Whether it’s passing historic health care reform bills or shooting hoops, president Obama has clearly had health at or near the top of his mind during his presidency. While many people have spent the past several years slugging it out in the courts over Obamacare, the President himself has managed to make fitness and health a priority, famously making time to get in workouts and engage in one of his favorite athletic activities: golf.
Whether you love him or hate him for it, Obama has made his mark on the nation’s health. And when it comes to his own personal health and fitness? Obama is hitting it out of the park — despite having what is probably the most stressful job in human history.
The White House recently released a physician’s report from Obama’s most recent health checkup in February, and though you’d think being the President would’ve taken its toll on him after eight years in office, it turns out he’s doing remarkably well. “The President’s overall health remains excellent and is improved from his last formal assessment,” wrote Obama’s doctor, Ronny L. Jackson.
“The President’s overall health remains excellent and is improved from his last formal assessment,” wrote Obama’s doctor, Ronny L. Jackson. “His adherence to a healthy diet and a consistent exercise program has resulted in an improved lean body mass and lower cholesterol level.”
How did has he managed to do it? According to Jackson, “the President continues to focus on healthy lifestyle choices. He eats a healthy diet, remains tobacco free, and only drinks alcohol occasionally and in moderation. He continues to exercise daily with a focus on aerobic fitness and resistance weight training.”
Now, it’s easy to imagine that the President is benefitting from a team of personal chefs and dietitians while living at The White House, so he does have an advantage when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet over us commoners. He’s also able to get his workouts in right at home (when he’s there) by utilizing the White House’s gym. Not to mention basketball and tennis courts, in addition to personal trainers.
At age 54, Obama is still physically holding up; that can’t be denied. Though the stresses of the job have taken a toll on him — just take a look at some photos of him prior to taking office, contrasted with today — he likely has many years ahead. If there is one area of his life that has suffered, you’d have to imagine it’s been his sleep schedule. He reportedly gets only five or six hours per night, assuming there are no national crises to attend to. That’s not nearly enough, as we’ve been told by sleep experts.
But what about his other vitals? How does he stack up to the average 54-year-old American male?
Obama’s blood pressure
You’d have to imagine the President’s blood pressure readings would crack the gauge, but Obama actually has surprisingly low numbers. Obama’s blood pressure, per the official report, comes in at 110/68 — a very healthy level given his age and circumstances. Given that roughly one out of every three American adults has high blood pressure, (54% for Obama’s age group) you’d expect Obama to be among them. But a proper diet and exercise helped him keep it under control.
Ideally, your blood pressure readings should be 120 over 80.
Obama’s cholesterol levels
His doctor’s report says that Obama has managed to keep his cholesterol level under control, giving him scores for his total cholesterol of 188, HDL (good) cholesterol 68, and LDL (bad) of 125. How does that stack up to everyone else? Well, recommended levels for LDL are under 100 — so, the President has some work to do on that front. HDL levels are recommended to be between 40 and 60. Again, not ideal, but the President’s in the ballpark. Total cholesterol should be below 200.
On average, Americans’ total cholesterol is 196, and has been declining in recent years.
Obama is 6’1″ tall and weighs 175 pounds. If we plug those into a BMI calculator, he comes in at a BMI number of 23.1. That lands him in the “normal weight” category — so, he’s not over underweight. That puts him in a much better position than the average American man, however. That number is 26.6, well within the confines of the “overweight” category. In terms of body mass, Obama is beating the average.
Again, private gyms, personal trainers, and personal chefs help in this regard. But the President has shown that by making fitness and health a priority, anyone can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Even if you’re lacking sleep, and working an incredibly stressful job.