Life Lessons from Gary Player

At 80 years old, golf legend Gary Player remains a fitness icon

“I’m 80, but really I beat most of the guys at 40 in the gym,” jokes Gary Player. Except, that’s not a joke. The World Golf Hall of Famer is still practicing what he preaches about the benefits of diet and exercise. With National Nutrition Month and Diabetes Alert Day (March 22) upon us, we caught up with the South African fitness icon to glean a few words of wisdom.

 

Daily exercise routine…

“I still do 1,300 crunches and sit-ups. I still push 300 pounds with my legs and I run on the treadmill.”

 

Best fitness investment…

“All a person’s got to do is invest in buying a treadmill, and putting a treadmill in their bathroom. And every morning before they have their shower just get on that treadmill for a lousy 10 minutes.”

 

Diet advice…

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. You don’t put gas in your car when you park it in the garage at night.”

 

Foods to avoid…

“I don’t eat a lot of meat. I don’t eat bacon, at all. I don’t drink milk. I would never eat a hot dog or cold meats or bologna and that kind of stuff. I would never eat a donut. I would never eat all of this crap! You look at the way people eat — honestly they eat like it’s the Last Supper.”

 

Foods to enjoy…

“I love all kinds of fruit. Vegetables, love vegetables. Right in front of me now I have a glass of green juice, which is spinach, broccoli, kale, all the vegetables.”

 

On learning from Nelson Mandela…

(Prior to Mandela becoming South Africa’s first President, after spending 27 years in prison.) “He said, ‘I have no hatred. If I have revenge and hatred then we will never bring people together.’ And every time I was around him, I could not stop crying. I could not, because I realized how a man could have so much love.”

 

On giving golf tips to Elvis Presley…

“I said, ‘You’ve got to learn to use the hips, to wind up and unwind.’ He says, ‘The hips?’ And I say, ‘Yes.’ And he says, ‘Watch this, baby!’ And he gave me that Elvis hip movement.”

 

On the growing diabetes epidemic…

“If you look at the number of diabetics, there’s going to be 100 million diabetics in America in 40 years time. Eventually the government will run out of money if people keep getting sick like this.”

 

Final thoughts…

“Look after yourself, man. Your body is a holy temple. The greatest gift you can have is your health.”

 

 

American Diabetes Association Alert Day®

Join us as we give America a wake-up call to take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test (www.diabetes.org)

 

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