There’s a way to look and feel a lot better, to cut down on medical expenses, and to live a lot longer. No matter which diet you (and perhaps your doctor) determine to be right for you, it is consistent physical exercise that will relight the furnace of your metabolism and help you take weight off, then keep it off. Exercising can take several different formats, depending on your age, condition and fitness goals—cardiovascular, muscles, stretching (perhaps all three). I love the treadmill, and try to walk on it, not run, for an hour every day. On the road, I hit the gyms in hotels. I still like going for a jog in my boots at times, rejecting the claims that it’s bad for you. That’s BS as far as I’m concerned. Long walks are a great way to exercise and are the preferred method for many, young and senior.
You might want to try what I call “Gunny’s Top Ten,” my favorite exercises adapted from my book Gunny’s Rules, published in November 2013 by Regnery Publishing. These are inspired by the book The Marine Corps Daily 16 Workouts: Marine Fitness for the Civilian Athlete. I’m no licensed doctor or physical therapist, but I guarantee that these 10 moves, done in different reps and different variations, will jumpstart your metabolism. This is simply a list, and not the correct order or pace to get the maximum effect of these exercises.
1. Warm up with some side-straddle hops (that’s jumping jacks to many). About 30 should do it.
2. Alternating leg lunges, with your rear knee nearly touching the floor. Ten for each leg.
3. Arm swings, front and back. At least 10.
4. Pushups. Personal max reps.
5. Sit ups (crunches or variations). Personal max reps.
6. Supermen (lying on belly, lifting arms and legs for a three-count). Ten reps.
7. Pull-ups (if you have a pull-up bar handy) or triceps push-ups (hands under your chest with your thumbs and forefingers touching, forming a triangle). Personal best reps.
8. Leg lifts (feet off the ground 6 inches, raise them to 45 degrees, then back down to 6 inches). Personal max reps.
9. Eight-count body builders (from a standing position, jump down and kick out to a pushup position, do a pushup, then kick each leg out wide then back and up, then kick up to a squat, then jump into the air). Personal best reps.
10. Running (a 30-minute run or longer). Personal best lengths.
There are many variations that will expand these drills to what I called my “Sweet 16,” and how-to guides available on places like amazon.com and on the internet. As I mentioned, The Gunny’s mainstay exercise program has been daily treadmill walking sessions. During the four months when I lost the most weight, I used a “juicing” program. All kinds of fresh vegetables—not fruit—ground in a blender three times a day. I consumed the juice and the pulp. Vegetables have every vitamin you need; hell, some people are vegetarians. I never felt undernourished, and my energy levels stayed high .
Now I’m on a maintenance program, eating whole foods again, but watching those calories and exercising every day. Remember this: You did not put those pounds on overnight; you’re not going to get them off overnight. Be patient and committed to a program. The day will come when you’ve reached your goal. And, like The Gunny, you can say, “The fat will never sneak up on me again!”