June 23rd, 2009
11:17 AM ET

Join Dr. Gupta's 'Four Months to Fitness' initiative!


Dr. Sanjay Gupta says his upcoming birthday motivated him to launch the fitness forum with viewers. He wants himself, and America, to get in the best shape of their lives.

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

Today, I am starting something I have wanted to do for a very long time.

Using this blog and my @SanjayGuptaCNN twitter account, I am going to try to harness some of the best practices people employ every day to stay in the best shape of their lives.

Truth is, there are hundreds of sites like this, so I want to make this one different. First of all, I am hoping it becomes a living, breathing forum that users, like you, use to share your best health and fitness tips. I learn new things every day from CNN bloggers and Tweeters. You all are a great resource of information.

I am also going to call on my friends and others I find inspiring to help as well.

For example, @JoePerez helped create something called the Daily Plate, which partners with the non-profit cancer foundation LIVESTRONG, where I sit on the board of directors. After surveying lots of different ways of tracking diets, I think this is one of the best. I will introduce you to Joe and the Web site.

There are also sites out there that will start to help you heart rate train. After doing lots of research, I believe this is one of the most effective and efficient ways of training. Ironically, my friends who listened to this recommendation from me say they work out less intensely and still increase their fitness more than before.

Speaking of LIVESTRONG, I hope to get my pal @LanceArmstrong to weigh in. Admittedly, he is a professional athlete who will be pretty busy training for a big race in July. After that, though, I hope he will share with you some of the great tips he has given me over the years.

Also well-known trainer, and friend of mine, @JillianMichaels who can provide logical, useful suggestions that can be applied to lots of different situations. I also hope to get tips from @RichRoll. We have met only via twitter, but he is living proof that you can go from being a 38-year-old who hardly ever works out to someone who is in fantastic shape, an ultraman in fact, and is biologically younger than he was 10 years ago.

Most of all, this will be a four-month forum dedicated to getting people in terrific shape.

While smaller waists and less weight are things that will inevitably occur as you start incorporating these tips into your life, the real goal is a longer, more functional and exceptional life – free of disease and dysfunction.

I am a neurosurgeon and a reporter for CNN, who has three kids. I have a fairly active travel schedule. I tell you all that, because, like most people, I am busy. Yet, it can still be done.

So join me right here and on my Twitter page. Also, let's keep track of each other’s tips under the hashtag #1023 - which just so happens to be the date of a very big birthday for me.

Four months from now, I hope, we can all celebrate what we have done for our bodies and for our health.

soundoff (577 Responses)
  1. Constance Harris

    looking forward

    June 23, 2009 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Pramila Menon

    want to lose 20 lbs.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. txmere25

    Great idea! Like you said, there are hundreds of web sites doing something similar. A couple of friends and I started chronicling our fitness challenge online [http://outofcontrolfatroll.com] and oddly enough we picked October as our deadline. Now approaching week three, we’ve had a lot of fun and received a ton of support. Think your idea is a great forum for people to come support each other and helps keep everyone accountable. Looking forward to keeping up with your progress as well.

    -@FatRoll (Meredith)

    June 23, 2009 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jan & Jim

    My husband & I both need to shed off at least 20 pounds each.can't wait to start!!!!

    June 23, 2009 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Vik

    I was resisting signing up for twitter( and no I AM tech savy).. but now it looks like I have to change my habits!!
    But seriously, there are many sites out there, BUT I somehow dont know if I should trust them(just waiting for the buy this buy that).. somehow I feel this discussion is going to be different.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Johnson

    One thing people should remember is that losing weight and gaining muscle are 2 different things. A lot of people think that by losing weight they will gain muscle or lose all their flab. This might not happen (more likely won't happen). The ideal thing that has worked for me is to lose the fat 1st then build up muscle. Remember muscle weights more than fat..thus you will gain weight when you do muscle training/building.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. carol

    Do you have to tweet to participate? I do NOT want to join the tweet nation.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. lyn

    I'm in and looking forward to it!

