I hate zombies!  There….I admitted it.  They scare me to death.  You can ask my kids.  If my son has The Walking Dead on, I watch bits and pieces of it from a doorway, ready to run and cover my eyes if the ‘walkers’ come onto the screen.  I certainly don’t turn ANY zombie show on by choice.  I’m fascinated and creeped out by them at the same time…but mostly just creeped out.

However, in the spirit of Halloween and in spite of how unsavory they are, I’d like to present some ways that we can learn from zombies to benefit our health and fitness.

Lessons From Zombies:  What NOT To Do
First, the obvious badness.  Zombies eat people.  They don’t know you and don’t care who you are.  They just want to feast on you.  The single, mindless focal point of their existence….to eat brains!  So for the sake of your health and fitness, DO NOT walk up to someone with black teeth and limbs falling off to say “Are you OK?”.  Turn and run.  You’ve got more to worry about than their bad breath.

Second, a zombie’s motivation to eat your brains is purely superficial.  It is nothing but instinct or animal craving.  They are not operating from any kind of lofty purpose or goal (that we can see anyway).  They are (un)living from a completely reactive place.  Fine for zombies but not for people like us.

For us, we need a real, motivating goal to keep moving forward in our health and fitness.  If we just did whatever we wanted, we’d probably sit on the couch and eat things that we shouldn’t.  We need to have a firm goal in our mind of better health, longer life, more energy, etc. to sustain us through the times when we DON’T want to work out or eat right.  We NEED that motivation in front of us always.

Lessons From Zombies:  The GOOD Stuff
So we’ve seen the bad, what about the good?  Well first, zombies do a lot of walking!  If we all walked as much as zombies did, we’d get a nice, fat-burning workout every day.  And walking is a great alternative if you’re nursing injuries that wouldn’t be aggravated by walking.  Now I wouldn’t recommend the shuffling, off-balance gait that zombies have…you need to walk with purpose!  But we should thank the zombie for being an excellent poster child for walking.

Also, zombies are very persistent in chasing their goals.  Sure, their goal happens to be snacking on your brains for dinner.  But hey, they DON’T STOP until they’ve attained their goal.  And then, when they do, they identify a NEW goal (new person) and go after IT with just as much persistence.

If we all went after OUR goals with that kind of single-mindedness, we would achieve amazing things.  And the cool thing is….we CAN go after our goals with that level of commitment.  We just need a goal that fires our imagination and motivation.  And what better goal than living a long, healthy life where we are able to contribute to our family, friends, and community for a long time to come.  Put something like this in front of you, and watch your zombie persistence come to life!

Simpler goals are great too…like working out 4 times per week; or drinking 1/2 our body weight in ounces of water each day; or eating vegetables 3 time per day are great to start with.  And once you set one of those goals…chase it like a zombie!  Don’t stop, don’t let circumstances distract you, stick with it!

Maybe They’re Not So Bad After All
So you see, the humble zombie can actually be an excellent role model for all of us.

Walking with purpose and persistence in achieving our goals are things we should absolutely emulate from the zombie.

But if we don’t have a lofty, higher purpose that leads us forward in our health and fitness, we will find it difficult to stick with the program and run the risk of falling back into mindless patterns that don’t support our health.

As for me, I’ve learned that I need to add to my running workouts.  Because you know what they say in the zombie survival guide….you don’t have to be the fastest runner, you just don’t want to be the slowest. Happy Halloween!