The most important thing in your life is your health and your body. You can have all the education and you can have millions of dollars in the bank, but if you've got headaches every day, if you're fat and you are out of shape - what good is your money? Your health account and your bank account, build them both up!
Physical fitness takes commitment to exercise just as it requires good nutrition. But it doesn't have to be painful. Just the opposite: Vigorous exercise actually is stimulating. It boosts your energy levels, invigorates your mind, and just feels good afterward. The hardest part, of course, is getting started.
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We know today about nutrition and we know about exercise. There's no reason for anybody to be sick and tired, fat and out of shape -- it's ridiculous! This has got to be taught in the schools. It's got to be taught in kindergarten. That's when kids should first get the idea that the most important thing in your life is your health and your body.
You've got to appeal to the pride in people. When a woman is flabby and soft, she's unattractive. When you married a beautiful girl and all of a sudden you start seeing her tits down and her breath stinks and she's not clean anymore and has no pride in herself, you can't love her. You may bullshit yourself, but you can't. Energy makes people beautiful. That's what charisma is.
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The first thing I did when I was forty years old, I put handcuffs on and I jumped off Alcatraz prison and swam to San Francisco handcuffed. That made national publicity. Then, there were three or four years where I would do more difficult feats. Another birthday I towed a thousand pound boat across the Golden Gate. On my 65th Birthday I towed 65 boats a mile and a half in Tokyo. On my 70th Birthday I towed 70 boats with 70 people in it with my feet and hands tied a mile and a half in Long Beach.... My next Birthday I will be 93. I'm gonna tow my wife across the bathtub.
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On one of my birthdays I did 1,000 chin-ups and 1,000 push-ups. For my 70th birthday I towed 70 boats with 70 people in it, my feet and hands tied-my hands were in handcuffs, my feet were tied together-and I towed these boats a mile-and-a-half in Long Beach Harbor. For my 93rd birthday I'm going to tow my wife across the bathtub.
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I train like I'm training for the Olympics or for a Mr. America contest, the way I've always trained my whole life. You see, life is a battlefield. Life is survival of the fittest... How many healthy people do you know? How many happy people do you know? Think about it. People work at dying, they don't work at living. My workout is my obligation to life. It's my tranquilizer. It's part of the way I tell the truth--and telling the truth is what's kept me going all these years.
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You should be proud of what you're doing, but not conceited. If you can't be proud of yourself, you're a failure. And discipline. To do anything in life you have to have discipline. To accomplish anything, you have a goal, challenge yourself, and work until you accomplish that goal. Practice what you preach.
George Burns was more athletic than you think he was. And he was a very social man--he loved people, he enjoyed life. He worked at living. Old George was a social lion, he got around and did things. That's the key right there. It starts with your brain. Some people, when they get to 60 years old have no interests anymore, have no friends left. George Burns was busy all the time doing something.
There are so many health nuts out there who eat nothing but natural foods but they don't exercise and they look terrible. Then there are other people who exercise like a son-of-a-gun but eat a lot of junk... Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you've got a kingdom.
Don't talk age! Age has nothing to do with it. One of my guys who started out at my gym is 87 now, and he still does ten bench-press reps with a hundred-pound dumbbell in each hand. He's training to set a leg-pressing record. I put things in the guy's brain way back when, and now he'll never get away from it.
I tell people that the scales lie. You may have played basketball and weighed 175 pounds, with a 30-inch waist, back when you were in college. And you may still weigh 175 at 55. But you probably have a 35-inch waist and you've probably lost 30 or 40 pounds of muscle -- and gained 30 or 40 pounds of fat. The tape measure doesn't lie. Get that tape measure out and put it on your hips and your waist. Keep checking it. And keep exercising and cutting those calories down until that tape measure gets close to where you were in your prime.
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