beginner, do not train more than every other day in order to avoid injury and overtraining. Full body workouts will help you build a solid foundation with strong legs, chest, back and shoulders.
You can start your training with only your own body weight as resistance. Warm up ( jumping rope is ideal) then move to a variety of push ups, planks, lunges, and bodyweight squats. Find a park with a jungle gym or purchase an inexpensive pull up bar and add pullups and chinups to your bodyweight routine.
Barbells, Dumbbells and Kettlebells
Once you have your weights, your basic full body routine should include:
These five simple exercises, performed every other day, will train your entire body effectively in the minimum amount of time!
Meditating to Help Your Mind & Soul
While meditation is as old as history itself, it did not find its place in Western culture until the early 1960's and '70's. This was a tumultuous period when much of our culture was being questioned, tested and redefined, and many turned to meditation to cope with the pressure.
It was during this stressful time that practitioners realized that one of the most important aspects of meditation is its ability to release stress from our bodies. This “cleansing” is achieved by bridging the gap between consciousness and our unconscious selves allowing situations or “bad” thoughts that increase stress to become less significant and lose their power.
Benefits of Meditation
Mental and physical benefits that come from a daily meditation practice include:
To Begin Meditation
Posture is important, but you must be comfortable with your back upright and the line of your spine to you head straight. Most practitioners use a seated position on the ground with their hands relaxed in their lap. Do not lay flat as a beginner as you may literally fall asleep rather than meditate.
Slowly exhale and completely empty your lungs. Slowly and gently inhale and exhale through your nose with a deep rhythmic cycle filling your lungs to capacity and exhaling the air completely. This “belly breathing” involves slow, complete and long in and out breaths. Pause briefly at the end of each in and out breath. Focus on the feeling and sounds of your breathing.
You will learn to activate your heart-mind connection and a thought-clearing mode. As conscious thoughts arise, learn to dismiss them by surrounding them with the six virtues of appreciation, compassion, forgiveness, humility, valor, and understanding.
There are two important areas of your body that you may be ignoring - your lower back and your abdominal or core muscle groups. These muscle groups may not be glamorous, but if you want to relieve (or prevent) back pain and increase your core strength to support your daily activities, you need to perform exercises that support, stabilize and protect your spine.
To strengthen your lower back and core, start with these simple bodyweight exercises:
Start with your back against a wall with your feet about a foot or two away from the wall. Tighten your core and slide down into a 90 degree angle and hold this pose as long as possible.
Start with your back flat on the floor with your knees bent and feet firmly planted. Tighten your abs and core and raise your buttocks off the floor until your body is in a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold this position while keeping your abs tight.
This simple but effective core strengthening exercise is also known as the “skydiver.” Start face down on the mat or floor with your arms and legs spread a little further than shoulder width apart. Tighten your core muscles and lower back and lift your arms and legs off the floor while your chest, stomach and pelvis remain in contact with the floor. Hold this position as long as possible then repeat.
Lie on your side and place your elbow and forearm on the floor. Tighten your abs and hold your body up in a straight line. This is just like the plank exercise detailed above except on your side on one forearm and elbow. Hold this position while keeping your abs tight and then repeat on the opposite side.
Start with your back flat, knees bent and feet planted. Cross your arms across your chest, tighten your core and slowly raise your upper body until your elbows touch your knees. Pause briefly, then slowly lower your upper body back to the floor and repeat.
A strong back and core work together to provide support and flexibility that will enable you to perform functional physical activities and lift heavy objectives - pain free!
Important to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
There was a time when consumer goods of all kinds would just be tossed into the garbage once they had reached the end of their useful life. It was just easy to throw something away that you could not use again and replace it with the same item. If you grew up in a middle-class family with several children chances were that you had been recycling things long before you knew it.
Did you ever wear hand-me-downs? Those were clothing items that were passed from one child to another as one out grew them and another grew into them. This is the basic principle behind reusing something rather than getting rid of it. Over the past few decades items other than clothing have become recyclable. Plastics are a fine example of reducing and reusing.
Because plastic can survive for a very, very long time in landfill sites, and landfill sites were beginning to fill up at a faster rate than expected, plastics became a recyclable. Paper products have also been converted to items that can be reused to create additional consumer goods and reduce the amount of energy required to do so. All of these factors play a role in the 3 R’s.
Understanding The Three Components of Recycling
The three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle – all rely on three major steps that fall under the recycling part of the equation. The recycling logo, which appears on all items that can be recycled, is in the form of three arrows that create a triangle shape. The three components of recycling are represented in that logo as collection, manufacturing and buying.
