No sweat: Obamas work fitness into daily routine

CHICAGO -Many women recoil at the thought of baring their arms in sleeveless dresses or blouses, but not Michelle Obama — half of the fabulously fit new first couple.

Both President-elect Barack Obama and the future first lady have exercise routines that would put most people to shame. Michelle Obama used to join a friend for 4:30 a.m. workouts, and Barack Obama usually starts his day in the gym.

Michelle Obama has hosted “The View,” been interviewed on “60 Minutes,” graced the cover of Newsweek and hit the campaign trail, all with her buff arms bared.

“One of the things I always talk about is got to exercise,” the 44-year-old mother of two told an overwhelmingly female crowd at a campaign event last year in Chicago.

That’s sure to continue when the Obamas and their girls — 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha — move into the White House, which has plenty of places for them to stay active.

Fitness is a tradition for residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. President George W. Bush is an avid mountain biker, former President Bill Clinton jogged around Washington and former President George H.W. Bush liked to golf and jog, play tennis and pitch horseshoes.

“Most of my workouts have to come before my day starts,” Barack Obama, 47, told Men’s Health magazine in an interview for its November issue. “There’s always a trade-off between sleep and working out. Usually I get in about 45 minutes, six days a week. I’ll lift one day, do cardio the next.”

His preference, he said, would be to work out for 90 minutes.

On the campaign trail, even during the busiest periods, Obama made it a priority to start the day with a workout. That often meant a small motorcade of Secret Service agents and reporters following him to a local gym.

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