It’s true: Presidents Day always falls on the third Monday of February, and just because it’s a holiday that doesn’t mean you should skimp on beginning to work toward your fitness goals for the week.
That’s why we’ve gathered these admittedly fictional, but nonetheless inspirational, presidential fitness quotes. After all, leaders like these can inspire and motivate long after they’ve left office.
If you’ve forgotten, Presidents Day actually isn’t a celebration of the executive branch. It’s a federal holiday created to honor the United State’s first president, George Washington.
That means there’s no better place to start out than with this quote from one of our nation’s Founding Fathers (the origins of which are probably a tall tale).
Working on your biceps? Try chopping down a cherry tree.
— George Washington
Along with Washington, Abraham Lincoln is widely recognized as one of America’s greatest presidents.
Often lost among his timeless quotes and landmark achievements is that Honest Abe was an incredible wrestler. He lost ONCE in 300 matches, and is enshrined in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Don’t be fooled. I kept all my workout clothes in that top hat.
— Abraham Lincoln
What hasn’t been said about Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt? The country’s 26th president is quite possibly its most inspirational.
How? Well, if you think you can’t go 5 more minutes on the treadmill, see how you feel after thinking about this list of things good ol’ Teddy did:
- Youngest person to become president
- Created the “Rough Riders,” a volunteer calvary regiment that led the famous charge up San Juan Hill
- Held ALL of these jobs: cattle rancher, deputy sheriff, police commissioner, lawyer, governor of New York, author of 35 books, assistant secretary of the Navy, vice president, and president
- Boxed at Harvard
- Trained in jiu-jitsu
- Climbed the Matterhorn
- Gave a 3,800+ word speech after being shot in the chest, seriously
Boxing, jiu-jitsu, scaling the Matterhorn… I did cardio before cardio was cool.
— Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Standing at 5’11”, William Howard Taft weighed well over 300 pounds during his presidency and suffered from severe sleep apnea.
His health and fitness story is certainly one of caution that we can learn from, because if Taft ever does come up in conversation, people immediately ask if he’s the president that’s rumored to have gotten stuck in a White House bathtub. (And yes, he is that president.)
Repeat mantra: Donuts are not vitamins, donuts are not…
— William Howard Taft
America’s 42nd president, Bill Clinton, insisted on jogging three days per week while in office.
His workout routine is admirable since being president is likely one of the most stressful jobs anyone could have, but it also created headaches for the Secret Service. In fact, they had to go as far as to map out routes that satisfied their security requirements. These routes included the reflecting pool near the Lincoln Memorial and the dirt trail on the National Mall.
Google my running shorts and you’ll never be self-conscious running in public again.
Have you ever gotten any fitness inspiration from America’s presidents? Let us hear it in the comments.