Collection – Keeping Recyclable Products Out Of The Landfill
Manufacturing – Creating Items With Recycled Material Instead Of Raw
-Companies in search of the recycled materials are who re-manufacture them into new consumer products. It sometimes requires a significant investment on the part of the company to adapt their manufacturing process to accommodate recycled products into their new products. However, more and more manufacturers are addressing this issue within their manufacturing process. It continues to change.
Buying – By Buying Products With Recycled Material We Complete The Loop
Sorting It Out
So, what’s the big deal about separating your recyclables?
You would think that by keeping them out of the landfill would be good enough. However, when recyclables are contaminated by garbage it adds to the amount of work required in order to prepare the paper, plastic and glass for market. The easy way to save on this step is to have you – the consumer – do the sorting before you take the recyclables into the recycle depot or leave them curbside for pickup.
There are specific standards related to the amount of containments that are allowed. In order for recycling depots to earn revenue through the sale of recycled items, they must meet these standards. It actually makes sense when you think about it. For example, glass that has ink and other toxic liquids on it would require additional cleaning to prepare it for remanufacture. But if the glass is separated from those toxic items, the glass would be cleaner and easier to process.
What Makes Recycling Worthwhile
If you are still not convinced that the 3 R’s are such a big deal for a very good reason, maybe this will help. Recycling is considered one of the most successful environmental success stories in the latter half of the 20th Century. It has been proven to remove waste from landfill sites that otherwise just sit rather than be turned into useful ‘new’ products. In 2003, recycling efforts in the United States diverted over 72-million tons of reusable materials from landfill sites.
The Benefits of RecyclinG
Remember the three main components of recycling? Collecting is the first step and many different benefits can be traced from this very first action. The returns fall under three main categories including financial, environmental and societal. Here is a closer look at those many benefits:
Reusing materials for the creation of new items saves energy. It also reduces the amount of pollution caused by the extraction and processing of raw materials and the manufacturing of those raw materials into consumer products.
Recycling has a direct impact on the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). In fact, it decreases the volume of the emissions which have been identified as having a contribution to global climate change.
Recycling quite simply sustains the environment for many generations to come. Do you want to live in an environment full of waste? I think not.
Recycling Is Just Part Of The Picture
It’s true. If you recycle in your home, you are playing an active part in the pyramid that makes up the internationally recognized recycling logo. However, you can actually do a lot more which will further reduce your carbon footprint and give you a bigger part of the puzzle to claim.
All you have to do is actually reduce the amount of waste you and your household produces. How exactly do you do that? The simple answer is to reuse all that you can that would otherwise become waste tossed into the landfill.
The Top Of The Waste Management Program
Waste management essentially begins with you. Your first goal is to reduce the amount of waste you produce. You do this by reusing whenever possible. Your next step is to recycle. You would be recycling those things that you cannot find a reuse for. If the waste you have produced cannot be reused or recycled, then the only other option is to dispose of it in the landfill. What you have done by following a waste management plan is diverted the path of waste. Instead of waste you have produced going directly to the landfill, you first try to reuse or recycle it.
The reason why waste management is at the top of a waste reduction plan is also simple. The best way to manage waste – which is also the most effective and logical – is by not producing waste in the first place. It boils down to you throwing away less garbage and either making use of materials in different ways or separating them and shipping them off to the recycle depot so that they can be re-manufactured into newer consumer products. In other words, if you buy only what you need, you should have little waste after you have used it all.
But still waste is going to be produced. There really is no way to completely avoid it. However, with less waste produced, it is easier to manage. That is why recycling is the next step in the process. The small amount of waste produced by items that cannot be reused may actually be recyclable. Once all the recyclables are removed from that waste, the amount of waste that remains should be even less. This is now far more manageable. The little waste that remains after reusing and recycling can then go to the landfill which will be far less that it would have been.
Why Bother To Reduce, Reuse and Recycle If Landfill Space Is Being Saved?
That may be a valid question to ask. But we have to first take a look at the fact that landfill sites have existed for longer than recycling programs. This means that there is already a great deal of unusable land taking up space in places where development could have happened. In your community there will be a landfill site that has occupied the same piece of land for many decades. It will have also expanded somewhat as the community has grown. This property will never be able to be used for anything other than waste collection.
