|by George Burns
PEOPLE KEEP ASKING me, "George, you're 87, how do you do it? You make pictures, you do television, you give concerts, you record albums, smoke cigars, drink martinis, you go out with pretty girls-how do you do it?" It's very simple. For instance, a martini. You fill the glass with ice, then you pour in some gin and a touch of vermouth, add an olive, and you've got yourself a martini.
I also do exercises and walk a lot. And walking is even easier than making a martini. I take one foot and put it in front of the other foot, then I take the other foot and put it in front of the other foot, and before I know it I'm walking. And you don't even need an olive.
Most people agree that walking is good for your health. And yet where I live in Beverly Hills nobody walks. If they have to go three blocks, they drive.
Some people even have two, three, or four cars. I've got one neighbor who has a little car to drive to his big car.
Now me, every morning I get up and go out in my backyard, and rain or shine I walk for a mile and a half. Well, that's not quite true-I'm exaggerating. If it rains, I let Gene Kelly do the walking. But I don't let him sing. Around my house I do the singing.
I've got a regular routine. I walk through the yard, around the pool, through the trees and back to where I started. And I do this forty times. That covers the mile and a half. Oh, I must tell you one morning when I was filming the Oh God! movie, I got carried away with the part I played.
Instead of going around the pool I tried to walk across it. Swimming is a good exercise, too.
My advice is to walk whenever you can. It's free, costs nothing, and it not only makes you live longer and feel better, but it also keeps you looking trim. To me that's important. I've always been very conscious of my body. I'm conscious of the fact that it doesn't look like Burt Reynolds's. And he's probably conscious of the fad that his doesn't look like mine. But that's his problem. If he wants to look better, let him get out there in the rain with Gene Kelly.
But, like anything else, you can overdo walking, too. A friend of mine from Beverly Hills has been walking five miles a day far six months. He called me last week and told me he was just passing through Vancouver and would I like him to send me same canned salmon.
Now, for those who find walking boring, golf can be the answer. It's a great game and you're out in the open air. The only trouble is, at the club I belong to, the golfers do very little walking; most of them drive around in carts. The members look lousy and the caddies look great.
If you want to live to be 100 or older, you can't just sit around waiting for it to happen. You have to get up each day and go after it. We're talking here about perhaps the most important key to longevity.
Besides walking, I have a whole program of exercises that I do every day. There are many different exercise programs with many different objectives. Mine is to keep me limber, toned up, and feeling good.
Look, I'm not trying to get any taller or build up a lot of big muscles I can't use. Somebody told me all those big muscles make you top-heavy and you fall down a lot. Well, he's wrong, too. I've yet to see Dolly Parton fall down.
Source: How to Live to Be 100 - Or More