How Ruth Bader Ginsburg stays in shape

Supreme Court Justice and two-time cancer survivor Ruth Bader Ginsburg stays strong with the help of her trainer, Bryant Johnson.

Posted: Jan 11, 2019 9:06 AM
Updated: Jan 11, 2019 9:11 AM

More than 50 years ago, I lifted my first Mr. Universe trophy on the stage of the Victoria Palace Theater in London, and I have been on a fitness crusade ever since.

But lifting trophies was never enough for me -- I wanted to lift the entire fitness industry, and inspire people all over the world to learn and embrace the benefits of training with weights, eating well and living a healthy lifestyle.

Today, we all know those benefits. But 50 years ago, it was an uphill battle. Gyms were scarce, and the ones that existed were often inhospitable dungeons. Doctors warned against lifting weights, telling people it was bad for their health. I knew some movie stars who had discovered the benefits of building their bodies lied and said they were naturally muscular. Even some professional athletes avoided the gym, because of myths that lifting weights would make them musclebound and less mobile.

We have come a long way -- more than 60 million Americans are members of health clubs, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, and there are almost as many gyms as there are grocery stores in our country, according to FoodIndustry.com. I love that there are now more accessible places to exercise, whether it's a boxing gym or yoga studio.

But we can do so much more. Despite the constantly rising interest in health and wellness, we are plagued by an obesity epidemic; 67% of gym members never actually visit their gym, according to USA Today; and 80% of us will fail our New Year's resolutions by February, according to US News and World Report.

We have more information available, more health products on the market, and more gyms than ever before, so why aren't we healthier and fitter than ever before?

As someone who has been involved with the fitness industry for five decades, I've spent a lot of time trying to answer that question, and I've only come up with one answer. The current health and wellness industry is failing us.

Hard work and sound science has been replaced by fads, false promises, and magic pills.

When you're promised something like "rock hard abs in 28 days," told one special tea is all you need to lose those last 10 pounds or bombarded with flashy advertisements passed off as legitimate information, it's easy to see why so many people just throw up their hands and give up.

It's time for the fitness industry to be honest with people. A healthier, fitter America starts with you. There is no gimmick. There is no shortcut. There is no magic pill. Everyone's fitness journey will be unique, but a healthy lifestyle takes commitment, patience and motivation.

I can already hear you saying, "Easy for you to say, Arnold. Fitness has always been your life and you've always been in top shape."

But I had to work my way back from the bottom this year, and I learned a lot along the way. After I underwent open-heart surgery this spring, I had to use a walker. I had to do breathing exercises five times a day to retrain my lungs. I was frustrated and angry, and in my worst moments, I couldn't see the way back to my old self.

Three months later, I returned to a film set to star in a new Terminator movie, and you probably know that there is no such thing as a weak Terminator. I'd love to tell you it was because of a certain product or workout or diet, but it wasn't. I just kept walking. I kept breathing. I kept trying. I was lucky; I had a huge team around me supporting me the whole way. Eventually, I got into the gym and went through the motions without weights at first. I upgraded from walks around my backyard to bike rides. I didn't worry about six-packs or bench pressing 500 pounds. My only goal was improving a little bit every single day, and eventually, all of those small improvements and all of that support brought me back to a strong, healthy place.

Going through that process showed me that many people put too much faith in big moments, believing they'll suddenly flip a switch and be healthier. There's no such thing. A healthier future is every tiny step we take, or every little rep, that ultimately leads us to our goal. We all think we can do it alone, but no one does anything alone. As I always say, no one is self-made. We all need support -- even Terminators.

So here's my challenge to you: Don't wait for New Year's Resolutions. Don't wait for your own heart surgery or emergency. Start right now. And ask a friend to join you.

I'm not asking you to reject all the delicious food you'll see this holiday season, because I would never do that either. I'm simply asking you to be better tomorrow than you were today, every day, and to inspire someone you care about to join you. It's a simple resolution and it's not as sexy as having a six-pack, but it's the key to fulfilling the unfulfilled promise of our fitness crusade and repairing this broken industry.

Don't chase the next big thing. Be better. Today. That's all. If you and your training partner walked 5,000 steps yesterday, walk 5,001 today. If you ate one vegetable yesterday, eat two tomorrow. If you did a pushup for the first time today, do two tomorrow.

If you can join me in celebrating the small wins and supporting each other, we'll create a healthier America, and our fitness crusade will be a success. And in January, when everybody else is scrambling, we'll already be well on our way.

Let's do this. Be better together. Today.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12150785
Ramsey4805226
Stearns234519
Dakota228690
Anoka2180107
Nobles16626
Olmsted110115
Washington106940
Mower9452
Rice8357
Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
Wright4565
Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
Sherburne3075
Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
Nicollet15912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1298
Winona12215
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur981
Chisago971
Otter Tail931
McLeod880
Carlton850
Dodge840
Polk812
Chippewa781
Unassigned7637
Isanti720
Itasca6412
Waseca640
Douglas620
Meeker611
Morrison591
Murray580
Becker550
Faribault550
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington500
Pipestone371
Mille Lacs342
Renville322
Wabasha310
Brown302
Rock300
Yellow Medicine300
Beltrami290
Fillmore280
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Cass152
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Roseau130
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30975

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6464179
Woodbury321544
Black Hawk225258
Buena Vista171111
Johnson12648
Dallas126329
Linn126282
Marshall104319
Scott77810
Story7623
Pottawattamie72111
Wapello70630
Dubuque68322
Crawford6772
Muscatine62944
Sioux4630
Tama46229
Wright3801
Louisa36013
Jasper32317
Plymouth3165
Warren2731
Dickinson2642
Washington2369
Webster2132
Hamilton1871
Cerro Gordo1561
Boone1481
Clay1330
Clarke1312
Allamakee1284
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1071
Poweshiek1048
Carroll961
Pocahontas941
Bremer926
Franklin890
Des Moines882
Henry863
Emmet850
Cedar821
Taylor790
Monona760
Cherokee751
Floyd722
Hardin700
Marion700
Guthrie664
Benton651
Sac630
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Humboldt541
Butler532
Harrison530
Lee532
Hancock510
Iowa510
Buchanan501
Monroe506
Calhoun492
Delaware491
Fayette480
Madison452
Clayton433
Lyon410
Palo Alto410
Davis391
Winneshiek380
Grundy370
Mitchell370
Mills360
Howard350
Kossuth340
Lucas304
Greene290
Jackson290
Chickasaw280
Winnebago280
Union270
Ida230
Cass220
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren200
Worth190
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
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