In honor of President's Day, the Huffington Post released a compilation of advice for healthy living offered by the top executives of the United States throughout the ages.
Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, it's hard to argue with some of the health tips presidents have provided. The Post cited a 2011 Reuters piece, which noted that current President Barack Obama appeared to have quit smoking and exercised on a daily basis.
Of course, Obama isn't the only president who has encouraged American citizens to stay in shape by example. The Post provided quotes from Thomas Jefferson and Harry Truman, indicating they felt the same way about exercise that Obama does. John F. Kennedy and John Adams, it's said, made the case that regular physical exercise may be beneficial for brain health. They may have been on to something. A September study from the University of Copenhagen speculated that working out may help improve memory.
But the Huffington Post left out a few of the most recent presidents who made a point to focus on their health. Many people may remember George W. Bush kept his cardiovascular health up to snuff by jogging as often as he could. During his presidency in 2002, he told Runner's World that he ran almost every day, and would embark on a three mile jog if he happened to be relaxing at Camp David on a Sunday. Bush's predecessor, Bill Clinton, also was known for jogging. An old article appearing in U.S. News notes that his secret service took issue with his penchant for running in public places, which made it difficult for them to follow security protocols.
Sleep habits of U.S. presidents
The Post also recently elaborated on some of the healthy and unhealthy sleep behaviors of past commanders-in-chief. Clinton is rumored to have made a habit of sleeping only five or six hours a night. While that may have left him with more time to work, the CDC notes that getting less than the recommended eight hours of sleep could have made Clinton more at-risk for some conditions related to weight management, such as diabetes. Kennedy, who history does not remember for especially healthy lifestyle choices, is reported to have used barbiturate sleep aides for stress management, which most doctors would not recommend.