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. jancd

    Started our walking program last week. My husband and are are IN.

    June 23, 2009 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. carla riccitelli

    I ne ed to lose a lot more weight than 4 mths would cover, but I will try to make some changes to attempt a 30 lb. loss as a first step. Good luck to everyone.

    June 23, 2009 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jana

    Count me in! I have a 3 month old and am trying to get rid of the baby weight!

    June 23, 2009 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Cindy Dunston Quirk

    Which milestone birthday is this?

    June 23, 2009 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Raquel

      Tracy~You are the definition of stngreth. I pray that your words reach through the screen and speak volumes to those who need to remove themselves from harms way.Thank you for being that voice for many.

      October 11, 2012 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
  5. Cindy Dunston Quirk

    I don't want to shed any lbs but I would like to be more fit. Now that I am 51, I want to be able to keep up with my grand nephews and nieces.

    June 23, 2009 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. jessicajoyjj1

    I have already started my road to a "healthier Me" back in March. I kept my same habits from college living, which involved smoking a 1/2 pack of cigarettes and drinking coffee, diet cokes and red bulls in between eating two fast food meals a day with little-to-no exercise.

    I am proud to say that I took Chantix and have not smoked in over 3 months. I cut out caffeine for a while and now have coffee every once in a while, but replaced the red bulls and sodas with sparkling flavored water. I don't eat fast food and have been eating much better. I also started a couple of months ago working out with a trainer and on my own. I have not gained any weight and feel so much better!!!!

    I am about to turn 33 and am ready for new challenges because of all the energy I have. I want to get my cardio in better shape by running more and be able to run a 1/2 marathon.... I also want to tone/lean up my body and am working on getting my diet even more healthy.....

    I decided to take everything hour by hour, day by day.....I almost looked at it like a science project and a battle of wills – that each night I went to sleep without all that crap, each day I did something good for my body and ate healthy, and each day that i did 30 minutes of cardio/working out..... Then I "Won" that day!!!! Weird, I know..... but it totally worked!!!!! I FEEL BETTER THAN I HAVE IN YEARS!!!! 🙂

    I am very interested and looking forward to reading this blog – Thank you!!!!

    Austin, TX

    June 23, 2009 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kat

      Today was the first I've seen of this plan. Still trying to figure out how to use. I wanted to say that your post 'spoke' to me the most and gave me the first true motivation I felt since reading the other posts. Good luck to you and hope I can relearn how to eat and exercise again, and lose this exta baggage. Thanks so much. K

      August 13, 2010 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
  7. Piano Man

    57 year old male, had triple bypass 10 years ago.
    50+ pounds overweight.

    Too much time at the keyboard (computer and piano).

    I'm in!

    June 23, 2009 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Steve G

    Would like to lose 80 pounds.

    June 23, 2009 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vanesa

      Honestly, I feel ok with no-reply e-mails when they are used wisely.For a sign-up arpaovpl or you got a new follower e-mail, no-reply works fine as there is nothing personal and usually anything to discuss about.But, for an order details e-mail after a checkout, there can be much to discuss like a mis-placed item in the shopping cart, wrong-shipping address, etc. and the ability to reply instantly makes sense as the content of the e-mail has something to reply for (which is the main point of my thought).Also, ideally, it would be awesome to contact/reach to the support/developers of an app. by replying any e-mail however, in reality, many web apps are created by small teams and trying to minimize/categorize the support requests mean a lot.Depending on the app and community (for ex: Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook etc.), it is sometimes a good idea to get users to a knowledgebase page before getting a direct e-mail as it works better and faster for both parts.To sum up, imho, no-reply is not evil and sometimes a clear statement that lets me know that this is not the way to contact the support which I can understand. But sometimes, it can be an ignorant way of not wanting to get any e-mails like Joss states. So, please use it wisely :).

      October 14, 2012 at 02:23 | Report abuse |
  9. David

    I'm finishing my doctoral dissertation and spend about 60 hours per week in front of my computer. Despite that I walk two miles to campus every morning and lift weights or do yoga with wife every other night, and I'm in the best shape I've ever been in!

    June 23, 2009 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. nancy mccool-singh

    Hi Sanjay:

    I was layed off and after getting myself worked through all the chores at home that I wanted to catch up on, I am now focusing on exercising. Have been at it 4 x a week for the last 3 weeks and I am having a great time. Today I lifted 18,775 pounds of weights and biked 9 miles on the recumbent bike.

    Having had a job that required 60-80 hours a week, a two hour commute each day, on top of running my dad's house and his nurses' schedule after his aneurysm and subsequent paralysis then loosing my Mom to an aggressive form of cancer, I decided that while I focus on looking for a job, I would also focus on getting back in shape. Having lost some weight, but with some still to go, and just turning 50 – this is a great time!