Developing new sites for landfill is even more difficult than before simply because of the way in which the land it occupies is impacted over the years. Yes, standards have been implemented that carefully control the types of products and contaminants that will be accepted in a landfill site. However, with so much focus on the 3 R’s in today’s world, landfill sites are viewed as a last resort and often are heavily regulated as a result. By reducing, reusing and recycling you are actually extending the life of your local landfill site by not adding a lot of waste to it.
Burying The Landfill Just Hides The Problem
Decomposition takes place when the right elements are present. They are air, water and light. With the average sanitary landfill site is a regular routine of covering the items dropped off at the site either daily or weekly. In theory, this speeds up composition but in reality, a seal is created each time the landfill is covered. It reduces the amount of air, water and light that can penetrate the top layers of waste. As more waste is added, there are additional layers that are created. The lower layers get compacted but may not decompose entirely adding to the volume of waste.
Plus, with a properly planned landfill site, it should be located far enough away from the community to not become an issue as the community experiences growth. Even with all of these precautions factored into the planning, landfill sites still only have a limited lifespan.
Landfills Also Contribute To Greenhouse Gas Emissions
After a landfill site has reached the end of its life it is sealed which further slows the decomposition process. While there is some breakdown of waste products, landfill sites produce high concentrations of methane gas. Methane gas is extremely combustible and must be tapped and burned off to prevent explosions or other incidents. The problem that results is that methane happens to be a greenhouse gas which will stay in the atmosphere for between 10 and 15 years. It is also 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide is.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Short RevieW
The 3 R’s are reduce, reuse and recycle. By following these steps in your home and business, you can easily implement a waste management program. The ultimate goal you should have in that plan is to end up with far less waste to take to your landfill site or leave at the curbside for pickup for delivery to the landfill site. When you use the 3 R’s in your life, you save land from being developed into a landfill site. Landfill sites eat up valuable property that could be otherwise developed for something useful in your community.
The 3 R’s also greatly preserve natural resources including timber, water and minerals that are typically required to produce new products. Manufacturing plants are also leading the way in adapting how their products are made by creating processes that can create the same products but with a percentage of recycled materials added to the formula. The 3 R’s are also responsible for reducing the amount of greenhouse gases that are sent into the atmosphere and as a result, reduces the amount of heat trapped within our atmosphere affecting climate change.
The Economic Impact Of Recycling
It has already been noted that the recycling industry has created well over a million new jobs but here’s the most interesting part about that: those jobs generate an annual payroll of over $37-million and gross well over $236-billion in revenues. Those revenues come from the sale of recycled materials to manufacturing companies who reuse them in their ‘new’ products.
More Numbers And Stats
A 2001 report produced by the National Recycling Coalition in the United States is where the numbers mentioned in this article originate. They also include further data that will explain how significant the recycling industry has become. The NRC commissioned a US Recycling Economic Information Study that indicates that those 1.1-million jobs in the industry represent over 56,000 recycling depots and businesses across the country. The report adds that the number of workers in the recycling industry is comparable to other well-established industries.
For example, there are as many people working and earning wages in the recycling industry as there are in the automobile manufacturing industry and far more than are currently employed in the mining and waste management and disposal (landfill) industries. Speaking of wages, the average wage for a worker in the recycling industry happens to be somewhat higher than the average wage for all other industries in the US.
FINAL THOUGHT on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The evidence is there. Reducing, reusing and recycling makes good sense. It is also easy to start to do in your home or business. You can start simple just be separating glass, paper and plastic from your regular garbage. You’ll be amazed at how much this will reduce the amount of waste you will dispose of on a weekly basis.
Once you get into the habit of doing this, you’ll soon start to see ways in which you can reuse things you would normally throw out. Recycling is a bit of a lifestyle change for many but it will eventually become a regular part of your daily life.
The most effective exercises you can do for strong, defined and toned legs and firm glutes are squats, lunges and movements involving steps or stairs. You can easily begin a leg and glute program using only your bodyweight, but adding weights will increase intensity, improve your balance and provide upper body training into your lower body workout.
Here are seven exercises you should use to tone your legs and glutes at home without equipment or machines:
Single Leg Squats
Once you master the squat, turn up the intensity by adding single leg squats. This variation requires greater strength and balance but isolates and trains your glutes and hamstrings. Once you master this challenging movement, add a dumbbell or hold a weight plate across your chest to increase the intensity (and effectiveness).
Start on the floor on all fours. Bend one leg and lift it until your knee is at the level of your back. From this position, raise your leg higher, you will feel this in your glutes. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
Lie on the floor on your back with both knees bent. Stabilize your body with your arms flat on the floor by your side. Lift your butt and lower back off the floor and squeeze your glutes as you ascend. Squeeze and pause at the highest point for a second and lower your butt down until it touches the floor before raising it again.