    June 23, 2009 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Alma Marrero

    I'm in!

    June 23, 2009 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. bagonzo

    i want to lose 22 pounds:)

    June 23, 2009 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. David Zlasney

    I have a family history of heart disease. August 09 I had bypass surgery. I have been overweight all my life. I am really looking for some guidance...I can be healthy but need constant reinforcement and a high five every once in a while....Looking forward to your program.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Mom Of 2+3

    Looking forward and would like to loose 50+ lbs

    June 23, 2009 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Vernald Turnbull

    Let's do it..

    June 23, 2009 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. S. Lutfallah

    I think this is a fantastic idea from someone whose opinion I respect.
    I have one question. What are your thoughts on vegan eating? I have been reading through some information on Dr. Furhman's ideas of vegan eating and I would like a second opinion.

    Thank you!

    June 23, 2009 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Bina Patel

    Lost 15 pounds but last 10 pounds are very difficult. also vegetarian

    June 23, 2009 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Dean Reinke

    As a survivor of a massive stroke, doing regular cardiovascular exercises doesn't work, my gait is bad, my resting heart rate is 53 at age 53. So I have to assume that just doing my daily life is giving me an 16 hour -a-day cardiovascular workout. Luckily I was in shape before the event.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Charm

    bring it on

    June 23, 2009 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. David Cooper

    Want to lose 20 lbs and start to play tennis again

    June 23, 2009 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Pamela

    I'm in! I need to lose atleast 50 lbs. I need motivation, and I hope this is it!

    June 23, 2009 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Gwen Morris

    Looks like we share birthdays. I so want to get in better health because this is a BIG birhtday for me also, much bigger than yours.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Kelli Healy Salazar

    my goal is to lose 40 pounds, and this October will be six months before my 40th birthday.

    June 23, 2009 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Nancy

    Okay, I just added this blog to my favorites! I'm ready!
    What do we do now?

    June 23, 2009 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Terri in Cleveland

    Want to lose weight? Eat often – every 2 1/2 – 3 hours – smaller portions, a carb & protein every meal. Making healthier choices for life rather than following a strict deprivation diet for a couple weeks. Chicken, Fish, Turkey, vegetables, fruits, & whole grains. Avoid sugar, fried & processed foods. Be creative & have fun!

    June 23, 2009 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Dave

    Sounds great. I hope you discuss managing stress as well, as that's the thing that always derails my diet and exercise efforts.

    June 23, 2009 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Gina Nichols

    walking ten minutes a day (post-hip replacement); wanna lose 50 lbs and increase to ten-minute walks 3xday

    June 23, 2009 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Karen

    I quit smoking 11 days ago and now I want to get in the best shape I can.

    June 23, 2009 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Pancakes and Milk

    I need to lose 120 lbs, I know how to do it (done it once before, years ago) but now I'm finding the motivation to be the absolute hardest part. I start for a week or so, and just end up giving up. Maybe I'll give this a shot.

    June 23, 2009 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Shakti Krishnamurthy

    Losing weight is 50% activity – 50% eating habits.

    Try the following and you should see results in 4 weeks.
    Exercise :
    You may try the Ten Minute Trainer from Tony Horton.
    Tony is a fitness trainer of repute and has an awesome sense of humor, which makes the workouts fun.
    The 10-min trainer comes with 5 different exercises, all lasting 10-mins – Cardio / Total-Body / Lower Body / Abs / Yoga.
    These are intense and are wonderful. You may need to combine any 2 of these a day to lose that 20 lbs fast.

    Diet :
    Try and lower your carb intake. By this I mean, get your carbs from fruits + veggies and whole grain, rather than white rice & pizza !
    Increase your protein intake. If vegetarian, try tofu , tempeh etc.
    Limit oily foods ( I know that Indian food can get very rich and oily at times )

    Supplements :
    Try to take a good multi-vitamin viz – one-a-Day Weight control formula.
    Also try the Acai berry cleanse.

