For many in the security or defense industry, target hardening refers to measures taken to increase levels of protection in the face of a realized threat. If a facility was victimized by an intruder (burglary, violent crime, vandalism, etc) a common response is to make it harder for the intruder to enter or escape. A facility or workplace may install video surveillance cameras, access control systems, fencing or some other type of measure or procedure to reduce the chances that a crime would occur on the property. In the world of executive protection, the concept of target hardening is applied to the principle’s work place, transportation, communications, home; and whatever element that can be exploited by an attacker. We hear of phrases like “buffer zone”, “stand off distance” or “arm’s reach” to identify some time of security zone or resource used in order to protect buildings, assets, and people.
Let’s now apply the target hardening approach to one’s health. Could a human’s body be hardened in the face of physical or health related threats?
Sure, as with security threats, there is much we can do to minimize the risk of physical harm. I will concede that people may be exposed to genetic risks or other threats beyond their control even with living a fitness lifestyle, but the point here is to be pro active and target harden your body. An old adage stands true, “An ounce of prevention is more valuable than a pound of cure”.
The following is a simple threat but surprisingly is a leading cause of injury
1. Injury by mobile oncoming pedestrian, biker, or car.
Solution 1: Develop Situational Awareness In high population or traffic areas, use COMMON SENSE and don’t walk and text, or play music so loud you can’t see or hear what is going on around you. Maintaining high energy levels through out the day from good nutrition and sleep habits can only help one be more situationally aware.
Solution 2: Possess the physical capabilities to avoid getting hit. I have heard the arguments of how adrenalin can cause one to turn on their emergency muscles in the face of disaster; but why take chances that adrenalin is enough to save you. For the untrained person, adrenalin and instinct may help one avoid a particular threat but what if in successfully dodging an oncoming biker, a person suffers an injury to the lower leg because he or she was unconditioned? What if some one needed to jump two feet to the side to avoid getting hit but only had the power to jump a foot and half?
This is a simple exercise circuit that can be used as a dynamic warm up or modified to be used as a complete work out:
After 5 minute warm up and light stretch –
1) High Knees (25 yards) – drive knees high while taking short strides by pushing off and landing on the toes
2) Butt kicks (25 yards) – Similar to high knees but kick your but with the heel of your foot.
3) Lateral Side Shuffle (50 yards) – Shuffle to one side for 25 yards and the return with the other leg leading the way
4) Hop on 1 leg forward and back for 15- 30 seconds (based on ability) then switch legs
5) Hop on 1 leg side to side for 15- 30 seconds then switch legs
6) Depth jumps – start small with a gym box or platform at 18 – 24 inches and practice first jumping down and landing on the ground as quietly as a ninja. Once the the depth jump is mastered, try jumping up on the box and back down. Increase the height of the box as needed.
5 sets of 10 depth/box jumps resting 40 seconds between each set
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