Thursday, February 26, 2009

How to Stay in Shape Like the 1st Family

(ARA) – The newly installed first family is young, vibrant and providing inspiration for millions of Americans to get active. What are some of the Obamas’ favorite fitness activities and how can you stay in shape like the newest residents of the White House?

The first, and perhaps biggest, step is to make time to get up and get moving. The president and first lady show that even with a very busy schedule, you can find the time to stay fit and healthy. Make a date on your calendar to work out and keep it. Participate in a variety of activities to keep it interesting and work out with a friend or family member so you can motivate each other.  

The President

He may be just about the busiest man on the planet, but President Barack Obama still makes time to stay in shape. He enjoys running, swimming and, most famously, playing basketball.

Running is great aerobic exercise that efficiently burns calories and boosts cardiovascular health. Whether you jog on a treadmill or enjoy running outdoors, make sure you have a pair of running shoes that fit properly. Before you begin running, it’s crucial to stretch and warm up properly to prevent any injuries.

Swimming is a great way to work the whole body, but is much more low-impact than running. While most people don’t have the benefit of an on-site pool like at the White House, the health benefits of swimming make it worth the trip to your local community pool. Swimming improves cardiovascular health, endurance and muscle strength and an hour in the pool burns about as many calories as running six miles.

If your goal is to shoot hoops with the president, you’ll have a lot of practicing to do, but you’ll certainly get in shape in the process. In addition to burning hundreds of calories, a game of basketball with friends or family is a great way to have fun.

The First Lady

Michelle Obama has become a style icon and a role model for women worldwide. She makes it a priority to go to the gym to swim and use free weights and makes sure to use time with daughters Malia and Sasha to stay active. Her friends have said she is a motivated and accurate rope-jumper, an activity that can burn 100 to 200 calories in just 10 minutes.

The first lady has also been known to pick up a hula hoop and strut her stuff. Her husband told “People Magazine” that Mrs. Obama is, “The best hula-hooper I know.” Hula hooping is a low-impact exercise and, according to the American Council on Exercise, burns up to 200 calories when you work out for 30 minutes. You can burn even more calories and trim up to 2-inches from your waist if you use a piece of equipment such as a Sports Hoop -- a weighted hoop you swivel for just 10 to 15 minutes to tone muscles and burn calories and fat ( It’s a workout that is fun and so easy the entire family can hoop together, even the kids.

One of the most important fitness items Michelle Obama says she keeps on hand is a positive body image. When you feel good about yourself and keep a positive attitude, you’re more likely to stick to healthy behaviors and habits.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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