Similar to Hip Extensions, the glute kickback exercise is an isolation exercise that should be performed toward the end of your leg and glute workout. Start on all fours with your head forward. Pull one knee to your chest and then push that leg back and up behind you. Contract your glutes throughout the movement and hold the contraction at the highest point momentarily. Repeat with the opposite leg.
For body weight calf raises, stand behind a chair or beside a wall with your legs slightly apart and toes slightly outward. Raise yourself upward until you are standing on your tiptoes and squeeze your calf muscles at the highest point. You can also perform your calf raises while standing on a stair step, board or aerobic step to increase the stretch and range of motion.
Dehydration Affects Your Mind & Body
Water is an extremely necessary element for the proper functioning of our body, since much of our body is formed by this liquid. Until today, many people do not understand the importance of drinking enough water and keeping our body hydrated.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is a decrease in the amount of fluid in our body which causes a lack of water inside the cells. This situation occurs when the amount of liquid ingested is less than that which is eliminated as a consequence of the different organic functions.
It is the alteration or lack of water and mineral salts in the plasma of a body, it can also be defined as the loss of body water above 3%. It can be caused by being in a very hot situation (especially if there is a lot of humidity), intense exercise, lack of something to drink or a combination of these factors. It also occurs in those diseases where the electrolyte balance is altered.
Regardless your age, you can suffer from dehydration if you do not drink enough water on hot days, especially if you engage in intense physical activity or exercise. Mild or moderate dehydration can be tackled easily by taking fluids, but in the case of severe dehydration, immediate medical treatment is ideal.
Symptoms of Dehydration
The symptoms of dehydration are noticeable after having lost 3% of the volume of water. Initially thirst and discomfort appear, possibly accompanied by loss of appetite and dry skin. Athletes may suffer a loss that increases by 30%, flushing appears, resistance is lost, heart rate increases, body temperature increases, and fatigue quickly appears.
Degrees of Dehydration
Risk Factors of Dehydration
Anyone can suffer from dehydration.
However, certain people are at greater risk:
On certain occasions, dehydration occurs due to simple reasons: When you do not drink enough because you are sick or busy, or because you do not have access to safe drinking water when you travel, are hiking or camping.
Health Complications of Dehydration
Dehydration can lead to serious complications, such as the following:
If you fail to consume enough fluid when you are performing physical activity and you sweat a lot, you may have a heat injury. The severity of this injury can range from mild muscle cramps to heat exhaustion or heat stroke that can put your life at risk.
Kidney & Urinary Problems
Electrolytes - like potassium and sodium - help carry electrical signals from one cell to the other. If your electrolytes are unbalanced, the normal electrical signal can mix, which can lead to involuntary muscle contractions and sometimes loss of consciousness.
Shock Due to Low Blood Volume (Hypovolemic Shock)
This is one of the most serious complications of dehydration and can put your life at risk. It occurs when a low volume of blood causes a decrease in blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in your body.
If you did not drink enough water, your body will begin to use the reserves of your body to carry out essential physiological functions, such as digestion or elimination of toxins. Try to adopt the habit of drinking 2 glasses of water in the morning and before going to sleep to keep your body hydrated throughout the day.
Although blood pressure varies according to different factors, one of the causes can be dehydration. When the body is well hydrated, the blood is composed of 92% water, but when we are dehydrated, the blood becomes thicker and hinders circulation, causing hypertension.
Skin Problems / Quick Aging
If you suffer from dry skin, dehydrated skin, or are prone to develop rashes or rash, your body may not be getting the amount of water it needs. Dehydration affects the body's ability to eliminate toxins, which makes the skin more vulnerable to these types of conditions. In addition, lack of water can cause premature wrinkling and discoloration of the skin. To prevent this from happening, make sure you drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water a day.
Constipation is one of the most annoying digestive disorders and one of the clearest signs of lack of water. The colon, the place where the last stages of the digestive process take place, is one of the main sources of water in the body. When we are dehydrated, our body begins to get water from the colon, making it difficult or obstructing the passage of waste through the large intestine. As a result, we suffer from inflammation, abdominal cramps and constipation.
Joint Paint & Stiffness
Cartilage, one of the most important parts of the joints, is composed mainly of water. Therefore, when we are dehydrated, the cartilage weakens, hindering movement and function of the joints.
