It’s not often I find myself in a roomful of political types. But, that’s exactly where I ended up the other night after a friend invited me to attend the London Center for Policy Research in New York City.
The night’s topic was national security concerns; a topic that would typically have this wellness junkie’s eyes glazing over. But, here’s the pleasant surprise, military warrior Allen B. West, who was the chosen expert and grabbed my attention in a big way. He’s (as they say) an officer, a gentleman and one captivating dude.
Politics asides, I was curious about this former Congressman and war veteran’s fitness routine. After all, lots of us (me included) spend money and sweat on those trendy boot camp workouts, so how do the real military guys do it? What’s their secret to keeping in fighting shape?
West reveals to Healthy Hollywood that he led his troops through some major on-the-ground workouts.
“I believe that one led by example. When I was a Battalion Commander in the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Hood, once a week I led the entire Battalion in morning PT (physical training). And no one wanted to be outdone by the ol’ man. I led the unit through calisthenics, pushups, crunches, and then took them on the 4 – 5 mile run maintaining a 9-minute pace. I am talking about over 400 soldiers.”
And, if you fell out line, you had to repeat the training at the end of the day. I would call it that a brutal reality check!
But, then again, West served and led guys into serious combat zones and is well-decorated for his job.
“Leaders lead by setting an example in every aspect of their life; physical, mental, moral and intellectual,” he adds.
While West’s on-the-ground military days are probably over, this very fit 52-year-old exclaims his military-inspired routine is a lifelong habit.
“I am not a spry as I used to be when I could workout 6 days a week and take off on 9 -10 mile run without stretching – that dawg don’t hunt anymore. I now workout 5 days a week, and do anywhere from 5-7 miles, then at end multiple sets of pushups and crunches. I want to maintain a standard of doing my age in one sitting of pushups, currently 52. I am an old school fella, I don’t like gyms and fitness centers. I just stick to what I learned in the Army, and it has kept me healthy and strong – Army Strong!” exclaims West.
As for West’s healthy living suggestion for us civilians, he’s got a few orders we should all abide by. First off, know that simple, effective workouts are often the best and don’t re quire pricey gym fees. We should all try and workout at least four times a week and do 30-35 minutes of aerobic activity.
“I recommend the simple exercise routine of pushups and crunches, easy, can be done anywhere and yield great results. Swimming is the best form of exercise. Walking is great and if you want a challenge, put on a 35 – 40 pound backpack. I you like weights, I recommend a regimen of low weight/high repetitions, build great lean endurance muscle, not bulk which will sag later in life if you don’t keep it up,” explains West.
Healthy Hollywood has found a new wellness friend in Allen B. West. And, I just have a feeling we all be hearing more from him. Find out more about him at www.allenbwest.com.
Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.