If you somehow haven’t noticed by now, the Obamas are BUFF. With Michelle baring her toned arms in those sleeveless dresses and Barack going shirtless in Hawaii (yum), there’s no doubt we’ve got a fit couple leading our country. The Obamas get it done – and if they can do it, so can we!
In honor of President’s Day, here are some tips on staying healthy and fit from the most powerful couple in the world:
Presidential Tip #1: Always schedule time for exercise.
You know it’s important, so schedule it like everything else in your life! You can always find ways to fit it in – Michelle used to work out at 4:30am and Barack starts most days in the gym. Not even constant traveling deters him; during his presidential campaign, Obama’s aides “arranged workouts for him in several dozen states. The staff called gyms a few days before his arrival and persuaded them to close late or open early to oblige the candidate’s schedule.”
Gyms on campus are usually open pretty early and late, so we don’t have to worry about making special arrangements (or having assistants to do so)! Still feel like you don’t have time? Even if you’re losing a bit of precious sleep, the benefits of exercising probably outweigh the half hour of sleep you might lose (or less if you work out right!). Obama has the same problem with the “trade off between sleep and working out,” but insists that a workout makes him feel much better throughout the day.
Presidential Tip #2: Don’t let bad habits stop you from exercising.
Did you know that Obama smokes the occasional cigarette when he’s stressed? He knows it’s unhealthy, and he’s practically quit, but sometimes he slips up. Clearly he’s not perfect, and neither are we. If our president doesn’t waste time beating himself for a bad choice every now and then and doesn’t let it deter him from continuing to try and live a healthy lifestyle, we shouldn’t either. Get out there and exercise – forgive and forget your bad habits.
Presidential Tip #3: Plan what you’re going to do beforehand.
Obama has his routine pretty set in stone – 4 days of weightlifting, 2 days of cardio. So when he gets to the gym, he knows exactly what he’s going to be doing. He’s even been spotted following exercises written on a sheet of paper. Why would we go to the gym without a presidential agenda of our own? Having a list ensures you won’t be there all day deciding which muscles to work, which cardio machine you want to use, or how many reps you should be doing. And you’ll feel much better after accomplishing the items on your list!
Presidential Tip #4: Find out what you love and use it to exercise!
Obama loves basketball. While on the campaign trail, he “got in the habit of shooting hoops with friends on the days of primary elections, and that carried over to such major events as his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention…” Clearly, exercise doesn’t have to be all treadmill and free weights. Just find out what kind of exercise you actually enjoy doing and you’ll find yourself wanting to stick with it!
Presidential Tip #5: Work out with friends.
…It’s just more fun that way! Michelle worked out in the wee hours of the morning with a friend, and Barack had some friends fly in to play basketball with him. Having workout partners keeps you motivated and accountable.
Presidential Tip #6: Eat mostly healthy, but don’t feel bad when you slip up.
Michelle’s got our backs on this one! She goes by the 90-10 rule. If 90% of the time you’re eating healthy, don’t feel bad about a relatively unhealthy 10%. The Obama’s live by this mantra – they know sometimes you need to treat yourself! To help maintain this healthy lifestyle, they keep a ton of healthy food around (such as bowls of apples) and only eat out once every few weeks.
Presidential Tip #7: Know why you exercise and let that be a natural motivation.
If you are more aware of the reasons you exercise, you’ll be more likely to continue exercising. Take out a sheet of paper and write down reasons you exercise. How do you feel during? How do you look afterwards? How do you FEEL afterwards? Obama is well aware of his reasoning. He says exercise is his “key to remaining fresh and focused in the face of a punishing schedule.” He also says he uses exercise “to clear my head and relieve me of stress.” Why do you exercise? Post it somewhere you can clearly see and let it motivate you everyday!
And there you have it – a workout fit for a President.
Seriously, if the leader of our country can find time to get fit, so can you.