How to Prevent Dehydration
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids and eat foods rich in water, such as fruits and vegetables. Letting thirst be your guide is an appropriate daily guideline for most healthy people.
This may involve drinking between 6 and 8 glasses (between 1.5 and 2 liters) daily for some people, depending on how much water they get through food and how much they sweat as a result of the physical activity they perform. You have to remember that drinking water does not add calories to your diet and is definitely very good for your health.
If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors on a hot day, it will be convenient to use appropriate clothes for the activity that will be developed: loose clothing and a hat, if possible. This will generate a sense of freshness. If there is dizziness or you feel very thirsty, it will be necessary to rest for several minutes, sit in the shade or in a cool place and drink water.
If you are going to practice a sport or participate in strenuous physical activity, you will need to hydrate well before starting the activity. Also, drink at regular intervals (every 20 minutes, approximately) during the activity and at the end of it. The best time to train or play sports is in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest hours of the day.
Fast food may not be good for your health!
We have fast-paced lives, and we barely have enough time to eat and spend time with our family. Since most of us don’t have the time to eat a proper meal (especially during work breaks), we are always inclined to eat fast food. And at first, fast food sounds great; you have food that’s ready to eat and which will help you increase your energy levels for the next couple of hours.
However, despite its overall convenience, fast food does hide some very dangerous things. In this article, we will focus on understanding the side effects of fast food and what happens to your body when you eat processed foods like this.
One of the main health issues that appear from fast food is diabetes. That’s because a fast-food-centric diet is also encouraging you to eat more sugar, and that will be a major risk factor for diabetes. In fact, a CARDIA study states that eating fast food 2 times per week can lead to major health problems. Combine that with a lack of workouts and exercising, and you will end up with health issues in the end.
Yes, if you eat lots of fast food, you do end up with the risk of dealing with cardiovascular disease. Fast foods are full of saturated fats, and these raise cholesterol levels. The high sugar intake will bring in the metabolic syndrome, and this increases the triglyceride levels. These two are major indicators of cardiovascular disease problems. If you continue with an unhealthy diet, then you will run the risks of a stroke or a powerful heart attack.
Increased Blood Pressure
While fast foods don’t cause cancer on their own, they do end up leading to it alongside other factors. You bring in lots of unhealthy compounds and chemicals into your system. And in large amounts these can be very bad for you. If you eat fast food often for more than a year or two, you can end up more predisposed to cancer when compared to other people. And that means you have to avoid such a thing at all costs. It might not be easy to do, but there are some ways to achieve that.
FYI - Fast Food Health Risks
Aside from the major health problems described above, fast foods can also end up altering your brain and mental health. Yes, not a lot of people know this, but eating fast food is widely connected to mental illnesses and depression in general. So even if it seems that fast foods are bad for your body, they are very bad for your mind too.
Some of the other problems that can appear from eating fast foods often include mood swings, anxiety, aggression and violence, brain fog, etc. The situation only gets worse if we’re talking about kids that eat fast food. They don’t work out and end up dealing with major health issues early on. They end up being sedentary, and that increases the risks of heart-related problems.
Fast foods can also have a negative impact on your fertility. Most fast foods contain phthalates, and they interrupt your hormonal activity. That leads to a wide range of reproductive issues as well as health defects. And that’s exactly what you need to keep in mind here.
In addition, fast foods can lead to dental problems, just because they increase the amount of acidity in your mouth. And if you don’t brush properly and very often, you can end up with caries and unwanted bacteria.
Since fast food causes weight gain, your respiratory system gets affected too. You will find it a lot harder to breathe, and that means you will encounter shortness of breath, asthma and other health issues. These can only get worse if you don’t lose weight fast.
What can you do to avoid these negative effects of fast food?
For starters, you want to replace the unhealthy food with something natural. Don’t eat fast foods at all, instead try cooking your own meals. In addition, you should consider adding fruits and veggies to your diet. This can come in handy, and it has the potential to pay off extremely well if you do it right.
We also encourage you to work out often. Even if you eat fast foods often, regular workouts will help you shed the extra pounds. Of course it’s better to avoid that kind of stuff to begin with, but if you want to eat fast food, you might as well start working out as much as possible.
As you can see, fast foods don’t have any positive effects on your body. If anything, they are extremely unhealthy for your diet and you have to remove them as fast as possible. Granted, it takes a while to figure out the right foods to replace them with, but in the end it will be worth it. A good idea is to eat healthy food and to start working out. Even if you take baby steps to remove fast foods from your diet, it will still be a great start towards a great weight loss routine!
