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Despite many demands, these presidents worked to stay fit

To be chief executive of the US, it helps to be physically fit – the better to cope with the mental demands of the office. In that spirit, Gold's Gym, the world's largest network of coed workout clubs, researched what presidents have done to stay in shape. Among the findings: Some presidents stuck to simple routines, such as walking or jogging. Others pursued quite different activities, such as Harry Truman, who installed bowling lanes and a horseshoe pit at the White House. Ronald Reagan liked to clear brush from his California ranch. Herbert Hoover regularly played a sport of his own invention, Hooverball (a combination of tennis and volleyball). Still others have sought recreation on the golf course, by sailing, or on sport fishing trips. The fittest presidents, and their sporting identities, as ranked by Gold's Gym:

  • 1. John Quincy Adams: walker, swimmer
  • 2. George W. Bush: cyclist, exerciser
  • 3. Gerald Ford: golfer (former University of Michigan football star)
  • 4. Jimmy Carter: outdoorsman
  • 5. Theodore Roosevelt: boxer, horseback rider
  • 6. Harry Truman: walker, swimmer, bowler
  • 7. Zachary Taylor: exerciser
  • 8. Thomas Jefferson: horseback rider, walker
  • 9. Herbert Hoover: Hooverball player
  • 10. George Washington: dancer
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