Working out is exceptionally good for your brain, so it’s no surprise that some of the world’s most successful people stick to an exercise regime. Didn’t know that hitting the gym is beneficial for your noggin, not just your muscles? Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, improves alertness, gets endorphins pumping, helps with memory and boosts learning…and that’s just for starters. Working out can also ward off Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke and Parkinson’s. Here are seven fitness habits you should glean from the world’s most powerful people, even if you don’t particularly like their political viewpoints, comedic timing or daytime TV shows.
1. President Obama exercises six days a week for 45 minutes each session. He switches between strength and cardio, according to a 2008 edition of Men’s Health. How does he do that and run the free world? By rising with the sun. He also packs in extra workouts by playing basketball.
2. Ellen DeGeneres is known for her laid back, collected attitude. How does she get so relaxed and chill? You can probably chalk it up to her daily yoga habit. According to Shape magazine, she begins each day with at least one hour of power yoga; sometimes, she stays centered for an extra half hour.
3. Wendy Davis has been spotted with her running kicks on (like during her famous filibuster that lasted eleven hours), but she’s not just wearing those sneakers for comfort – Davis is both a cyclist and a runner. Right now, she’s more into cycling, but she did finish a five-kilometer race for charity in Fort Worth earlier this year.
4. Pray that you don’t meet Madeleine Albright in a dark alley, because she can probably take you. While speaking in Mexico City at a health panel in 2010, she told the crowd that she can leg press 450 pounds. Plus, she works out three times a week.
5. Oprah Winfrey is very much in the public eye, which means we’ve all seen her weight losses and gains. When she’s on track fitness-wise, she does it right. Bob Greene, Ms. Winfrey’s trainer, outlined her workout in 2003 for O Magazine. When she’s being good, Oprah does 45 minutes of cardio six days a week, in the morning, plus four or five strength sessions every week, which include stretching and crunches.
6. Billionaire Warren Buffett has a penchant for unhealthy food, but he balances out his indulgent habits by exercising, according to CNBC. Apparently, his doctor gave him an ultimatum: either start eating healthier foods or begin a workout regime.
7. Arianna Huffington, the President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, told Vogue magazine that yoga and meditation are two of her greatest triggers for joy. She’s even introduced yoga to the office and offers weekly classes for employees.
Did you notice the trend of morning workouts, not just exercising at any ol’ time during the day? That’s no coincidence – exercising in the morning is a common theme throughout successful fitness regimes. According to Forbes, a majority of people who work out do so in the morning. Exercising before you check your e-mail and buckle down to work gives you a much needed boost of energy. That sense of accomplishment and knowing you crossed something off your “To Do” list isn’t so bad, either.
Bonus: If you get your workout over with before noon, you won’t have to feel bad about bailing on it once the sun’s gone down. Besides, it’s particularly hard to drag yourself to the gym in the winter when the sun starts setting around 4:30 p.m. Can’t pull yourself out of your warm bed at 5 a.m. quite yet? Get up just 15 minutes earlier to start with and do some pushups and stretching before making your morning coffee.
Mark Labbett is a Baseball coach and contributor to sites like SKLZ.com, a company specializing in the sales of sporting and baseball training aids.