top of page
  • Writer's pictureAndy Murphy

Improving Survivability

Improving Your Health Improves Security

On The Secure Dad, I’ve discussed how to see trouble before it starts. This is firmly in the Left of Bang mindest where we try to pay attention enough to see violence before it happens.

That way we can get out of the way before any sort of physical confrontation occurs and we minimize the chances of getting hurt. That makes sense for us and our families.

We try to keep danger distant by seeing the signs, deciding on a course of action, and then executing that action.

Prioritize Your Health

But today I’m going to discuss the other part of execution that I’ve not really addressed in the past. Once we decide to execute our course of action we have to physically be capable of moving to save our lives. We can’t do that if we are completely out of shape.

We need to be physically ready to defend ourselves and our families.

In the past, I’ve shied away from this topic because I’m not the fittest guy in the world. I’m certainly not a beast like Patrick McNamara. In fact, at one point in my life, my doctor told me that my body was 30% MoonPie.

So I felt like that message would be hypocritical coming from me. But I’ve been working on my health and made some positive strides and I want to share that with you, because like I always say - if I can do it, you can do it.

One Step to Improve Your Protector Parenting

I feel like one of the best things we can do to protect our family is to lose 10 pounds. I’ve done it and it really does make a difference. How you feel, how you look, really boost your confidence and performance.

I don’t want anyone to feel bad about themselves here, I truly want the best for you and I can’t exclude our health and still want the best for you.

So I’m going to share with you what has worked for me. By no means am I a health expert and what has worked for me, may not work for you - but it’s a start.


I think the most underrated part of taking control of your health is to be hydrated. I’ve tried to drown myself in sugar sodas. I know there were days I was putting away 80 ounces of soda in a day. (That’s not good for anyone.)

But I was looking for the caffeine and rush from the sugar. And while there is water in soda, it’s not what your body needs. Trust me, you’ll feel better and have more energy if you drink water and do moderate exercise. I can attest to that.

Stop getting your energy from soda, coffee, and energy drinks. Let’s do it the right way.

To help you step down from that, try to enjoy the zero sugar, zero-calorie drinks. I enjoy Mountain Dew Zero Sugar. Coke Zero is good, too. I’m not saying to quit sodas cold, just step down from the full-calorie drinks and see how you feel about it.

The best way to hydrate is to get at least eight cups of water in a day. I do this and I’m surprised at how easy it is and how much better I feel. To help me, I got a new 32-ounce Nalgene bottle that I fill up twice a day.

My Nalgene bottle I am excited about.

Getting the new bottle made me excited about it and since then, it’s been easy to do. Maybe that will work for you.

No Snacks for You!

Another thing that’s helped me is that I’ve really cut down on snacking. Being hydrated helps me feel full so I don’t feel like I have to eat all the time. I also know that snacking can be associated with being stressed or anxious.

In the 24 hours before a hurricane hits, I feel stressed and like I’m hungry all the time. I think that also has to do with my body knowing that food may be hard to come by during the storm, so it’s trying to add a few calories to burn later. Like a bear storing up for the winter, I guess.

But taking control of snacking is going to be a huge step in feeling better. And of course, you can substitute grapes for chips and still satisfy that hunger feeling with something that’s better for you.

Invest in Rest

I found it interesting when Chris McKenna from Protect Young Eyes was on the show he talked about the importance of sleep. While we were talking about our teens getting away from their devices at night and being able to sleep - this is good advice for us as parents, too.

Being well-rested may seem like a distant memory for some of us as parents. So don’t overlook the importance of rest. Invest in your sleep.

Try not to look at a screen right before you go to bed. If you have to, keep your smartphone out of reach while in bed. This way it’s there for you if you need to call for help, but you can’t just grab it and endlessly scroll Twitter at 2 am.

So put the device down and go to bed. As Chris said, we don’t make good decisions after 10 pm on the internet. And choosing Twitter over sleep isn’t a good decision.

Get Sweaty

As I wrap up, I’ll share that you need to do some daily physical activity. Go for a walk, a run, lift heavy things - whatever it is get out there and do it. Even if it is as simple as an early morning walk.

Get out there before the sun comes up, get your heart rate going, and sweat.

You don’t need to run a 5K every morning, just get moving and see how much better you feel. Not to mention improving your stamina and flexibility. There might be running or walking groups in your neighborhood or community you can join for some accountability and motivation.

Don't Wait on Motivation

And speaking of motivation, I’ll leave you with this. You’re not always going to feel motivated to stop snacking or drink water or go for a run. You’re just not. But don’t let that stop you.

You can’t wait and eat a donut while hoping motivation will kick in. It doesn’t work that way. Don’t be motivated, be committed to losing 10 pounds so you can feel great and better protect your family.


Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy founded The Secure Dad in 2016 with the aspiration to help families live safer, happier lives. What started as a personal blog about family safety has turned into an award-winning podcast, an Amazon best-selling book, and online courses. He focuses his efforts in the areas of home security, situational awareness, and online safety.


Andy is a husband and father. His interests include coaching youth basketball, hiking, and trying to figure out his 3D printer.

Get Updates from Andy
bottom of page