I read an article about how jacked our next president is Barack Obama’s workout habits in the Washington Post, and I thought it was fucking cool. For one, I 100% agree with his decision to incorporate 60-90′ of working out into his daily routine. If you read the article, you’ll see that he gets his gym time in WITHOUT FAIL, even when he was on the road campaigning, and that he derives a ton of benefits from working out, not the least of which is good health. You might think that the gym is a bit of a luxury, especially for the President-Elect, but I disagree and think you’re kind of a tool if you don’t want the president to hit the gym regularly. I happen to think that EVERY SINGLE person in a modern society should find the time to do some kind of sport or workout, 5-6 days per week, for their entire lives, no matter how busy you are. Presidents especially. The last thing I want is a lardass for a Commander-in-Chief who could keel over any minute from a lifetime of sitting on his ass and eating fatty foods.
Obviously, there are tremendous health benefits, but also just importantly, working out regularly is good for your mental health. You feel good, you look good, and you are a better person, period.
I’m fortunate that I happen to work across the street from a gym, so I lift for exactly 40′ during lunch. I shower, change, and am back to work before my lunch hour is up. I eat at my desk. I usually do this routine 4 days per week. I also belong to a sports club, and I play my sport three days per week typically, usually in the early morning before work, but occasionally afterwards. I also work out on Saturdays and Sundays, which means I do something seven days per week. I may take two days off per month, but I try not to. My training intensity is mild enough that I can work out 30 days in a row and not injure myself or burn out. If I’m in training for a competition, I structure my training and take days off when needed for recovery purposes.
When I work out regularly, I find that I have increased physical energy, significantly better sleep patterns, a regular appetite (and one where I crave healthful foods), increased sex drive (also more creativity in the sack), and significantly higher creativity energy. I consider creativity my most important asset, so this last one is super important. If I get in a good workout, I can double my creative fuel in a 24 hour period.
Also, interestingly, I get a serious creative high right after a good workout, for about an hour or two. This coincides with the post-workout endorphin rush, and I liken it to the creative bump that people get when they drink coffee. My brain is firing on all cylinders and I make connections and intuitive leaps I wouldn’t make normally. The difference is, my creative rush is much stronger and smoother after a workout (there’s also no hangover like from caffeine). Again, this is really important because I output a high level of creativity for my various endeavors, work and otherwise.
The bottom line is, get your ass to the gym if you’re not already doing so. Make it a resolution for 2009 and follow through. For a counter point on Obama’s fitness, see this blog by Joel Achenbach.
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