    Last but not the least – Report back your progress and motivate others.
    Good luck.

    June 23, 2009 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Bret

    Could you please file these entries under a specific tag, so that we may visit a page that contains only blog entiries related to the Four Months to Fitness initiative?


    June 23, 2009 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Tammial Grimes

    I'm down, sign me up too!!!!! need to lose 50 lbs.....

    June 23, 2009 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Terry O'Connell

    I'm with you!

    June 23, 2009 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Joanne

    Great idea! Suggestion: inclusive photo next time round: women (kids too if participants in your plan), everyone else too: easier to feel it is for you if you see someone who looks like you in the story photo

    June 23, 2009 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. sk

    Not sure if letting professional cyclists weigh in is such a good idea. Although getting really fast results may seem very tempting.

    June 23, 2009 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Karen

    At 65 I work everyday at being "in shape." So little is written about how to lose weight at this age. I consider every morsel of food, follow dietary recommendations,and walk over 10,000 steps a day, but my weight doesn't budge. And when I ramp up my workouts, I'm in pain for days. My only consolation is that my blood and blood pressure are perfect–so I get some reward for my efforts. I hope Dr. Gupta's effort includes those of us who are older and that it addresses and provides effective strategies for we older people. I can tell you from firsthand experience, what works for a 40 year old doesn't work for me.

    June 23, 2009 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Allie

    so we just read the tips and try to incorporate them into our lives or do we actually sign up to do this or something? Because I lost a lot of weight about 6 years ago...gained about 10 back and have just lost my way. I am feeling apathetic and bored and I want it back. I want my energy back. I want to feel excited again to work out and gain muscle...I just feel like I've totally lost my way and don't want to work at it again like I used to...I need help! I'm turning 45 on Saturday. I hope this will help launch me again!

    June 23, 2009 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Eric Stec

    Respect your work and efforts Dr. Gupta. Am a runner-hope to use
    this site to motivate and get to a PR for a marathon.

    June 23, 2009 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Felicia

    Alright Dr. Gupta! 4 months until the big 4-0, huh? We can do it!

    June 23, 2009 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Hayley

    I want to feel healthier and better 🙂 !

    Thanks, Dr. Gupta.

    June 23, 2009 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Becky

    This is exciting. I will be 54 in August, and am very out of shape! My brother just lost 47 pounds, so I am hoping I can do the same!

    June 23, 2009 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Sandra Westerhout

    Timing is great, have been putting off losing 10 lbs. Count me in..

    June 23, 2009 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Bonnie Rohrer

    want to lose 30 lbs

    June 23, 2009 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Amy

    I recently had a gallbladder attack which I believe was due to a poor diet and bad exercise regimen. It has convinced me that I HAVE to get in shape in order to feel better. I'm too young (23) to deal with disease due to weight problems! Thanks for putting this together, while I definately have motiviation right now, and I'm hoping it won't fade, it will definately be nice to have tips coming my way. Good luck everyone!

    June 23, 2009 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply

    would like to lose belly fat.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Armywife

    This may be the kick start I need. My husband will be back from Iraq in 6 months. I would love to be in the best shape of my life by then.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Ben Clarke

    My 39th birthday on 18th October. I'll start tomorrow with my first run in three months.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Luba Plotnikoff

    This sounds realistic and exciting. Cheers to being our best!

    June 23, 2009 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. ned mohan

    M – let's join – N

    June 23, 2009 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Katy

    Wow, this is perfect for me - my 50th birthday is in November...and I am determined to be in great shape for it. I've been working out for several weeks, and this should be just the ticket to keep me motivated and on track. Thanks!

    June 23, 2009 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Julie McLeod

    I'm in!

    June 23, 2009 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Melinda Jones

    I am 47 years old and I would like to lose 5-8 pounds but also get fit. I know I have lost muscle since I have become less active. I'm glad Dr. Gupta is doing this to inspire people to get fit. I watch him on CNN and it's good to have this kind of support.

    June 23, 2009 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.