There are jobs, and then there’s the presidency. Being president is arguably the most important job anyone can ever have, no matter their priorities, their achievements, or their life goals. Even if the president sucks, we can all agree that it must be a pretty damn stressful job.
We’re not just saying this because we want to; there’s science to back all of this up. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that world leaders live an average of 2.7 years less than the average population. When these leaders were compared to their runner-ups, scientists discovered that the winners had a 23 percent higher risk of having a premature death.
The U.S. Leaders were the ones who fared the worst – surprising absolutely no one. According to the study, they lived 5.7 years less than their runner-ups.
“The increase in mortality among those leading a nation, relative to others in politics, may stem from the greater responsibility and stress of the job … The decisions are more impactful, the spotlight is greater, and I suspect the job is even more strenuous.”
While we’ve had our variety of presidents, with some of them buff and others not so much, here are some of the most interesting activities they did to stay in top shape:
Born as a sickly child, Theodore Roosevelt counter balanced his weaknesses with tons of activities and sports. According to Cheat Sheet, Roosevelt was trained in Jiu Jitsu under professor John O’Brien, and was very good. Historians also claim that Roosevelt’s fitness level saved him from an assassination attempt in 1912.
John Quincy Adams
The White House’s Game Room has received a few renovations over the years, including Adams’ addition of a billiards table. He claims to have added it for purposes of “exercise and amusement.” We’re sure he had his fun, but we’re also sure that he didn’t burn a whole lot of calories.
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Bill Clinton was known for his jogs (re: his very short jogging shorts) which he wanted to be as private as possible, causing nightmares for the Secret Service who had to sit still as he jogged without much security. Cheat Sheet claims that he would follow these jogs with a quick stop at McDonald’s.
Obama was once selected as one of Men’s Fitness magazine’s 25 Fittest Guys. He was known for playing Basketball and using treadmills. He was also caught Kite Surfing, because he’s from Hawaii and innately cool.
According to Cheat Sheet, Bush was a fan of riding bikes. He also worked out 6 days a week, jogging or doing some sort of cardio in the gym. Since he flew and traveled so much, he had a tread mill installed on an Air Force One aircraft.