Purely Presidential Fitness Routine

Throughout the history of The United States, we have had many different personalities in the White House. While they have all had different ways to reduce stress and stay healthy, many of occupants of the Oval Office included some daily exercise as a way to get out of the office and keep fit. We have compiled a list of some fun activities inspired but actual presidential work-outs that offer a great chance to learn about past presidents and get moving. 


  • President John Adams loved to swim in the Potomac, bragging that he once swam for over 50 minutes without his feet touching the riverbed. In his honor fake swim for 50 seconds. 
  • Harry Truman was famous for his healthy diet. He focused on eating a lot of fruits and veggies. He also had a very fast pace. Every day he would walk for 1.5 miles, making sure he took 120 steps per minute. Can you take 120 steps as you walk around this room for a minute? Time yourself to see how you compare to our 33rd president. 
  • Roosevelt was very careful to work on all of his muscles. He would rotate through different routines in order to avoid focusing too much on one set of muscles. In honor of our 40th president, do 40 jumping jacks-making sure to really move your arms and legs. 
  • It’s a myth that President William Howard Taft got stuck in a bathtub. In order to keep this president healthy, his doctor prescribed him an exercise similar to a sit up. He was instructed to “Lie flat on his back, raise his chin to his chest and then back to the floor” While he was lifting his head, he would move his arms so they were laying against his body. Repeat this exercise 8-15 times just as Taft would have done
  • Teddy Roosevelt never met an exercise he didn’t like. However, as a child he was often sick and had to be careful to avoid overexertion. As a young man, he worked hard to build up his muscles and gain coordination.  Among the list of activities, he enjoyed was chopping wood. Here’s how to do a Woodchop exercise to build your core. 
    • Stand with your feet a shoulder width apart.  Clasp your hands together and stretch your arms out so they are straight. Twist slightly so your hands rest on the outside of your right thigh. Slowly twist your core and, keeping arms straight, bring your hands above your left shoulder.  Return to original position. Repeat, switching sides.