Train Like a President

Barack Obama played basketball . Bill Clinton and both Bush loved to run . Even Donald Trump makes time for golf . But if you want to try something a little more old-fashioned, here are some of our historic presidents’ favorite workouts.

Get up early for a swim . John Quincy Adams took a walk early in the morning, and in good weather he liked to swim naked, why not, in a tributary of the Potomac River. (There is a story that a reporter once followed him to the river and sat on his clothes until he gave her an interview, but this is probably not true .)

Take boxing lessons . Theodore Roosevelt aims for “a couple of hours of exercise” every afternoon during his presidency. He installed a wrestling mat at the White House and invited fighters to spar and train in boxing, wrestling and judo.

Go hiking . William Howard Taft, arguably our largest president at 320 pounds, was also reportedly strong and active. He walked four miles down the mountain with John Muir, ahead of those with whom they rode. (Taft was too heavy for the horses.) He also loved golf, tennis and rowing.

Play Hooverball . Herbert Hoover’s physician, Joel Boone, invented this game for the president. It’s basically volleyball, but with a six-pound medicine ball, so when you catch it you wo n’t get anywhere.

Don’t miss a hand day . Franklin Roosevelt’s legs were weakened from previous polio (or perhaps Guillain-Barré , shh), but he tried to work out his arms, chest, shoulders and back .

At least take a walk . Harry Truman walked a mile and a half every day at 120 paces per minute . Why this workout? He explained, “Some aging exhibitionists are trying to prove they can play tennis, handball, or whatever … And from time to time, some of them die of heart attacks. I say that this is not for me. “

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