Posted by: 4pack | February 5, 2009

President Obama Sets A “Top Down” Example For Ideal Fitness



Men’s Fitness magazine twice named him to its annual “25 Fittest Men in America” list, in 2005 and 2008.

The magazine gave props to his morning workouts, 45-minute runs and his decision to quit smoking. It also highlights Obama’s passion for pickup basketball, which became famous on the campaign trail. He shot hoops with troops overseas, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and even his campaign staff and close pals on Election Day.

In honor of the upcoming Presidents Day, Feb. 16, 4you takes a look at how some of our past leaders spend or spent their recreational time. From horseback riding to swimming the Potomac River, these presidents put their own special seal on exercise.

George W. Bush

An avid runner and mountain biker, our 43rd president has a resting heart rate of 43 beats a minute. He was ranked second-most fit president of all time by Gold’s Gym. Doesn’t smoke or drink (anymore). He exercises six days a week. On the seventh day, he rests.

Bill Clinton

Clinton was a regular jogger, sometimes doing his jogging along major roads during the morning rush. His penchant for fast-food consumption somewhat dulled his perception as a physically fit president. Quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 caused him to rethink his diet. He says he has cut down on french fries, eats more fruits and veggies, and exercises in the morning.

Ronald Reagan

Although he was almost in his 70s when he took office, Reagan still took part in numerous physical activities at his ranch in California, including horseback riding, chopping wood and rolling jelly beans.

Gerald Ford

While his physical activity in office was mostly limited to bouncing golf balls off of unsuspecting skulls, Ford was a fine athlete in college. He played center on the University of Michigan football team and turned down contracts from the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers after he graduated. He lived longer than any president in U.S. history, dying at the age of 93.

Harry Truman

Truman’s daily walks were vigorous, 120 steps per minute. He also had a horseshoe pit installed on the White House grounds. There’s nothing better for fitness than flingin’ the steel.

Herbert Hoover

Played a game every day with his staff that involved a medicine ball and a volleyball net. The game, which his physician designed, was called, in a spasm of creativity, “Hoover Ball.”

Calvin Coolidge

Coolidge was a regular walker, but his most unusual physical activity was riding a mechanical horse that was given to him by an admirer in 1925. Coolidge had an allergy to real horses. The horses weren’t all that keen on him, either.

William Howard Taft

Though he topped out at 330 pounds, Taft did like to play golf and ride horses. How much the horses liked him riding them is not recorded. He was also the first president to take on the physically demanding prospect of throwing out the ball at the first baseball game of the season.

Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt was an avid outdoorsman who liked boxing, mountain climbing and hunting. While in office, Roosevelt also took part in a three-day, 98-mile horseback ride. He did this to prove a point (naturally) when some military officers complained that a regulation to do this very thing was unreasonable.

John Quincy Adams

Swam in the Potomac River every day and took long walks. There are rumors, which you mustn’t repeat, that he took those swims in the Potomac naked.

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