Fit to be PresidentAre you fit to be President of the United States？ Physical fitness is n
Fit to be President
Are you fit to be President of the United States？ Physical fitness is not a requirement, but it could be helpful. After all, the President's job is a stressful one. Many Presidents have found relief from the tension of their work through exercise. Their choices of. activities' have been as different as the personalities of the men who have held the office
Some Presidents kept fit by walking. George Washington and James Madison enjoyed nature walks.
Harry S. Truman was famous for his early morning walks. Reporters and photographers sometimes tagged along, but keeping up with him was not easy. Truman kept a brisk and exact pace. "I walk two miles most every morning at a hundred and twenty-eight steps a minute," he noted.
John Quincy Adams also enjoyed early morning walks." I walk by the light of moon or stars, or none, about four miles, usually returning home in time to see the sun rise from the eastern chamber of the House," he wrote. In tile summer, he followed his walk with a swim in the Potomac River.
Herbert Hoover said that walks were a "lonesome business". He was more interested in a team sport, He also wanted an activity that would give him a good workout, in a short amount of time. Hoover's White House physician created the perfect solution—a game that became known as Hoover-ball.
The game, similar to volleyball, was played with a six-pound medicine ball. The server threw the hall over the net. A player on the other team had to catch the ball before it touched the ground and throw it back. Each morning four to eighteen players turned out for games on the south lawn of the White House. Many of them were members of Hoover's cabinet.
Theodore Roosevelt was known to take the members of cabinet on long, exhausting hikes. He also enjoyed plenty of other activities. He played tennis, went horseback riding, and sparred with boxing partners in a ring set up at the White House. For a while, Roosevelt trained three times a week with two Japanese wrestlers. In a letter to his son, he described his progress. "Since you left they have taught me three new throws that are perfect corkers," he wrote.
Another active President was Gerald Ford, who had been a star football player in college. He played tennis, skied, and swam laps in the White House pool. He also worked out with weights, an activity that Ronald Reagan used to keep in shape.
Two of our Presidents swam as a way to manage health problems. Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had lost the use of his legs from polio, was able to build upper-body strength from daily swims in the White House pool. That strength helped him move easily from wheelchair to chair.
John F. Kennedy, who suffered from chronic back pain, also benefited from swimming in the White House pool. Because warm water soothed his back, Kennedy ordered that the pool be heated.
Man U. S. Presidents have been golfers. William Howard Taft was the first serious golfer in the White House. Dwight Eisenhower practiced the game often. Warren Harding even trained his dog to chase and return golf balls when he practiced on the south lawn of the White House. Woodrow Wilson enjoyed golf so much that he had some of his golf bans painted red for playing on snowy days.
Several Presidents have been joggers. Jimmy Carter regularly ran about four miles a day. George H. W. Bush found that his daily run was a good time to think. "It gives me time to reflect, to clear the head," he told a reporter. His son, current President George W. Bush, also jogs.
Politicians have found that a good way to get a bit of the President's time is to join him during one of his runs. Bill Clinton's White House scheduler kept a list of people who wanted to jog with the President. Many found that Clinton was in better shape than they had expected