Recent disasters around the world have shown the importance of preparedness. One of the best ways that you can be prepared is to have a personal go bag. Or if you have a family, a family go bag. But the term go bag brings to mind a different image for everyone that hears the word. Today we are going to go over some of the basics of a go bag.
First, you should be aware of the proper use of every item that you put in your go bag. A disaster is not the time to start learning how to use the items in your bag. You will be distracted and not in a clear mindset. Training is important to being ready for an emergency or disaster, even if it is just knowing how to use basic survival items.
The first thing that you should put into your go bag is evacuation information. Come up with a detailed plan and store a copy in the bag. A good evacuation plan should have multiple routes and fail safes built in so that there is a contingency for if a plan goes south.
Food And Water
Food and water are two of the most important aspects to survival and thus to a go bag. For food you have several options for a go bag. One of the most common is Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) that were invented by the military. But these tend to be big and take up a lot of room in your bag. Instead, we recommend that you find emergency rations. These might not taste good but they will give you the nutrition and energy that you need to survive.
First Aid Supplies
During a disaster it is likely that you or someone you know will become injured. It is part of the nature of a disaster. But being ready for that with a first aid kit is essential. Have a first aid kit that is stocked with quality first aid supplies. The included supplies should match those that you are trained to use. First aid training, such as the cardiopulmonary resuscitation AKA CPR, is critical in a disaster and can be helpful in everyday life.
A tourniquet is a wise item to keep in your first aid kit. Take training on how to apply one, when to remove one, how to mark that one was used, and the like. Small and easily deploy-able tourniquets are available for your go bag. RATS Rapid Application Tourniquet System or the CAT Combat Action Tourniquet are great options and are used by professionals around the world.
Along with first aid supplies, you should include any prescriptions that you NEED in order to survive. Many doctors will give you an extra prescription for emergency bags if you need it. Talk with them about it.
Dust Mask or Filtration Mask
Filtration masks or dust masks are great for disasters where there is a lot of rubble and contaminants in the air. These contaminants can have both short term and long term health problems that will make surviving difficult. Make sure to find a mask that is professionally rated so that it is worth the money that you spend on it.
Along the same lines, a pair of goggles or safety glasses can help for when you don’t have a full-face mask. Getting debris in your eye can be a severe problem.
Just like with duct tape, 550 paracord is a great tool for your survival. It is multipurpose and allows you to build shelters, repair tools, climb, lift heavy objects, etc. The reason we suggest 550 paracord is that it is rated for up to 550 lbs. It is extremely difficult to break and works very well.
You can buy paracord at a wide variety of locations. From the internet to hardware stores. You can store a fair amount of it in your go back and around your go bag for emergency uses.
Some form of shelter should be included in your go bag. You can only live 3 hours in a very harsh environment when you don’t have shelter. Shelter can take the form of a tent that is strapped to your go bag or even something smaller that fits inside your go bag. A tarp inside your go bag or a bivy will work greatly.
Know how to set up your shelter so that you can do it quickly. You might not have a lot of time to get your shelter up when you need it.
Knife or Knives
At least one knife should be an item in your bag. These aren’t meant for defense purposes but survival purposes. You might have to cut wood, 550 cord, or other objects. You might need to whittle stakes or do something similar.
Looting and crime tend to happen during and after a disaster. Having some form of protection can be a lifesaver. We don’t recommend that someone who is untrained go out and buy a gun. OC spray (law enforcement pepper spray) or a Taser work. You can also get a pepper ball gun that shoots pepper spray balls.
Having a supply of emergency money in your go bag can help you if you find yourself needing to pay for something. However, cash can also make you a target in a survival situation. Make sure that it is hidden and you do not show it. When you need it, retrieve it in only small amounts.
Fire Starting Material
Having options to start a fire can help for a large variety of reasons when in a survival situation. A fire can keep you warm, keep away predators, help you see, and more. Fire starters are an essential. Keep a lighter and weatherproof matches both in your bag. It could also help to have a flint striker. If you do not have any of those items, you can start a fire the old fashion way - start a fire with sticks!
But a fire won’t just spring up. Keep fire building material in your bag. Dryer lint works well as does saw dust, loads of paper, or similar items work well.
Other Items To Include
Now you have the important information needed to set up your go bag. There are still important decisions that you need to make. Where are you going to keep your go bag? If you have the money, experts recommend that you keep one in your home and one in your car. This will optimize your chances of survival. Now get out there and plan your survival.
For More Disaster PreP Info
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