    Thanks for doing this, and I look forward to following everyone's progress!


    June 23, 2009 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. marie

    i need help, so i'm IN..............

    June 23, 2009 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Meg

    I'm quitting smoking today and working toward losing about 50 more lbs.

    I'm ready

    June 23, 2009 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Sunny H

    We changed our eating to under 10 grams of saturated fat a day and my husband's cholesterol dropped 70 points in 3 months, plus he lost weight. He's lost his muffin top, fits all his old clothes and looks sooo much better. I cheat and eat high fat cookies while he sticks to low or no fat cookies, so I need to sign up.

    June 23, 2009 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. nsriram

    What a great idea... I am reasonably fit but need to lose some waist (and weight as well). My first target will be to lose 1 inch off my waist or 5 pounds (whichever happens first). I dont plan on changing my diet much. I do plan on doing the 30 min jog everyday. I do plan on eating a little more consciously during dinner. I do plan on sleeping well. I do plan on not getting injured (this can be a real problem for older folks) by over exercising. Its about 2 weeks to my 48th birthday.. Lets see how far I get and how I feel.

    June 23, 2009 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Angela Mitsoff

    So looking forward to this! Want to be healthier and have more strength and energy. Haven't been happy with my body since high school...

    June 23, 2009 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Vandana

    Count me in too!!! I need to lose 50lbs. Let us do it.

    June 23, 2009 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sherry

    Joined Weight Watchers last March. Made lifetime in October; losing 27 pounds. Have gained just a couple back. Keep teetering back and forth with those couple of pounds. Would like to lose another 10 and be almost at 150 pounds. I run 6 days a week between 4 and 5 miles; somedays I do more or maybe a little less, but I always do something aerobic for about an hour. If I run less, I finish the hour with walking. I also do 4 sets of 10 squats every other day and try to do 100 crunches every day.

    June 23, 2009 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Denise

    Count me in...need to lose to much to even think about.

    June 23, 2009 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. AD

    Oh Good... Wld like to lose 30lbs or more by my 30th b'day on Sept. 30th!

    June 23, 2009 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Carolyn

    I'd like to get toned and buff for my concert gigs with the musical group Hutchins!

    June 23, 2009 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RoseParvin

    It is the way to become the Mind-Body-Spirit Power Balanced nation toward excellence and wholeness! I heard Michelle Obama our first lady talking about children needing one hour of excercise! That is so true! One of the things I loved in my original birth place of Iran was when I was going to school we excercised one hour with music and that was truly so needed for everyone was sleepy and needed to get the stress of the family happening off their back and start school! After that one wonderful glass of milk I still remember and cookies that were made of breakfast stuff and were delicious! I was in the basketball for five years in high school and think if it was not for that the stress of being a teen ager in Iran would have killed me!

    June 23, 2009 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Deb Malphrus

    I'm with ya. Want to learn more about heart rate training

    June 23, 2009 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. sherry rodriquez

    I am on board. I have diabetes and desperately need to lose weight.

    June 23, 2009 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. donnabella77

    Ok Sanjay, today is the 1st day of rest of my life. turned 50 in feb, need to firm up & put on a few lbs. watch me go! @donnabella77

    June 23, 2009 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Rehsh

    Great! I need to lose 40 lbs that I've gained while battling USpA flares for the past 4 yrs.

    June 23, 2009 at 18:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sean Bell

    Thanks for doing this! I'm glad to take part. Best wishes to all!

    June 23, 2009 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. time

    I'm hitting the same B-Day (40) in about 4 months. I'm in.

    June 23, 2009 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. cynthia Gottfredson

    I'm in. I would like to loose 20 lbs and I started to swim 3 times a week.

    June 23, 2009 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. maggie

    Too many pounds and a lifetime of failures so far. I am absolutely in. Thank you!

    June 23, 2009 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Dan M.

    I used to run Track and Cross country in high school. 7 years later, I'm completely out of shape! 🙁 I'm going to the store to get running shoes again this week, and I should plan to run a 5K by the end of the summer so that I have something to work towards. Thanks, Sanjay. Now I get to tweet about my experience with running, too. Excellent idea!!

    June 23, 2009 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. nancy

    what is #1023? just want to make sure i am in the right place! thanks!

    June 23, 2009 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. ST

    remember cut carbs 3 hours before bed as you don't want to store anything as fat and try to drink a gallon of water a day and redmeat maybe once a week or so it really does a number on your digestive system.

    June 23, 2009 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wei

      I enjoyed rediang your work! GREAT post! I looked around for this but I found you! Anyway, would you mind if I threw up a backlink from my site to your site?

      October 11, 2012 at 05:27 | Report abuse |
  33. M. Hicks

    This is an awesome idea. I am a fulltime mom of 6 and my health definently needs improved. While I don't twitter I look forward to keeping up with a goal of a healthy lifestylle with weight loss. My goal is at least 30 pounds.

