Tis the season to eat and drink too much and let workout routines slip. While the rest of us put off the gym and diets until after the New Year, former U.S. Rep. Allen West keeps to his military workout routine.
Lt. Col. West served 22 years in the Army, but keeps up a strict fitness schedule even 10 years after retiring. He told “Access Hollywood” this week that he works out five days a week. He runs five to seven miles, followed by sets of pushups and crunches.
“I want to maintain a standard of doing my age in one sitting of pushups — currently 52,” the former congressman said at the London Center for Policy Research in New York City. “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!”
He said age has only caught up with him a little bit. “I am not a spry as I used to be when I could workout six days a week and take off on a nine to 10 mile run without stretching. That dawg don’t hunt anymore,” he told the entertainment show.
The veteran of Operation Desert Storm and the war in Iraq said that he has always showed the importance of fitness to his subordinates. “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,” he explained.
“No one wanted to be outdone by the ol’ man. I led the unit through calisthenics, pushups, crunches, and then took them on the four- to five-mile run maintaining a nine-minute pace. I am talking about over 400 soldiers.”
For we civilians trying to stay healthy, Col. West recommends working out at least four time a week. He suggests 30 minutes of cardio like running, swimming or walking with a weighted backpack.
Then he recommends weight-bearing exercises either using body weight, such as pushups and crunches which “can be done anywhere and yield great results” or doing high repetitions using low weights to “build lean endurance muscle.”
Not wanting to be shown up by a 52-year-old man, I’ll fit in a chilly run in D.C. tonight before indulging at yet another Christmas party.
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).