    June 23, 2009 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Elisa Jacobson

    I'm 67 years old, pretty fit, rainy month is interfering with tennis playing in Central Park, need to have a home workout routine, would love to lose about 10 lbs, increase metabolism.

    June 23, 2009 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. GeorgiaMist

    I'm with you! I've already lost 48 pounds since January!

    June 23, 2009 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Anant Vijay Joshi

    Dear Sanjay:
    You are an inspiration to me and to my family here in Somerset, NJ. We all would be checking your page every day to help us meet our health objectives. I for one, want to lose 40 lbs. I am 5'9" and weigh 198 lbs. My Indian genes predispose me to coronary artery disease (is that true?) and I want to avoid that at all costs!

    June 23, 2009 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Diana

    I am a 36 yr. old married mother of three, I've had a gym membership for over a yr. but make lots of excuses not to go. My husband never misses a day, and never fails to tell me that I too, should be going. At that point, I just think he is picking on me and make a conscious choice to not go. I lost my 10 yr. job as a vocational teacher due to the falling economy and it has brought on depression and stress. I owe everyone and the easiest retreat is food. A couple of months ago ,I was re-diagnosed with high blood pressure. My readings were around 222/134. I thought a stroke was imminent. I know I need to make changes and my new job is high stress/less pay and I just don't feel well every single day. I am curious and excited about this venture. I adore Dr. Gupta and for him and for me, I am willing to try this. Thanks and good luck to all......

    June 23, 2009 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Jhansi

    Hi Dr Gupta,
    I watch your program most of the time.... thx for the initiative. I would love to lose 20 lbs. I gained a lot since I had post postpartum hypothyroidism... Hashimoto's Thyroiditis now. Gaining is so easy but losing... I want to have a goal now! Please do keep us informed as to what to do.

    June 23, 2009 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Meg

    October will mark 1 year since I started on my weight loss – and ultimately fitness – journey, so 10/23 is an awesome time goal. I'm already down 38 lbs but have at least 20-25 more to go, and my fitness level has improved drastically (but again, more to go)! I'm so excited about how far I've come and looking forward to the support here. The more the merrier – it's a wonderful thing to do for yourself and your future. @megmakes

    June 23, 2009 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Trudi

    I am a great grandmother turning 80 years next week. I'm with you! Dare I hope for more than just maintaining?

    June 23, 2009 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Daisy

    I need all the encouragement I can get. I watched him on the medical TV in every doctor's office I've been in(and their are a lot) before there was Dr.Gupta on CNN. I trust him and will be very glad to try for better health with him. Thanks Dr. Gupta.

    June 23, 2009 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Mary Roberts

    I'm with ya – got 20# to lose – bc surgery tomorrow, back in deep water aerobics ASAP, and new insentive! 4 months it is!

    June 23, 2009 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Cindy

    I can't wait to get started! I've had a fairly serious back issue for the past year which has been my bogus excuse for not exercising! No more excuses! In fact, my Dr. told me to exercise and that will no doubt help my back issue. I also want to lose 20 pounds and a little more!

    June 23, 2009 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Harold Apple

    This is a terrific idea. I had a heart attack one year ago as a result of a lack of focus on my own health. At 64 it is difficult to overcome decades of bad habits. My hope is that many will follow your example. I'll be watching and looking for new ways to overcome my own challenges. Sanjay, keep at it, you're impact here will be greater than Surgeon General.

    June 23, 2009 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. dee

    Ready to start now! What is the frist step?

    June 23, 2009 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Mary Kay

    Sanjay: I just started walking/jogging intervals on my treadmill in April and I am seeing progress..watch you every weekend..can't wait to join your program!!!

    June 23, 2009 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Soothe

    55 yo; 6'3", 230lbs; I would like to loose 30lbs. I'm in. Thank you Doc for the action. Can be really very helpful and you are really inspirational!

    June 23, 2009 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Rita Patel

    So – I have no idea how to twitter or blog......I barely have the hang of email and texting; but, I think I will be able to follow this groups' lead to a more fit me in four months! Starting my 30 min walk now.....

    June 23, 2009 at 21:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Ralph Griffiths

    Great to hear of your forum experiment. As a trainer and business owner in Chicago, I am always looking for ways to help people reach their fitness goals. This sounds like it will be a real tool and reference for many of my clients. I will be sure to refer.
    If there is anyway I can provide service, please let me know. It would be more than a pleasure.

    June 23, 2009 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Tyler

    One word: P90X! On my 4th week and I feel better than I have in years! Not for everyone, but very effective though. Tony Horton is the poster child for raw motivation.

    June 23, 2009 at 21:29 | 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.